I'd like to address a question that we recently received. It's an "FAQ" so it will be easier to write here and share with the world/ Louisville.
I'm working on a big remodeling project [or renovation or restoration]. When is the best time to have the floors done?
Great question! This is one we get frequently....and a lot of times folks DON'T ask and we really really wish they had. In general, your nice new (or newly refinished) hardwood floors need to be the last thing done on a project. The only exception is cabinetry. Those cabinets sit on top of the floor and sanding or installing around them is far more labor intensive than sanding or installing a big open area. Having us come in after the cabinets can unnecessarily add significant cost to your project.
That said, if you REALLY need us to come earlier or later in the project, we will try to accommodate and give you directions to best protect our finished work from the dangers of an active construction site, but be warned that other types of contractors are notoriously destructive and/or messy. We cannot count the number of times painters have left teensy little splatter drops from rolling paint all over the edges of the baseboards, or workers with a ladder have inadvertently gouged or scratched the finish of the wood floor dragging their tools across the room. If we are last to come in, this isn't a big deal as paint and scratches both sand out nicely. But it's a real shame when your new floors are damaged and we've already left. We can always come back and fix the damage done by others, but this adds to the time and cost of a project and we KNOW at the end of a project you literally just can't even anymore.
There are a couple of instances, however, where we won't be able to professionally and/or ethically start a job. Due to the moisture and temperature sensitive nature of unsealed wood, your plumbers and HVAC folks will need to be finished with their work. It should go without saying, but we will also need the house to have windows and doors installed/protected from the outside elements. We will also need that HAVC system to be heating or cooling the space as it would be when the building is fully occupied. It is very important for us to be able to measure and stabilize the humidity levels to prevent problems with your floor in the future. We will also need access to modern electrical wiring. For buffing or repair, our power tools need standard electrical, keeping in mind that if your fuses are outdated they may not be able to handle the amount of electrical flow needed for our saws. If we notice that your electrical wiring is unsafe or insufficient for modern tools, we may ask that you correct these deficiencies prior to beginning. Safety of our associates and your property is our utmost concern and we do apologize for any inconvenience, but this is a very important thing to note.
Your drywall professionals, granite installers, and finish carpenters put out a LOT of dust. We will need a dust free environment to apply the finish to your floor. If we are refinishing, re-coating, or doing a site-finished installation we will need these things to be completed prior to our starting, to ensure there will be no debris in the finish of your wood floor.
If we will be refinishing wood in your home, our big sanders require a 220 volt electrical outlet. Usually the standard dryer or oven plug will do the trick, but especially in very old or previously vacant properties there sometimes is not a sufficient plug. We aren't licensed electricians so we are unable to do this work for you prior to starting the sanding process. You will need to call a professional electrician to wire the proper outlet before we can begin. The good news is that in 2018, it's pretty much expected that a home will have at least one 220 outlet, so this is a good thing for your overall project and usually only adds a few hundred dollars for the electrician's work.
We hope very much that this answers your question. If you have other questions you'd like us to address on the blog, please let us know! And remember, folks: always keep it real (wood)!