Planning the Project

floors, flooringIf you haven’t done so already, start a flooring notebook that includes ideas, resources, prices, recommendations, and other information useful to planning. One client used a small three-ring binder with pockets for literature, price lists, and business cards. Inside were graph pages of the rooms they wanted to floor. Whenever they went shopping for materials or talked with a flooring expert they made notes in the flooring notebook. 

Why is scheduling your flooring job important? Because it will take time to select and gather materials and tools, prepare the house for the flooring project, and to make sure everything -- and everyone -- is ready to get the job done quickly. Without good scheduling the room is cleared and prepped before materials are ordered, so you’re without the use of the room until everything arrives. I’ll give you some guidelines in the next section.

Once you know how long it will take to prep and install your new flooring you need to plan to make sure that all materials and tools are on the job site when you need them. Allow extra time as well in case delivery is delayed (frequently the case). The common rule is double whatever delivery time estimate is offered. Delivery may be made by the manufacturer, a flooring dealer, or you may need to borrow a pickup truck and get it yourself.

Plan early where you will store the materials before installation. Obviously you don’t want to store the materials in the room you will be flooring because you’ll have to move them. The best place is in an interior room or heated garage nearest to the flooring job. Depending on the type of flooring materials you buy, the manufacturer may recommend storage conditions. Prefinished solid hardwoods, for example, may require specific temperatures and humidity ranges so they don’t warp. In most cases, flooring materials should not be stored outside where dew and the elements can damage them before installation.

Trade Secret

As you begin shopping for flooring materials, ask about free delivery. It can save you $100 to $200 in some areas. Also ask about “no-tax weekends” that can save hundreds of dollars.

Pro Tip

Make sure you plan for early delivery of critical materials so the job -- and crew -- aren’t held up from starting work.

Smart Flooring

To acclimate flooring material you’ll want to store it for at least 48 hours (longer for solid wood products) in the climate in which it will be installed. That means the storage area should have approximately the same air temperature and humidity as the room where it will eventually become the floor. That goes for any adhesives or other installation products. If possible, store it in the last room that will receive the new flooring. Material stock will have dwindled down by the time you reach the room so you’ll have less to move to another location when prepping the room.

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