I can't even begin to tell how important it is to have someone come to your home and help guide you on the best floor for your needs and your home. (As background we design and install all types of flooring - hardwood, carpet, tile, laminate, vinyl, sand & refinish. And, best of all, "We bring the store to your door.")
While I typically take care of the whole job from start to finish (material + labor), there are plenty of times where customers just need my help for the materials (e.g. if they plan on installing themselves) and other times where they have bought the materials and just need my guys to install it for them.
What breaks my heart (and I've seen it happen too many times) is I'll have a customer who went to a store, and bought the wrong materials. It especially happens with hardwood where they've bought a solid hardwood which can not be installed in a basement that is below grade or they have a cement floor and didn't realize all the additional costs and complexities they need to incur to install a plywood subfloor. And, all of this could have been avoided by having an expert come to their home and provide some much needed advice.
I love going to my customer's homes. It fun to meet them and fun to help design what their space will look like. I provide advice on which type of surface is best for them (e.g. hardwood vs. tile vs. laminate) as well as help them with types of wood or tile and colors, as well as how we should lay it out. I help them coordinate the whole area - free of charge. Some companies charge for the estimate; I don't.
I enjoy figuring out the right solution - both need-wise and budget wise. I love explaining to the homeowner the benefits and drawbacks of each surface and how it's installed - enough to explain, but not too much to overwhelm.
After I've been to my customer's home, I've often heard the comment, "Wow, that was so easy. I'm never going to a store again." They tell me they get overwhelmed by all the choices in the store and don't know how to sort through them. I'm that's what I'm here for. I'll also provide helpful suggestions e.g. "Did you know putting the wood on a diagonal will make the room look larger? (Not to mention that it looks spectacular.). The other benefit of "bringing the store to your door" is that you get the samples in your own lighting (which is different thatn the store's lighting). You get to color coordinate w/ paint color and with furniture.
But going back to the mistake I've seen when people have ventured to do this on their own...
1. Buying wrong type of product for environment
2. Only looking at the cost of the product and not factoring in the cost of the labor. Sometimes the store shows a product that appears inexpensive, but the savings are offset by the labor costs. (I help them look at the total cost of material and labor.
3. Picking out the wrong color - sometimes it's too dark for the setting; sometimes it's too close to the cabinet color.
4. Not buying enough product - we start and then there is not enough material and then we have to stop project and homeowner needs to wait a few more weeks to order more not to mention the extra costs.
5. Not buying all the transitions needed. Often customers buy the wood or tile, but they don't realize they need saddles, or transitions or base modling or grout. That's our job and we are here to help avoid that.
So, if you or a client is thinking about getting some new flooring (or even just sanding & refinishing their existing floor, please have them give me a call first. We are Floor Coverings International (Westchester/Fairfield) and we can help. 914-937-2950. Also, you are more than welcome to download our FREE flooring guide.