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How important is hardwood flooring when selling a house

By zzyzzx following x   2018 Jan 8, 11:16am 1,756 views   32 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


#housing

Friend is re-dong a house to sell. It still has it's original 1950 hardwood floor, that was underneath the carpet. They need refinishing, and are very dirty, but have never been refinished. Two contractors have already said to just get get carpeting put over the hard wood floors again, since it's cheaper than refinishing, and hardwood only matters if it's an expensive house (which this one isn't). Never heard this before, since I thought that had wood floors are a desired feature at all price points. Any thoughts?
1   Tenpoundbass   ignore (10)   2018 Jan 8, 11:22am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

First they would be amazed what a strong concentration of Murphys Oil Soap will do for that floor.
I had a wood floor house I rented for 11 years while I sat out the bubble. The floors were never retreated. When we moved out, we scrubbed the floor with Murphy's. It brought them back to life. The Murphy's stripped the dirty oil and residues out of the wood even took off the bad finish almost making it look 30% stripped.
2   Goran_K   ignore (2)   2018 Jan 8, 11:22am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

For a cheap house, I think those guys are right. As long as the carpet you get is clean, nice, it should be okay.

The cost to have pristine re-done wood floors would probably eat any profits from the increased sale of having them.
3   HEYYOU   ignore (17)   2018 Jan 8, 1:43pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

When Trump finishes with America we'll all being living in shacks with dirt floors.
4   HappyGilmore   ignore (2)   2018 Jan 8, 1:58pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

How much does it cost to sand down and refinish wood floors? I wouldn't think it's all that much more than new carpet.

I think the OP is correct--everyone likes hardwood floors.
5   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch   ignore (32)   2018 Jan 8, 2:03pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

zzyzzx says
First they would be amazed what a strong concentration of Murphys Oil Soap will do for that floor.


Right on! That and a blast of Lemon Oil wax and you're the king of siam!
6   joshuatrio   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 8, 2:21pm   ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Sanding and refinishing wood floors is pretty damn easy. Rent a drum/edge sander from home depot and mow it down. Start at 30 grit, 60, then 80. Then a sand/screen or buff with a 120 grit. Vacuum and tack it, and a few coats of poly and you're done.

My wife and I did our house. Saved about $3k and learned a new skill. Ours actually came out better than our friends who paid a good bit to have it completed.
7   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 Jan 8, 2:26pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Something tells me you will get more value by fixing the hard wood flooring.
8   anonymous   ignore (null)   2018 Jan 8, 2:59pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Is probably pay for hardwood to be finished unless it's a dump.
9   BlueSardine   ignore (2)   2018 Jan 8, 3:17pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

living in a dump neighborhood with wood floors makes you king of the block. great selling point...
10   Ceffer   ignore (1)   2018 Jan 8, 4:39pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Why have refinished hardwood floors in a house with all the copper stripped out?
11   Hassan_Rouhani   ignore (3)   2018 Jan 8, 5:17pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

joshuatrio says
My wife and I did our house. Saved about $3k and learned a new skill. Ours actually came out better than our friends who paid a good bit to have it completed.


Yep, the problem with doing something yourself and learning the skill is that afterwards you start noticing shoddy work done by "professionals" everywhere.
12   anonymous   ignore (null)   2018 Jan 8, 5:32pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Carpet is maintenance nightmare.

But if you live in cold weather it’s warmer than wooden floor which gets stone cold.
13   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2018 Jan 9, 10:18am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

BlueSardine says
living in a dump neighborhood with wood floors makes you king of the block. great selling point...

Ceffer says
Why have refinished hardwood floors in a house with all the copper stripped out?


This isn't my house, but for a friend who lives in a nice part of town.
14   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2018 Jan 9, 10:19am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

HEYYOU says
When Trump finishes with America we'll all being living in shacks with dirt floors.


Do you have an opinion on refinishing hardwood floors vs carpeting?
15   WookieMan   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 9, 11:23am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

joshuatrio says
Sanding and refinishing wood floors is pretty damn easy. Rent a drum/edge sander from home depot and mow it down. Start at 30 grit, 60, then 80. Then a sand/screen or buff with a 120 grit. Vacuum and tack it, and a few coats of poly and you're done.

I agree with this, but do be careful with the lower (rougher) grit. You let it hit a spot too long and you could get some "waves" in the floor if that makes sense. I wouldn't do it anymore myself as it's way too time consuming if you're doing something like 1,000+ sq. ft. It's not hard work necessarily as joshuatrio mentions, but it does take time.

If you're not using a self employed handyman type you're going to get killed on the labor for it if it's a more commercial outfit. It's definitely grunt work. So results might not be satisfactory if you're using a more commercial type service and you pay way more then doing yourself.

If it was me, I'd refinish them. I actually did it on a cheap house I flipped with my old man ($65k-ish sale price). While you may not get more money, everyone prefers hardwood over carpet probably 8/9X's out of 10. So you may end up selling the house faster or getting more people through as the carpet lovers will still look at the house likely.

More people looking at it and the time value of not paying the taxes & insurance another month is worth something even if it can't be quantified in the sale price. Time is money.
16   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2018 Jan 9, 11:26am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

WookieMan says
myself as it's way too time consuming if you're doing something like 1,000+ sq.


Good point. It's probably closer to 600 ft.
17   anonymous   ignore (null)   2018 Jan 9, 11:29am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

joshuatrio says
Sanding and refinishing wood floors is pretty damn easy. Rent a drum/edge sander from home depot and mow it down. Start at 30 grit, 60, then 80. Then a sand/screen or buff with a 120 grit. Vacuum and tack it, and a few coats of poly and you're done.

My wife and I did our house. Saved about $3k and learned a new skill. Ours actually came out better than our friends who paid a good bit to have it completed.


Do you have any before n after pictures?

What type of wood was it?

What type of equipment did you use? Do you remember the make of the sander?
18   Booger   ignore (1)   2018 Jan 9, 2:53pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

joshuatrio says
ent a drum/edge sander from home depot and mow it down.


Drum sander for a first timer? Wouldn't an oscillating sander make more sense?
19   anonymous   ignore (null)   2018 Jan 9, 3:40pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Booger says
joshuatrio says
ent a drum/edge sander from home depot and mow it down.


Drum sander for a first timer? Wouldn't an oscillating sander make more sense?


Yea i have some questions here, especially because he claimed that it was an easy task for him and his lady.

Hard to believe that any DIYer would get professional level results on their first go, unless they have experience working with wood.
20   joshuatrio   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 9, 3:45pm   ↑ like (5)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Booger says

Drum sander for a first timer? Wouldn't an oscillating sander make more sense?


Nope. An oscillating/orbital sander will take FOREVER. You may actually not get all the old poly off either.

A drum sander is really easy to use. I only made 1-2 small drum marks, which I was able to feather out - my first time doing it.

ALWAYS keep the sander moving, when the drum is down. It's not rocket science at all. Plus, you'll feel badass when the job's completed.

Here's a few pics from when I did our floors last August. You'll notice the oscillating sander in one pic (which I tried), but took back because it was a waste.



21   PeopleUnited   ignore (2)   2018 Jan 9, 7:27pm   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Beautiful work!
22   joshuatrio   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 10, 5:40am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

PeopleUnited says
Beautiful work!


Thank you! It was definitely hard work, but worth it. The advantage to doing it yourself, is that it gets done right (because you want it to look good). So many refinish jobs from "the best" are often terrible. You'll find debris, hair, carpet and polyurethane streaks in the floors. I've seen some "pro" sanding jobs that are downright awful.
23   FNWGMOBDVZXDNW   ignore (2)   2018 Jan 10, 7:17am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

I've heard oscillating sanders are useless for removing old poly in the past. Even the rentals for oscillating sanders state that. I looked into it a few years ago, but decided to just have most of ours done while we were out of town. The biggest hassle is probably dealing with moving all of the stuff around and cleaning the mess (or protecting things from it). I was warned about beginners fucking up the floors with drum sanders, but figured that a coordinated person who is familiar with diy ought to be able to do it. Thanks for confirming that joshuatrio. Sanding things is not hard. It's just a shitty dirty job.
We hired the most expensive guy, b/c he was the least sleazy and made it sound like he would do a really good job. They had to weave in new flooring with old. They did a fucking shit ass job of laying out boards, left burn marks and some gaps here and there, and the weaved sections were obvious to me. Nobody else notices, but it took me a while to ignore those spots. Turns out that guy was just best at hiding sleaze. Maybe his guys were just rushing, b/c they did it over Christmas break.
24   anonymous   ignore (null)   2018 Jan 10, 7:28am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

I was warned about beginners fucking up the floors with drum sanders, but figured that a coordinated person who is familiar with diy ought to be able to do it. Thanks for confirming that joshuatrio

———————

Oh you can certainly fuck it up. And from his picture it looks like he left the baseboard on.

Edging is where you earn your money. Or stairs. But there’s little to no room for error, so if you do bitch something up, your plan to save money goes bust-ish.

Also the type of wood makes a difference.

I wouldn’t sand a floor using any sander other than Galaxy

Also Josh didn’t seem to have to tape anything off. If your vacuum isn’t perfect, it makes a big mess.

I wouldn’t recommend it to a DIY’er, but at the same time, it isn’t rocket science
25   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2018 Jan 10, 7:33am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

The finished product looks great, but from that before picture it doesn't really look all that bad???

I would only pay someone to do the sanding. I can stain and put on oil based polyurethane myself easily enough. I've done a shitload of wood refinishing so I can do that. I should take some pictures of this floor in question and post them here.
26   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2018 Jan 10, 7:34am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

errc says
especially because he claimed that it was an easy task for him and his lady.


I'm guessing that he did all or almost all the actual work.
27   FNWGMOBDVZXDNW   ignore (2)   2018 Jan 10, 9:23am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

errc says
Oh you can certainly fuck it up. And from his picture it looks like he left the baseboard on.

Around here, they leave the baseboards on and then add toe molding. My baseboards are not perpendicular, so toe molding looks like more shit than usual if it is not cut at an angle. There's either a gap at the floor or between the molding and baseboard. If I had done it myself, I would have removed the baseboards, and probably replaced with something else.
Regarding quickly fucking things up: I imagine that a novice could experiment with less aggressive paper while they get used to the machine. A router can fuck things up in a hurry too if you don't have any experience with it, but a little experience goes a long way. I could see how someone with below average intelligence could fuck it up all day long and never learn, though. I know people like that, and they usually learn that they suck at diy shit around the house.
28   FNWGMOBDVZXDNW   ignore (2)   2018 Jan 10, 9:27am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

zzyzzx says
I can stain and put on oil based polyurethane myself easily enough

I would use water based if I were you. We used Bona traffic, and it has held up great. Water based finishes are really strong these days. I hate using oil based finishes in the mid-Atlantic. Dry times are fucking miserable. If you are staining anyway, you have control over color. Water based dyes are effective with that too.
29   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2018 Jan 10, 10:15am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

FNWGMOBDVZXDNW says
I hate using oil based finishes in the mid-Atlantic. Dry times are fucking miserable.


Nobody is living in this house, so that's not a problem. I do appreciate your concern! I've actually never use any water based stains or polyurethane..
30   joshuatrio   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 10, 10:36am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

FNWGMOBDVZXDNW says
I've heard oscillating sanders are useless for removing old poly in the past.


Yup. Don't waste your time.

errc says
I was warned about beginners fucking up the floors with drum sanders, but figured that a coordinated person who is familiar with diy ought to be able to do it. Thanks for confirming that joshuatrio


Correct. The people who warn you, generally just want you to pay them to do it. If you take your time, your own work will look much nicer than the pro's.

errc says
Oh you can certainly fuck it up. And from his picture it looks like he left the baseboard on.

Edging is where you earn your money. Or stairs. But there’s little to no room for error, so if you do bitch something up, your plan to save money goes bust-ish.

Also the type of wood makes a difference.

I wouldn’t sand a floor using any sander other than Galaxy

Also Josh didn’t seem to have to tape anything off. If your vacuum isn’t perfect, it makes a big mess.

I wouldn’t recommend it to a DIY’er, but at the same time, it isn’t rocket science


Yeah, unfortunately, the previous owners didn't run the hardwood all the way to the wall. They shortcutted it, ran it to the baseboard, and then put quarter round. Def. the hack way to do it. I removed the quarter round and was able to sand pretty much all of the wood.

I used an edger in the bathroom/small areas, but my wife preferred using a small orbital once the poly was removed.

No taping was needed. I removed everything. Kitchen island. Toilet, sink etc... I re-installed fresh cove molding all the way (when completed) around thebaseboards and kitchen cabinets and island, so it looks much better and more uniform now.

I DID (not pictured) have a couple of tarps, partitioning the upstairs from the downstairs, and isolated some of the carpeted rooms. I also plugged up all the heating/cooling ducts with plastic bags.

I wasn't concerned about the poly touching the baseboards. In the end, after installing the fresh cove molding, just repainted all the molding.

By the way. Make sure you TACK the floor!!!! If not, you'll be sorry after the first coat of poly. It takes time, but most pro's miss this step and it shows.
31   joshuatrio   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 10, 10:36am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

FNWGMOBDVZXDNW says

I would use water based if I were you. We used Bona traffic, and it has held up great. Water based finishes are really strong these days. I hate using oil based finishes in the mid-Atlantic. Dry times are fucking miserable. If you are staining anyway, you have control over color. Water based dyes are effective with that too.


Agree
32   anonymous   ignore (null)   2018 Jan 11, 2:06pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

By the way. Make sure you TACK the floor!!!! If not, you'll be sorry after the first coat of poly. It takes time, but most pro's miss this step and it shows.

——————-

If they’re not tacking the wood prior to coating, they’re definitely NOT pro’s




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