Floor refinishing: should you do it yourself or hire a contractor?

So, you just bought the house, or lived in the house for years and all this time you had a wall to wall carpeting, or in some cases linoleum..One of those days you decided to remove it, lifted it up and discovered a hardwood flooring, which is in really bad shape(sometimes covered in glue or other nasty stuff).Well, what’s next?

You have 2 choices here: do it yourself or hire a professional. Let’s do some thinking.

Of course a lot of homeowners will say that they can do their floors easily.That statement could not be further from the truth.Floor refinishing is not the type of work that anyone can do.There are so many ways to screw up your floors, while sanding them, that I could probably write another article just on this topic.Not to mention a mess you can make while coating your floors.

But let’s imagine, that every homeowner has a good idea of the refinishing process.Let’s just talk numbers here.We are going to take one room, for example(for bigger projects you’re definitely going to need a pro, unless you have a huge amount of pills for the back, knees and hands).

The floor guy will charge you something like $300-$500 for the room.That normally includes sanding your floor down to the wood, 1 coat of sealer and 2 coats of polyurethane.Of course, he has tools necessary for completion of the job.

If you will decide to refinish the floors yourself, you are going to need the following:

1.Big drum/belt sander(220v), which will be unavailable to rent, because it is made especially for professional  use and it’s a little tricky.So you will end up renting a small(110v) belt sander at the Home Depot for around $50 a day+ the sandpaper(say another $40).Note: with the small sander you won’t come even close to the result you’re looking for.It simply lacks power necessary to take of all the old finish.

2.Edger(around $20)+ the sandpaper-another $40.

3.Radiator sander- good luck looking for that one.the only way to get it is to buy it.they retail new for around $500.

4.Buffer- another $20+ the sreen for it($5)

5.Vacuum cleaner(let’s hope that you have a good one)

6.Polyurethane – I’d say since we’re talking about one room only you’re going to need 1 gal. of sealer($20) and 1 gal. of poly($20)

I’m not going to mention here all the small tools that you’re going to need to do the job right.Let’s do the math: to refinish the floor yourself, you’re going to spend $215(if everything goes nice and smooth and if you know what are you doing)  , not to mention your time(how much would you pay yourself to do this job?) and effort.

Well, here is the info you going to need to make a decision.The rest is up to you.Good luck!

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