1) What type of flooring finish do you use? What types of wood?
-The hardwood flooring market is very competitive recently. Contractors are looking for easy ways to save money. Some contractors will sacrifice quality workmanship in order to offer you the best price possible and secure your bid. However, low-grade wood floor finish is not in your floor's best interest and the money you save on lower grade materials is never worth the sub-par appearance that comes from an inferior finish. It's not often that people regret using top-notch professionals who use the best finishes. When it comes to flooring, the lowest price is rarely the best deal.
2) Who will perform the actual work on my floors? Do you hire sub-contractors?
-Sub-contractors must carry their own insurance policies and pay their own taxes. Hiring subs saves your primary contractor money because subs are not their employees. Therefore, they are not required to pay the subs benefits, workman's compensation, etc. While this arrangement may shave some dollars off the cost of your project, the quality of the work that will be performed in your home is hard for anyone to predict. This is because there is usually not a lasting relationship between the flooring contractor and a sub. In fact, they may not know each other at all. In situations like these, if there is a problem with the workmanship, sorting it out can take a frustratingly long time to get resolved.
3) Do you have references?
Most homeowners are willing to be references for a contractor who worked on their home if they did a good job. If the hardwood professional you're considering can't provide you with three solid references, there is probably a reason for it.
4) Who are the current builders you are working with and what associations are you active in? (The Builders Association of the Twin Cities is an excellent example.)
-Professional flooring contractors should have reputable people who will vouch for them and floors you can look at. If the people you're talking to can't provide you with answers to these questions, you should seriously reconsider using them for your hardwood flooring project.
Also remember: ALWAYS Ask your contractor for a copy of their certificate of insurance BEFORE you sign anything.
My wife and I would like to express our appreciation for the professionalism, craftsmanship and neatness of the work John and Kevin have done on our refinishing project. We are highly pleased with your work.