Bought first home, a new build - faced with a difficult flooring decision

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Old 05-02-15, 02:24 PM
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Question Bought first home, a new build - faced with a difficult flooring decision

Hello everyone.

Recently bought our first home. It's a townhouse that should be completed in 5 or 6 months.

The home includes two areas that are hardwood: (1) a small section at the landing of the 2nd-3rd stairs, and (2) the third floor hallway area between all the rooms. Small areas, but significant. "Included" is your typical 2 1/4" Oak hardwood slabs.

Here are our options:

1. Go with included flooring with intention of future DIY upgrade: vinyl in the kitchen area & carpet throughout the 2nd floor, with the exception of the included areas above. We come back in a year or so to tear up the included hardwood, 2nd floor laminate, and 2nd floor carpet and install much nicer hardwood throughout.

2. Upgrade the entire second floor to expand the "included" hardwood noted above, 2 1/4" slabs. Area is roughly an additional 673 sqft, cost would be $5,364.

3. Upgrade the included areas + entire 2nd floor to "upgraded" hardwood, which comes out to roughly $14/sqft in the non-included areas (673 sqft). They are not using some rare Brazilian species here - it's better than the basic, but nothing otherworldly. I checked prices and they're ~$6.50/sqft for this level of hardwood at retail.


I'm confident that we can do it but there are three factors at play here:

(1) The builder's astronomical price for the "upgraded" flooring
(2) I hesitate to tear up existing hardwood in a new home - seems wasteful
(3) We'd prefer wider slabs than the 2 1/4"...

Any input is welcome - we've been debating for weeks.
 
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Old 05-02-15, 02:52 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

According to my math it is closer to $8 a square foot. (5,364/673=7.97)

Any time you make changes it is going to cost a fair amount more. Even at $14/sqft that is an installed price. Likely they are not getting a huge reduced price because they are in the trade, At least we don't in the electrical trade.

One option you didn't mention was to skip the builder hardwood all together. Perhaps install all carpet (cheap) so then when you want to install the hardwood you like, it won't be so wasteful. Carpet, or something similar, will be much easier to uninstall in prep for the new hardwood then ripping out other hardwood.
 
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Old 05-02-15, 03:21 PM
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Shouldn't you just be paying for the "net" difference between the basic stuff and the premium upgrade(s) . . . . so you wouldn't be pay anything for that which you don't use ?

Remember, it's your 1st house . . . . I wouldn't get all fancy on something you'll probably occupy only 4 or 5 years. I doubt that there'll be a good ROI on any of those add-ons when it comes tile to sell.
 
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Old 05-02-15, 03:35 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

According to my math it is closer to $8 a square foot. (5,364/673=7.97)

Any time you make changes it is going to cost a fair amount more. Even at $14/sqft that is an installed price. Likely they are not getting a huge reduced price because they are in the trade, At least we don't in the electrical trade.

One option you didn't mention was to skip the builder hardwood all together. Perhaps install all carpet (cheap) so then when you want to install the hardwood you like, it won't be so wasteful. Carpet, or something similar, will be much easier to uninstall in prep for the new hardwood then ripping out other hardwood.
$8/sqft is for expanding the "included" 2 1/4" slabs.

$14+/sqft is the price for the wider 3 1/4" slabs that we truly want. Does that make sense? These roughly $6.50/sqft at retail... tacking on an additional $3/sqft for labor, we're still a far cry from $14. Sure there are some additional materials, but that appears to be a pretty solid margin to me.

Believe me - I've beat them up regarding just leaving the entire floor bare or carpet. They say they can't "according to code." The last step down has to be a uniform height.
 
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Old 05-02-15, 03:38 PM
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Shouldn't you just be paying for the "net" difference between the basic stuff and the premium upgrade(s) . . . . so you wouldn't be pay anything for that which you don't use ?

Remember, it's your 1st house . . . . I wouldn't get all fancy on something you'll probably occupy only 4 or 5 years. I doubt that there'll be a good ROI on any of those add-ons when it comes tile to sell.
What I've stated is the price difference. And I get you on the length of ownership. However, we like this area and can see ourselves returning. Would rather rent than sell.

Besides... I've yet to meet someone who knows exactly what they're going to do 5+ years out.
 
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Old 05-03-15, 09:33 AM
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They say they can't "according to code." The last step down has to be a uniform height.
I call BS on that! Carpet and pad will be close enough to the height of 3/4' hardwood.
 
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Old 05-03-15, 09:36 AM
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I agree, you always see hardwood butt up to hardwood with no noticeable difference in height.
 
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Old 05-03-15, 10:26 AM
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They are full of....baloney, for a better word. There is no "code" to floor covering other than it covers the floor. Gee. It may be your first house, but we've been to the moon and back, so stand your ground with these guys. I believe you can do better with new hardwood a couple of years down the road and only have to remove the carpeting to do so. Adding hardwood to hardwood is a bear, and removing hardwood for more hardwood....you don't want to do that.
 
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