Given a choice, the overwhelming majority of home buyers would opt for hardwood floors. If you find a house to flip where they are already there then that is a major bonus. If not, you will need to look at the overall budget and the comparable sales to determine if the cost makes sense.
Here are some other tips and suggestions when it comes to hardwood flooring.
The key when making these choices is to make them in a way that balances the expense with the expectations of the home buyer. Here are some lessons that I have learned over the years and 150+ houses.
1. When you can keep original hardwood do it…
Especially if you are in an area where buyers like original charm. The hardwood floors that were installed in most older homes are a 1 ¼ inch oak and they can be restored by a professional hardwood technician. Be aware that there are instances where repairs may be needed of the floor. For example, if you are replacing the heating system and eliminating the radiators to install forced air heat. Make sure whomever you hire is also skilled at patching the floors to get the best result.
2. If you have a small space (like a kitchen) without hardwood and the rest of the space has it…add it.
The visual impact of having the same flooring throughout is worth the investment. It creates spaciousness and consistency so it feels as though it has always been there. You may also be surprised to find that the expense of adding the hardwood is not significantly different than tile once you figure in the materials and installation.
3. Original hardwood can be different species in different areas.
There are homes where we have seen maple hardwood in the hallways and or bedrooms and oak in the other main living areas such as the living room and dining room. If you want to minimize the color difference between the two you can select a medium stain that will take to both of those types of wood in a similar way to minimize that they are not the same. My favorite stain for this is Minwax Provincial.
4. Older homes may not have hardwood
Most homes built in the 1950’s will likely not have hardwood installed. If you can lift the corner of the carpet to check…do it. If you will have to install a new hardwood flooring product then you will need to make sure to include that in your budget. A 1000 square foot main floor with a wide plank engineered floor can cost anywhere from $5 to $7 per foot which can add up pretty quickly. Plus, you’ll have a cost for the installation too. This is well worth it since any type of wood flooring is preferable for buyers.
If the bedroom areas do not have hardwood floors installed I will install carpet. It is helpful when managing cost and creates a quieter and cozier space. Buyers preference for the wood floors is stronger for the main living areas that experience more traffic.
I hope these tips are helpful for you as you decide which type of flooring to install in you flips. As always, if you are unsure of which type of materials to install, look at the comparable sales in the neighborhood as your guide.
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