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After seeing what happened with the fire retardant plywood fiasco I will stay away from osb subfloors.
Mfgs said that plywood was fine and since then it all had to be replaced. Almost everyone who made it or used it is now bankrupt.
 

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I can save almost any wood floor. I'd be inclined to sand what you have there, unless budget was no option. I've weighed in on the osb before. It may be suitable,I don't like it. By osb i mean the cheap crap.
 

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After seeing what happened with the fire retardant plywood fiasco
If it was fire retardant solid wood, it still would have been a fiasco - the retardant broke down the wood.

Boatloads of roofs got replaced around Philly back then, too.
 

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Spencer, You are dealing with a friend--and one not knowledgeable about building.

Be straight up and professional and tell his the options---and explain briefly why your methods will work.

He may not be able to afford a proper job---or think he can get you to cut some corners for him.

You must stick to your guns and either do the job right or pass.--

But you know that already----

For friends I have two prices----free or full price---I will admit that I have few friends----
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Spencer, You are dealing with a friend--and one not knowledgeable about building.

Be straight up and professional and tell his the options---and explain briefly why your methods will work.

He may not be able to afford a proper job---or think he can get you to cut some corners for him.

You must stick to your guns and either do the job right or pass.--

But you know that already----

For friends I have two prices----free or full price---I will admit that I have few friends----
Thanks for the advice Mike.

This is not a close friend. More of an aquantence. We did stuff together when we were younger but don't really bump into each other much anymore. I don't have any problem charging him full price.

I would like to get the job as it would be a solid week or two worth of work.

The sales challenges on this job are:

A) convincing him that it would be money well spent to pay me to install it vs him doing it himself. They want tile but he mentioned that if hardwood is the only option he may try and do it himself. Maybe that means I should try to sell tile??? (He is a civil engineer so you know how that goes. They can do anything.)

B) Selling myself enough that they don't go price shopping. They are cheap and patronage to me will only go as far as the $ sign. I would be their first choice. But in this case they won't pay a bunch more for me vs a local flooring installer.

Practice makes perfect. School of sales here I come. :clap:
 

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Spencer, let me think for a few minutes----
He's waving a red flag already--so don't get your hopes up to high---

'I would do it myself but---' is never a good thing to hear---

Dinner is ready,I'll be back---
 

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If it was fire retardant solid wood, it still would have been a fiasco - the retardant broke down the wood.

Boatloads of roofs got replaced around Philly back then, too.
True, but my point is that just because a manufacturer says it can do something and is a new product without a long tract record does not mean that it will actually work.

If I personally have my doubts about it, I am not going to use it until I am sure of the product. I am sure many people believed the plywood companies about the fire retardant treatment not causing any problems.
Their guaranty of the product was basically as good as the paper it was written on.
 

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True, but my point is that just because a manufacturer says it can do something and is a new product without a long tract record does not mean that it will actually work.
Every bit of plywood you buy is a newer product than Advantech. All the other glues were reformulated, that's why you'll run into delamination on exterior ply now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I still say ya need to get your feet wet on the end of the floor sander. :) Jump in, we'll help ya figure it out if ya sell the job.
Give me a general run down on your process on an old floor like that. I'm completely in the dark in regards to the process of stripping the old finish off etc. I'll try and do some homework on my end. If it looks feasible I'll throw the option out there. I've got a lot of learning to do in the mean time. I've done a lot of things but that isn't one of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Spencer, let me think for a few minutes----
He's waving a red flag already--so don't get your hopes up to high---

'I would do it myself but---' is never a good thing to hear---

Dinner is ready,I'll be back---
I saw the flag too. In my head it said, "You better charge enough because this could be a real PIA/time consumer."

It will be interesting. If nothing else I'm looking forward to practicing the sales routine.

The one reason I'd like to do the job is his family connections. If I get my foot in the door here there will be more work down the road. His parents are building a house this summer that I'd like to trim out.
 

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There are several personality types in this world----

I'm just guessing on his---he seems like a person that is a bit bull headed and doesn't know much about building--but thinks he does.

He's also positioning you --manipulating--setting you up--for a cheap price---instead of waiting for your professional opinion--he has told you how he wants the work done--(leave the old tired floor and tile over it--float a floor over it)

You might win this guy over---but they are tough---they know what they 'want' but have little idea what they 'need'

I suggest you do a very detailed scope of work---starting with protecting the area---demo--trash removal---and on to the end--replace base and shoe-------final clean up---

This will give you the list of tasks--materials and supplies--needed anyway for your pricing---

Often with the 'skeptical doubter' types--or the 'researcher'types I will present the proposal with pricing for all of the phases----

Typically I just have a detailed scope---and a bottom line price--but this type likes to have all of the details---this way when he says that the price is kind of high---you can say--this is really a lot of work---

"please,look at each line. Do you think any of these are to high? See? I only charged you $x.xx to remove and reinstall the dishwasher---do you think I charged to much for that?

How about raising the threshold on the back door? I'm sure not making much on that one---"

As you sell you will recognize several different personality types and learn which ones you can win over and which you are best to walk away from.----you are quality oriented--so your services will not appeal to some----
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Thanks Mike,

I was reading a book on sales last night and the author said that 30-40% of people are solely price oriented. So basically don't think you can win them all.

This guy is a nice enough guy. Ignorant in what it would really take to do the job as far as time and cost, and over confident in regards to his own abilities. That's just part of it. I had to break a guys heart last Saturday, I drew up a really rough drawing of a "barn house", I think it came out to 3,000 plus sq ft of living space. I asked him what he thought it would cost. He said, "somewhere around $80k". I said triple it and you're in the ball park. O well, thus the need to educate the customer on costs.

I will do a detailed scope of work and see what happens. I'm gone next week so it will be a week after next until I get to go see the job. I will post some pics and dimensions when I get them.

Can't thank everyone enough for all the help getting started. May what has come my way go back your way.
 

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If you think someone is going to be very price conscious then don't over think it. Tell them two options, the cheapest way you're willing to get it done and the way you would like to do it. I usually present my preferred way first but it doesn't need to be a complicated presentation. After you describe the two methods, without pricing, ask them which they would prefer. Either way, you only have to prepare one price.
 

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Give me a general run down on your process on an old floor like that. I'm completely in the dark in regards to the process of stripping the old finish off etc. I'll try and do some homework on my end. If it looks feasible I'll throw the option out there. I've got a lot of learning to do in the mean time. I've done a lot of things but that isn't one of them.
First thing, if you can sell him on a refinish, don't expect it to be a money maker, but an education & skillset to add to your bag of tricks that will make you money down the road.

Local rental yard should have a sander, hopefully a clarke EZ8 & an edger. The sander isn't real bad to get the hang of, it's got a feathering handle. The edger, well, it's gonna take some practice & you'll for sure feel it the next day.:laughing:

Sand with the finest grit that's actually removing the finish & getting down to the wood, but don't expect it to clean 100%. 75-80% clean of finish is good enough for the next grit. I usually start with 36 or 40 to see if it clogs the paper. If it does, switch to a courser grit.

I use oil based finish primarily, so I typically sand down to 80 grit.

Im not gonna lie to ya, it's hard work, but it's been lucrative to us in the last 17 years. We live in an older area with a lot of older homes. Nearly everyone of those older homes has hardwood floors. After all these years, we've barely scratched the surface on the amount of work thats available. Refinishing almost always comes in as cheap, or cheaper than replacing with anything other than cheap carpet & our overhead is low, as the majority of our invoice is labor. Thus, making it easy to sell the client on what I'm selling. Once I'm in the door with their floors, I can talk to them about cabinets, millwork, ect. Probably 3 in 5 refinish jobs we do, now entail additional work.

It's been lucrative enough for us, to buy a really nice farm, home & build a new shop. You're younger than I was when I started sanding floors, so my advice is to give it some thought.
 

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Spence---you have a few varied skills now--the more you add to your basket--the easier it is to survive the changing markets and economic down turns---

My first love is wood----I even carved signs long ago---
but I'm a natural with plumbing and electrical---and have worked in both of those trades---

Those are just a couple of the many things I can use to make a living--and the things that I tried and failed at? Those experiences gave me insight into bidding and hiring subs----

I started my first business in 1973--next one in 1976--selling is not the easiest of skills---

my style is simple---look past what they say they want and figure out what they really want--

Package it up so they don't have to go elsewhere for any part of the job----

Explain things clearly and simply so there is no mystery or confusion--

By then--the sale is easy---if the price is high--perhaps they will wait--but if what you offer is exactly what they want---anyone else is a second choice.
 

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Personally I'd give him a quick run down of the problems with that floor done different ways (leveling, stiffness needed for tiles, height changes, etc). You need an approach that isn't going to have a lot of costly problems to solve, and that's probably refinishing.
 

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You're kinda in a tough spot. You hope you might get some extra work after this if you give him a good deal. I never do a 'deal' on the first small job for a customer. This IS a 'small job' to the HO. It's just a kitchen, right? How long could it possibly take? If you're happy with my work I'll give you a break on the next job(s). The more work you give me, whether your job or referals, then you will get a 'deal' on the next one.

As far as the actual job is concerned - IMO trying your hand at refinishing a floor for the first time, in a kitchen, is a bad idea. Too much hand work (edging and scraping) that you're unfamiliar with doing.

If he's a cheap sob, a laminate is probably his/yours best option. I don't personally like the stuff, but it solves many problems. Height, dust, time, cost, etc.

I wouldn't recommend tiling over the old hardwood. Even using a cement backer it's going to crack. HW moves, it's a fact of life, and that cementitous layer over it isn't going to move in the same direction. Plus you have the height issues of the dishwasher and possibly the stove and fridge to consider.

JM2C

Oh...I'm also in the no OSB camp. I guess I'm just a stubborn old fart, but I'll always pay extra for the ply, unless cust doesn't want to pay, then we have warranty issues to discuss (MY warranty, not the mfr's. Sure Advantech has a 50yr warranty, but who's paying my labor?).

Just my opinions, so take it for what it's worth - It was up to $.03 yesterday :laughing:
 
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