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How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!
Installing Hardwood floors can be expensive, so we needed to find ways to get the look that we wanted without the huge cost.  Our first quote came in at almost $15,000.  That just hurt our feelings, so we decided to find another company. We got another quote that came in at $11,571, which was an improvement, but it wasn’t in our budget to spend that much. The flooring guys noticed our disappointment and made a few suggestions and revised the estimate. Our last quote was the trick – $6500!  Here is how we saved over $5000 and still got the floors we dreamed of at the price we wanted.

When we purchased our Tennessee home, so much about it was perfect.  We loved the location–close to the city, but removed enough to give it a country living vibe. The neighborhood was well kept with very little traffic – just what we were looking for…until you opened the door.

PINK CARPET

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!
OY!

After much consultation, we realized this was the original carpet to the house.  Over 25 years of muck and mire — never replaced and maybe not even cleaned!

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!
We knew that we could have saved money by replacing the carpet, but I’ve always wanted hardwood floors and I was bound and determined to get the look I desired at the cost I wanted.

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

{from MLS Listing}

The wonderful flooring guys were impressed with our Pallet Kitchen Island and our Pallet Bookcase. We explained how we loved to DIY on the cheap.  Once they saw we preferred the rustic look of wood, they recommended Cabin Grade Flooring.

Basically, it’s the seconds, or rejects, from the factory.  Most people want smooth and seamless wood without marks or blemishes, but with the rise of Barnwood flooring, the rough hewn look is more popular.  The Cabin Grade flooring offers the look of Barnwood without the astronomical prices.

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

Our first cut to save costs was to not install hardwoods upstairs or in the kitchen.  The stairs were covered in the pink carpet, but the carpet upstairs is newer and is a muted gray color, so we could clean it and live with it until we could afford to replace it.  The install would include the hall at the top of the stairs, the stairway, and most of the downstairs.

Where we saved the most money — about $1500 — on this install was in doing the prep work ourselves.  Under our carpet and pad was pressboard.  That’s the chippy, flaky wood that is glued together to make sheets. Hardwoods could not be installed over that, so we would be ripping up the carpet, pad and pressboard. They provided us with 2 rolls of vapor barrier and suggested we lay it sandwiched between the subfloor and another plywood layer.  It was a daunting task, but knowing that by doing the hard work ourselves would save us BIG BUCKS in the end, made all the effort worth it.

First, we rented a dumpster.

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

Isn’t it so lovely sitting in my driveway?  

I must have apologized 100 times to the neighbors for the eyesore.

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

Finally the carpet was able to be removed to reveal the pressboard. Ripping up the carpet was easy.  Just get a few razor blades or carpet rippers and go to town.  There are tutorials on YouTube, but it’s pretty simple to figure out.

Start in a corner and rip away. For easy hauling to the dumpster, we cut 4 foot wide strips of the carpet.

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

Demoing the pressboard was a bit tougher.  It had been nailed in (NAILED IN!) so it had to be chipped away with hammers and crowbars, instead of easily unscrewed and lifted out.

Each ping of the metal tools sounded like CHA-CHING to our ears!

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

It was messy and we used buckets and shop vacs to get up the pieces.
Tape over your floor vents to prevent trash from falling down into the duct work.

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

{sorry for the blurry pics – sawdust does that
Note the earplugs, kneepads and facemarks. Safety first!}

Little hands helped us out along the way as well as Trent’s Dad and a good friend of ours whose construction knowledge ended up being invaluable.
How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

Uh-Oh!  That’s wood rot!
(sad trombone)

The subfloor was so bad in places, you could have fallen through.  It was a surprise, but we were glad to know that we could fix the problem, replace the rotten pieces and end up with a better foundation than before.
How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

There was an entire section needing to be replaced in the Dining Room.

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

{much better}

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

As well as in the Master Bedroom.

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

One relief was that the treads on the stairs were fully stained and in perfect condition.

Phew! No repairs!

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

Once we made the necessary repairs to the subfloor and screwed down the plywood, we also added extra screws throughout to prevent floor squeaks.  Next, we installed the vapor barrier over the subfloor.

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

Finally, we could lay down the last layer of plywood subfloor on top of the vapor barrier.
How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!
How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!
We laid the top plywood layer perpendicular to the pieces beneath.  Mark the baseboards where the floor joists run so you can quickly install them.

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

Now it starts getting good!

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

Look at that hardwood floor!

They are 3.25″ white oak planks – all chippy and knotty and gorgeous!

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

I specifically asked for certain pieces to be included in the run of the floor.  I thought the variegated grain added beautiful character.

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

*swoon*

The flooring guys added a nice touch by framing-in the fireplace.

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!
How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

We had to live with the floors unstained and unsanded for about 3 weeks to acclimate to the moisture in the house and to prevent cupping.
How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

We originally were going to stain the floors, but after living with them in their natural state, we were afraid to lose the variegation with the stain.

Finally the day had come! We had to leave the house for a long weekend since the fumes weren’t safe.  After all this hard work, a mini-vacation away from all this work was worth it!

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

They gave us about 5 samples of stain to look at, and we chose not to apply a stain.

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

We went with a Satin Clear Finish and absolutely LOVE the end result!

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

They sanded the treads on the stairs and left them natural, which matched up nicely and flowed well with the rest of the house.

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

The final cost came to $6446 — a total savings of $5,125!

We got the look that we wanted and saved over $5000 by doing the prep work ourselves.

Be sure to link up below to see the amazing results from our other remodeling projects.

Featured On:
Nifty Thrifty Things

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket  photo instagram_zpsa69a0f97.png

Floor installation by CFR Flooring

How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - these homeowners share their tips and tricks that helped reduce the overall cost of their gorgeous hardwood floors!

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