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A homeowner’s most valuable asset is the home. And as homeowners, we want to make sure we’re taking care of our home, whether we’re upgrading and remodeling or fixing a problem.
Flooring is a big part of what makes a home special. The right flooring can dramatically change the look and feel of a room and make a home more comfortable, elegant, and sophisticated.
When buying flooring and having it installed, you essentially have two options: shopping locally, from a “small box” vendor; or buying from a national, “big box” store like Lowe’s or Home Depot.
While it may be tempting to go to a national brand and take in the big store experience, there are plenty of good reasons why you shouldn’t buy from them, nor should you have them install it. You can get a better overall experience from a local, independent provider – and will get better satisfaction from the project once it’s completed.
Here are five reasons you should turn to a local provider when buying and installing flooring instead of going to a big box brand.
Reason #1: More Affordable Overall Cost
It’s no secret that the overall cost of a flooring project is much more affordable with a local provider than it is a national chain.
If you’ve ever gotten a quote for a flooring project from a Home Depot or a Lowe’s, you were probably staggered by the extremely high cost of the project. This includes the materials and the labor. Compare this quote to a quote from a local provider and you can instantly see the difference in cost.
Big box chains aren’t known for their low costs when it comes to installing flooring. The markup on labor is massive, which is one reason why local stores continue to remain competitive. It makes sense; local stores don’t have nearly the same costs and overhead (wages, salaries, marketing, administration, real estate, etc.) as national chains, thus they don’t have to charge as much.
If budget is a concern, going with a local provider is the way to go.
Reason #2: Faster Project Start Time and Completion
When working with a big box brand, speed is not a major concern. These stores are known for starting slowly and taking longer to complete a job. Some of our clients have come to us because they started with a national chain and it took them entirely too long to either start the job or to finish it.
With a local provider, you can get the job started a lot sooner. Most local flooring stores can have a crew start on your home almost immediately. Plus, the general rate of work is much higher.
One reason why local stores are often better at starting jobs in a timely manner is because their crews are always local. They are based in your area, often right down the street. National chains often bring in crews from out of state, which not only delays your project, but also adds to the cost.
With a local provider, you get the job done faster and to your satisfaction.
Reason #3: Skilled, Experienced Crews
When you’re hiring a sub-contractor to take care of your flooring, what do you want?
Do you want skilled, experienced workers who have been doing this for years and have been a part of one team for a long time?
Or, do you want inexperienced workers – who are sometimes day laborers – who haven’t been in the industry very long and are sometimes from out of state?
The first group is what you’ll find from local providers. Our team, for example, has decades of combined experience and has been together for years. By going locally, you’re taking advantage of professionals who have made flooring their careers and know all the ins and outs of what it takes for a successful job. Flooring can be extraordinarily complicated and difficult, so having experienced veterans work for you is the best possible outcome.
On the other hand, national brands often hire young, inexperienced workers who are sometimes just day laborers. These workers almost always lack the experience needed to understand the intricacies of flooring. If you run into a problem, there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to handle it.
It is far better to go with skilled professionals than inexperienced workers. Too much can go wrong with your flooring – and can cost you thousands – for you to leave it to chance.
Reason #4: Trusted, Local Owners You Can Meet
There’s something to be said for being able to talk to your contractor whenever you want.
An owner of a local store is available to you to talk about anything you may need or want to know. He or she is there to help you along the way. And since he or she focuses on nothing but flooring, they can offer you guidance and insight that a major chain won’t be able to provide.
You can also trust local providers because they’re members of your community, too. The owner knows the area and the people who live there. He or she can come to the site – to your home – and meet with you to discuss the project whenever you have a need.
Also, local providers can give you a warranty that is much easier to enforce and honor. That gives you invaluable peace of mind.
In contrast, a big box like Lowe’s or Home Depot will often fly in crews from other states – from Georgia or Florida – to do the work. This creates communication problems, not to mention a complete lack of trust.
At the end of the day, you want to trust your workers and the owner who is responsible for them.
Reason #5: More Attention to Detail and Focus
A lot goes on with a big box brand. Lowe’s and Home Depot and other national chains are constantly dealing with a wide variety of customers who all want different things and have different needs. It can be difficult for them to focus on one job.
With a local provider, that’s not a problem. A small box store has fewer customers. That means they can focus on your job, which means they have a greater eye for details and can really focus on what you need for your home.
Fewer customers means more attention paid to you. It also means that your crew will have a deeper knowledge of your project and what it means to you. They’ll be able to meet your exact needs because they understand them so well.
Hiring a Local Provider for Your Flooring
At the end of the day, hiring locally means you benefit from:
- A lower total cost for your project
- Skilled, experienced veteran flooring specialists
- Faster job completion
- A faster start time
- Trusted, local owners who you can meet
- Greater attention to detail
- Local warranties that are easier to honor
Contact a local provider when you’re getting quotes for your project. When you find the right provider and are staring at your brand-new floor, you’ll be pleased with your choice and glad you stayed local when upgrading your home.