It happens over and over again to many unsuspecting homeowners. You find what seems like an unbelievable deal on a certain material for your home. You purchase it thinking that you’re saving money that can now be used for other materials or areas of the home, only to find out later on that the installation for this material is now twice what it would have been if you’d chosen something different. This confusing event happens more often than you think, and homeowners who think that they’re getting a bargain are often outraged to find that they’re not, and many end up blaming their Pro. Rest assured: Your Pro is likely not trying to rip you off. Unfortunately, some materials end up costing more to install than others which can lead to this confusion.
Extra Steps, Extra Money
One example of this scenario playing out in the home is with flooring. Wood flooring is a popular material that has a lot of variations – and a lot of variations in cost both to purchase and to install. You may think that you can save money by purchasing unfinished flooring. After all, it costs a fraction of what pre-finished floor planks do. After you make the purchase, however, you may find that your installation costs have just doubled. Why? Because your installer now has to sand down those planks and finish them with at least two coats of polyurethane – sometimes three. And that finishing takes time, sometimes twice as long as it took to put the floor down. For a Pro who works by the hour, he simply can’t charge you the same amount to install a prefinished floor as an unfinished one.
Another example is in ungauged slate tile. Ungauged slate tile seems like an incredible bargain when you buy it at the store – just a few dollars a square foot for natural stone. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly difficult to install, and not all tile installers have ever worked with it. Hire someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, and you’re likely going to have to rip it out and begin again. Hire a Pro who is experienced in the material, and he’s likely to charge you twice as much simply because each piece of stone must be dry fit, arranged for color and size, then back buttered before it can be installed, and all of this takes a lot of time. Using a gauged slate will cost you more money per tile for the material, but will end up costing you a lot less on the installation end.
Which Is Worth the Money?
When faced with the choice between spending more on the installation and spending more on the product, the answer isn’t always entirely clear. Ungauged slate installed properly will give you an incredible floor filled with color, natural clefts, and texture that you can’t find anywhere else. A prefinished wood floor is likely to last a lot longer and is less likely to have issues than one that is finished on-site unless you have a Pro that is well versed in this type of installation.
So part of the answer lies with your Pro. Going with an experienced Pro who has specialized knowledge is going to cost you more money for installation, but the results are often worth it in the end, allowing you to potentially save money on the product. If you’re working with a Pro who is not specialized in certain materials, it may be wise to choose something more expensive, but easier to install.
Bottom line: It usually evens out in the end. If you think you’re saving money by purchasing bargain products, you’ll usually make up for it on the installation and vice versa. Instead, choose the best Pro you can afford or find, and get the product that makes you happy; you’re more likely to find that you’re more pleased with the outcome than if you try to cut corners on quality in either the product itself or its installation.
Find the Right Pro
If you’re ready to get started and are looking for a Pro who can take on your job, sign up today to get started. We’ll help you find the type of specialized Pro who can help your home improvement dreams come true no matter what your budget.