When I first started out in the hardwood industry, I remember pricing out each refinish job by the square foot. Back in 2004, our standard price for a refinish job was $3/SF. I didn’t have any job costing metrics in place and didn’t really understand all of the variables involved with accurately predicting the cost of a job. I simply measured each job and multiplied by $3. Some jobs were profitable, others not so much.
After doing this for nearly 20 years, taking several NWFA classes, and finally setting up a very accurate job-costing system…Kimminau Floors is finally able to track expenses on each job with great precision. It’s been a game changer and our profit margins on each job have become much more consistent. Today I’m going to share the things we look at before we deliver our price per square foot.
Current Condition of Floor
If the floor has severe crowning, chatter, wave, etc… then we know it will take some additional sanding passes to get the floor flat. If the floor has a shellac/wax finish, we know the amount of sandpaper we’re going to use will be significantly higher than normal. On the other hand, if the existing floor finish is nearly worn off or if we’re sanding a newly installed floor then our process will be much different. The condition of the floor plays a huge role in what process (sanding recipe) we follow and how much our sandpaper and labor costs will be.
Finishing treatments can vary dramatically in price. For example, we have been applying a lot of pre-treatments to red oak floors to take some of the pink out of the floor. Darker stained floors require more sanding precision and few extra steps. Two-component water-based finishes cost less than our penetrating oil finishes. These are just a few examples of how the color and finish type can impact the pricing of your refinishing job.
Size & Layout of Job
The total square footage of the job is a good indicator on how much finish and sandpaper will be required to complete the project. The layout and size will be a good indicator on the amount of labor or time the project will take. Smaller areas are sometimes more time consuming than larger more open spaces. This is why square footage can be deceiving and the layout plays a huge role.
Location of Job
Each refinishing service will require a minimum of 3 visits. That adds up to six total trips and the location of your house in relation to our shop will potentially alter the pricing of our service. Our employees spend an average of 15% of their day either driving to and from the jobsite or loading and unloading their vans. If you’re located more than 20 miles from our shop, we will need to increase our price to account for the added drive and setup time.
Any patch work or repair work to damaged planks will obviously add to the cost. Lacing in new planks is often required whenever we refinish a floor. Understanding the client’s expectations and which planks are acceptable or unacceptable is a crucial part of the initial consultation. Getting these details lined out in our proposal will go a long way to making sure our client’s expectations are met and ensures our initial pricing is accurate.
Adding finish customizations like hand-scraping, wire-brushing, or pretreatments can impact the cost of the project. Custom work will need to be evaluated on a case by case basis.
When you take all of these factors into consideration, the average price per square foot for our refinishing projects is around $5 a square foot. The range is typically anywhere from $4/SF on the low end and could be in excess of $10/SF for unique custom treatments. We also have a $2000 minimum for projects under 400 square feet.
Our Commitment To Clients
As flooring professionals, we strive to stay educated on the various flooring systems available on the market. We stay at the forefront of new advancements in the flooring industry through continued education and training courses provided by the National Wood Flooring Association. Our knowledge enables us to educate our clients on the pros and cons of various hardwood solutions. Our job is to listen to our clients and provide solutions that best fit their lifestyles. We provide easy and stress-free installations by staying informed, prioritizing clients’ needs, and setting proper expectations.