If you’ve been following along you’ll know that I’ve been getting new floors laid at home. When we bought our house nearly three years ago the cream tile and carpet were not my cup of tea, but the space was amazing and I knew eventually we would replace them. We chose bamboo for a couple of reasons… it was great deal cheaper than traditional hard woods, it’s a more environmentally friendly option (faster growth cycle than timber) and it looks great. We had simply gotten to the point where the floors were a real eyesore and something had to be done. Don’t talk to me about saving a little longer to get the more expensive product… if you had seen our carpets you would understand!
|Last week at my place|
The process has been the usual kind of frustrating experience. Ours was not the most straight forward job; we had a combination of tiles and carpeted areas that needed covering (meaning the floors had to be leveled, shown in the picture below), tiny little skirting boards that would all need to be replaced, a dishwasher that filled the space and meant boards couldn’t go underneath, and doors that needed to be cut down. Loads of lovely challenges and what I would have thought were dollar signs hanging over my head, and which I thought would mean people would be jumping at the work.
|Leveling the floors|
I visited four different stores to get them to come out and provide quotes. The first came out and realised it was all a bit too hard for him and tried to convince me to only get half the space done (just the carpeted area, and not the tiled ones) and in the end, didn’t ever produce a quote. The second one tried to push a different product (vinyl, not what I was looking for) and then emailed me what seemed to be a random figure without explanation. The third was over an hour late to visit and then kept talking about how difficult it all was. Not a single one followed up to see if we wanted to go ahead.
The guys we went with had just amazing service (and they aren’t paying me to say that). I expected Harvey Norman to be way too expensive and really not care about our sale but I couldn’t have been more wrong. They were here when they said they would be. They actually knew alot about the product. They answered our questions. They followed up to find out what we thought about the product and about the price. We told them repeatedly how different the experience we’d had with them had been to all the others, and this swayed our decision in the end.
Unfortunately, installation has been awful. The combination of perpetual lateness and finishing early has been truly frustrating. If you tell a Mum with small children you will be here at 8am during school holidays, so she madly races round getting people ready, furniture moved, cars relocated and the children ready to go out for the day rather than be under the tradies feet, and then arrive at 10am – things are NOT starting well. If you then leave at 12 noon because ‘that’s all you can do’ things are getting worse. And then when you don’t finish in the five days you say you will, well, what can I say.
Today was supposed to be D-Day, but since I had other appointments during the day (ok, we were going to The Wiggles at 9am), I wanted to be sure he was coming when he said he would (7am) and be finished when he said he would (8.30am). Of course what was ‘max 2 hours left’ suddenly became ‘4 or 5… will have to see mate’ so it’ still not finished.
I’m so in love with the finished product but I find it hard to recommend the business when the installation let them down. I KNOW its subcontracted out. I KNOW we could have jumped up and down during the process. I remind myself that it is livable right now and that I am lucky to have all I have (and chocolate helps too).