Hardwood floors will pay you back, and more
Whether you’re putting your home on the market or just looking to invest your renovation budget wisely, you should consider upgrading your floors. New or refurbished hardwoods throughout your home will not only make a great first impression, but they’ll also provide a substantial return on your investment, according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2022 Renovation Impact Report. ) and the National Association. of the remodeling industry (NARI). The study found that refinishing wood floors was the number one cost recovery project on interior renovation projects, with installing new wood floors coming in second.
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The joint study by these two leading industry trade associations, NAR and NARI, includes feedback from nearly 2,500 of their members – 210 from NARI and 2,287 from NAR, the larger of the two organizations. Professional renovators identified typical project costs, while real estate agents reported cost recovery upon resale. Estimates were given for an average sized house with no significant problems and using “standard or typical quality” materials.
Renovation of hardwood floors
Years of use will often leave wood floors scratched, dull and generally worn, giving the entire interior space a dated look. Refinishing aged floors is a low-cost, high-impact home improvement project that won’t take months, making it a smart option for updating your space and increasing your home’s value. NARI estimates an average cost to refinish hardwoods of $3,400. As for return on investment (ROI), NAR calculates a recouped cost of $5,000, or 147%.
New wood floor
Hardwood floors are always a good investment, thanks to their longevity and appeal to buyers. Installing new wood flooring will add to the wow factor and overall value of your home, but it will cost you a bit more upfront. According to NARI, the average cost of new wood floors is $5,500. The estimated value of this renovation project is valued by NAR members at $6,500, which gives renovators an average return on investment of 118%.
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If you choose to install new wood floors, the cost of your project will vary depending on the wood you choose as well as the grain and quality. For example, hickory, pine or oak will cost less than mahogany or Brazilian walnut. A wave-like horizontal grain will be more affordable than a grain that runs the length of the board. Grade reflects physical characteristics and ranges from high-end “select” lumber with more uniform color and fewer imperfections to more affordable “common” board, which will have more variation. Buyers on a tight budget might also want to look into engineered wood floors, which feature a plywood base covered in wood veneer.
Save on labor
Doing the job yourself will certainly make refinishing or replacing hardwood floors more affordable, but it’s not an easy task either. Both require careful attention to detail to avoid visible errors. Tackle a finishing project will cost around $700 and take around 4 days. If you’re feeling brave, check out our 10 tips for refinishing hardwood floors.
The scope of a hardwood flooring project will vary greatly depending on the demolition required and the layout of each room, and it may be too ambitious for a less experienced DIYer. However, if you are willing to remove the old floors yourself, you can save on this part of the project.
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