What do you call a man who lies on the floor? Give up? Matt *slaps knee and guffaws*
I’ve been spending a lot of time with a guy named Matt from Direct Install LLC – a flooring installation company based in SE Springfield, Mo. which specializes in all your flooring needs, and he hates all my jokes…I’m sure this one was no exception, but this is my magazine and I do what I want!
Matt is a cool guy with a passion NOT just for floors, but floors which have been installed correctly. When it comes to hardwoods, vinyl, tile or carpet, this guy is a perfectionist….maybe because he has been in the flooring industry since he was a teenager. It also doesn’t hurt that his family has been laying floors for a long time – grout flows through their veins.
I’ve had the honor of shadowing him on a couple of jobs, and as such, you tend to pick up a thing or two about the industry. While I have learned a lot about the products, I’ve also learned how flooring contractors in Missouri can screw their customers ESPECIALLY if said customers don’t know what to look for. One of my favorite topics, because I have a thing for setting myself up for success, is how GOOD flooring installers work.
The funny thing about a good floor is if you fall, it will always be there to catch you. *snickers*
Let’s get to the point Springfield, Mo.:
Signs You’ve Been Screwed by Your Flooring Installer
- Your flooring installer doesn’t show up on time…or at all!
Emergencies can happen, but when you take a day off from work in order to get those new floors installed, and the flooring installer doesn’t even give you the common courtesy of a phone call to let you know they are going to be late…ditch ‘em! Your time is valuable, don’t let them walk all over you. ZING!
- Crooked laminate, vinyl or tile which don’t line up with the walls.
When the job is complete, if the tiles crooked or inconsistently spaced, or if the laminate/vinyl isn’t cut properly, it’s safe to say you’ve been screwed. If it is a reputable company, they will come back and fix their mishaps for free. If not, call Matt – he’ll set ‘ya straight.
- Huge inconsistent grout lines in your tile.
You walk into your newly tiled kitchen and noticed some grout lines are bigger than others…some are huge, some are teeny, either way it reduces the value of your home while being an eyesore!
- Big gaps where the wall meets the floor.
If you can fit razor blades under the wall where your floor is, you might wanna get that fixed. #justsayin
- Uneven tiles.
Have you ever walked into a room and your shoe caught a tile which was raised slightly above the others? Yeah, that’s not a good sign.
- Beware of Flooring Installers Who Offer Dramatically LOW prices.
Scenario: If you are looking for quotes on some flooring and received two bids for $5000 and one for $3200, the flooring contractor with the significantly lowerl price either has no idea what they are doing, do not intend on sticking around to finish the job, or plans on charging you “extras” as the job goes on. You’ve been warned, Springfield, Mo.
- Eyeballs a job before bidding.
If the contractor bids a job without taking proper measurements, notes, and labor calculations, and just names a price off the top of his/her head, they are either mathematical geniuses or they are lightweights. Good flooring installers tend to take measurements regardless how long they’ve been in the industry.
- The flooring installer has materials he/she wants to pass to you at a discount.
If it sounds too good to be true, it is! This material may be below-grade, isn’t up to code, or fell off the back of a truck. If they have a large quantity and are a small business, they may have ordered too much on a previous job …this means their estimating skills are way off and you may pay for it in the end.
- “I’ll give you a better price if you pay cash.”
They probably aren’t paying their taxes, or aren’t a reputable company.
- The flooring installer asks for a HUGE Down-payment.
A HUGE down-payment constitutes more than 20% of the total fee for the job. Keep in mind, some types of work require a large initial payment from the homeowner because the contractor will have to leave this as a deposit when ordering materials. The rest of the time, it is a scam. Matt and the pros from Direct Install have seen so-called “contractors” ask for huge down-payments and not even start work. They take the money and run!
- The flooring contractor works out of his/her vehicle.
If your contractor doesn’t have an office, call the BBB (better business bureau) or the Missouri State Licensing Bureau to see if there are any complaints lodged against him/her. Some reputable contractors work from home, but at least they have an office.
*BONUS* Direct Install has an A+ rating with the BBB!
Another key, make sure they are licensed to install floors in the State of Missouri! If they are at least licensed, you have rights! If they mess up on your floor installation, you can call the licensing agency, make a complaint and let them mediate the situation.
- Pushy sales pitches.
When a flooring installer starts using phrases like “limited time offer,” or pushy “sign NOW and receive a discount,” it may be best to tell them “no” and walk away. What Matt and his people from Direct Install have found is the special limited-time offer ends up being a most-of-the-time offer.
No one likes getting screwed by a contractor on a job – be it a residential, commercial or custom project.
One really good rule of thumb Matt gives is to DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Take pictures of the job at various stages, make notes and attach to the pictures. You can report your experience to the BBB (Better Business Bureau), your local building inspector, and the state attorney general’s office. Just make sure your flooring contractor is properly licensed!!
And again, beware Springfield – there are a lot of horror floor stories out there. Be sure to call Direct Install if you are looking for your dream floor without having to worry whether or not it’s been installed correctly! Their number is (417) 576-7052. Or, swing by their shop on E. Sunshine. They are usually there from 10am to 5pm Monday through Thursday…Friday they are open until 4pm! Your floor is their expertise.