When I think back over the last year or two on my journey in the reclaimed lumber / reclaimed flooring industry, it was a bit overwhelming at times, even with 30 years in the hardwood lumber business. Reclaimed wood is a horse of a different color when compared to new wood flooring and lumber. Just like anything in life, it takes time and a little effort to make good sound decisions and the internet has opened up an incredible amount of information that sometimes can be a little bit “hose in your face.”
Here are a few tips I want to pass on to you as a consumer. Let’s face it — it’s not easy to make a buck in this current economy and helping our customers make good sound economical decisions is very important to me and our team.
The first thing is to take a look at your budget and see what you can afford. This will immediately help you decide on what options you should pursue. Once you have a good working dollar amount to work from, go online and look at good reputable suppliers. Obviously, since this is our blog, I want to point you to our website. Our team members include John Medlinger, our CEO, his son Cory, and our expert, Shannon Brewer.
Just like any company or industry, there are lots of good reputable companies, as well as salesmen working for them. But on the flip side, there are some who are out for a quick sale with a goal to move on to the next customer, leaving the consumer confused and feeling taken advantage of. At Superior Hardwoods of Montana, there is a reason we have trademarked our logo and mission statement, “Let Us Guide You Through The Woods.” So make sure you ask lots and lots of questions. We feel like it’s an honor that you are even considering us as a reclaimed flooring source. Our goal is to ensure you make the best decision — for YOU!
The next thing to focus in on is the wood species. This will help you determine several things including, color, density (how hard or soft the wood is), natural grain patterns, texture like hit/skipped or smooth, prefinished versus unfinished, and nail holes that are historical defects. You also need to ask yourself whether you want to try and install it yourself or do you prefer to hire a flooring contractor, and if so, how do you go about hiring a reputable company.
All of these questions and more should be asked and answered completely by the sales person. It’s very important that you know that you have a company that will work with you from start to finish. There is always an emotional attachment that customers have when they purchase our reclaimed and historical flooring products. There is an amazing amount of history that comes with reclaimed floors. Customers feel the nostalgia of the old west and the pioneer era that they can bring into there home and enrich their lives. There seems to be a part in many of us that desires the “good ole days” and to honor the challenges our forefathers experienced when building this incredible country from the ground up.
I guess that’s one reason why last year I purchased a 20 acre farm in Eastern Washington that included the original farm house, hay and dairy barn, and a life that has allowed me to slow down a bit. So in conclusion, ask lots and lots of questions. Then, as we like to say in Montana, “pull the trigger” and enjoy!