Sanding Our Floors: DIY Tales
Having recently decided to sell the flat that we bought a few years ago, we wanted to try and add some value, and ideally make a reasonable profit on the investment we made in the property a few years ago. With that in mind, we looked around at what potential options were available to increase the likelihood of making that extra bit of money without spending a fortune. After consulting with our estate agent, it became clear that the answer lay in the floors under our carpets. It is widely accepted that sanded wooden floors are a very attractive feature to potential home buyers, but it is less widely known how relatively cheap and easy to make the most of those floors.
Checking the floors
The first thing we did was to check the floors were in a good condition, and appropriate to be sanded. After we lifted the carpets, we found that there were a couple of boards that were somewhat worse for wear, but they were easily replaced. We then cleared the room, and went to hire the necessary equipment.
Hiring the equipment
I’m especially glad that we consulted a professional before commencing the work. The team at the hire shop were able to advise on what we needed, and what possibilities were available to us. In the end we went for a drum sander, an edge sander, and a vibrating sander. The equipment was quite heavy, but well worth it, especially as it cost significantly less than expected.
Getting down to work
The sanding itself took a few hours, but was very worthwhile. I took the advice of the staff at the hire shop and practised for an hour on the old boards we had removed, which certainly saved me the risk of damaging the main floor. The drum sander took a bit of getting used to, as it’s quite bulky but it took the required layers off the floor very quickly. I needed to follow up with both the edge sander (for the edges), and the vibrating sander (for fine sanding and to finish and even out any dents or divots) which took some time, but we managed to finish the room within a day, with little mess. Although sanding the boards was hard work, the results were spectacular. This only left finishing the floor which was an equally straightforward process thanks to the comprehensive advice and instructions we got when hiring the equipment and buying the varnish, which once dry allowed us to move our furniture back in and begin enjoying our reinvigorated wooden floor.
Having undertaken the work myself, I’m very happy with how it has ended up. For a very small investment, we added just under 10% to the estimated value of the home, and when we’ve had viewings it is one of the features which garners the most attention, and as such I’d recommend it anyone as a great way to spruce up your home before putting it on the market.
Photo by Marcelle Guilbeau via Flickr CC