Hardwood Floor Adventures, Part 1: Getting an Amazing Deal and the Realistic Costs of DIY

Over the weekend we shared a few live videos on the Rise and Renovate Facebook page of Andrew and I tearing out carpet and installing new floors in our bedroom! Before we dive into all the details, let me take you back to the beginning. Last Monday I received a text from my husband…

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Such a light text for such a hefty decision, amiright??  😆

Aaanndddddddd here’s the car later that night. I painted myself in to help you understand how I fit into the car for our 25 minute drive home (that’s not really me just so you know, it’s hard to tell)…

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I want to take you down the road of how we saved 85% on our hardwood floors, but also take a realistic look at how much it actually costs to install your own flooring.

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Screenshot from the OfferUp website

Andrew has kept a close watch on this app we downloaded called OfferUp. It’s a lot like Craigslist, but feels a lot less shady. Users can certify their accounts, so you know you’re buying from the person listed and not a some un-identified creeper. I feel much more safe buying from OfferUp.

So far we bought a light fixture, an entertainment center WITH fireplace, some other stuff I can’t remember, and two sets of brand new hardwood floors.

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This light fixture was originally $200+ and we bought for $60.
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This entertainment center was originally $1200 and we bought it new for $400

Here’s what happens: someone has a large area they’re re-flooring… we’re talking 2,000+ square feet. They might have received a “deal” if they order a certain amount, or they order extra “just in case,” etc. When they finish their project, they sometimes have 200 or 300 sq. ft left over. This is a lot more common than you might think.

In the grand scheme of their project, 200-300 sq. ft sounds minimal… but guess what? 200-300 sq. feet is about the size of a bedroom!

According to Angie’s List, the average price of hardwood floor ranges from $7 – $12 per square foot, plus $2 per square foot for installation, plus about 50 cents per square foot for underlayment.

Our seller was selling 300 sq. ft of brand new, in-the-box engineered hardwood that retailed for about $6/sq. ft. He sold the lot to us for $230. This boils down to about 75 cents/sq. foot.

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The oak floor we bought on OfferUp

We purchased our brand new hardwood at almost 85% off. Can I get an “amen”?

Since we didn’t have a company install the floor for us, there were other costs we incurred. Besides the hardwood floor, we also had to buy…

  • 300 sq ft of underlayment – $165
  • Circular saw – $130
  • Spacers, caulk, glue – $90
  • Quick-set cement and tools: $15
  • Other misc. tools: $50
  • Thresholds: $30
  • Trim: $90
  • Help from Andrew’s intern: $90

These costs: $660 + Hardwood: $230 = $890

We received a quote last month to have laminate floors installed and it came to about $1600. At the end of the day, we still saved almost 50%.

Moral of the story: If you can find inexpensive floor online, don’t forget to take into account all the other costs before diving in! While we’ll be able to re-use some of these things (circular saw, tools, etc.), we recommend to budget in extra $300 for each similar-sized project in addition to the hardwood.

If you’re looking for new floors and don’t mind rolling up your sleeves, see what’s available in your area. I bet you’ll be surprised!

We still have a few things to finish up, but tons of before & after pictures as well as some how-to blogs are in the works! Stay tuned, and don’t forget to join The Crew so you can be the first to know of new posts!

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