“The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing“. – Socrates
- Do you offer free quotations?
- Do you charge a deposit?
- Should we decorate before or after we get the floor sanded?
- So will there be much dust?
- I have a large sofa, can you sand around it?
- Do you remove carpets and other coverings?
- How do you fill gaps?
- What finishes can I get?
- Will there be any nasty smells?
- Do you restore commercial floors and joinery too?
- I have more questions, can you help?
Do you offer free quotations?
Yes. I can provide realistic estimates over the phone or via email if you provide me with a little information, please see the contact us page for more help.
If the estimate sounds good then I will arrange to pop down and see you and check the work in detail, it helps if the floor is totally uncovered at this stage or it is hard for me to assess things accurately which might lead to extra work not being taken into account.
Do you charge a deposit?
It depends. When I am very busy to book a job slot or for larger jobs I may require a deposit to pay for materials but often, for smaller jobs most of the time no deposit is required.
Should we decorate before or after we get the floor sanded?
In most cases it is better to get the decorating done first. Although I generate lots of dust, because of the way I work and my use of class leading dust extraction vacuums I create almost no mess and far less than the average decorator. It is possible slight scuffing may occur to some skirting which may require a touch up after sanding but apart from that the area should remain spotless.
Of course, if you are getting your four hundred year old listed floor removed, archived, re-joisted, relaid and finished via hand then there is going to be a little more mess, in that case you can leave the last painting coat until after the floors have been restored.
So will there be much dust?
Yes. Probably. Bags of it, but almost all of it stays in bags. I use the best dust extractors and sanding machines available and am very clean, it is incredibly rare that I leave a place dustier than when I found it, I aim to leave all my jobs cleaner than when I arrived and this is usually the case, I do spend a large amount of my time vacuuming. My boxes, tools and equipment are highly organised, clean and compact taking up little space and safe for children and pets when I have packed up for the day.
I even carry my own waste bin and protection to put underneath my tool boxes.
I have a large sofa, can you sand around it?
Yes, of course we can, if you have a large double lounge we can move items from one side to the other, please ask, I will always try my utmost best to assist wherever I can. On normal sanding jobs the work will take a little longer and cost a little more, anyone telling you otherwise will just have to cut corners somewhere else to make up the difference.
It is obvious sanding in two sections is less efficient and there is an extra drying day before the sofa or other item can be moved across. For restoration jobs requiring a lot of repairs this may not be a problem as we can sometimes work effectively in sections. For a simple sand and refinish job it is best to remove all the items from the area before the work starts, the job costs less and will be finished quicker. Although it may appear daunting at first, moving furniture once you start is usually less of a problem than the thought of it and remember, if the sofa went in to the room, it must be able to come out again!
Do you remove carpets and other coverings?
In a word, no.
It is a much better use of your money to either remove the carpet yourself or get someone else to do it and pay for it to be disposed by a licenced operator or collected by the local authority.
In general I work to clean, clear floors but I always aim to help where I can, so please ask.
How do you fill gaps?
I mostly use fine sawdust and resin which is the best method, I use wood slivers very occasionally when the gaps are very wide but even here the gaps are rarely even along their length and so sawdust and resin still plays a part, larger holes and gaps can be filled with a proprietary polyester resin which I colour and make myself.
What finishes can I get?
You can have anything you like, within reason. Do you want one that is washable and long lasting if you have kids or pets? Or maybe you want a traditional shellac and hand waxed period finish? No problem, I can help. There are good points and bad points to every finish and colouring system and I will provide you with honest advice on what is best for you, not just on what is easiest for me to apply.
My normal process involves one coat of shellac, natural or coloured, followed by two coats of a commercial water based floor lacquer, this gives the chatoyancy, clarity and depth of a traditional solvent finish coupled with the maintenance free durability and non yellowing nature of the modern water based finishes. The finishes come in extra matt, matt, satin and gloss so a beautiful natural traditional looking finish can be achieved with a modern lacquer.
Oil finishes are very popular these days and I can apply these if required, the thing to bear in mind is that they are far less durable and require far more maintenance than the water based lacquers more so than their marketing may imply.
Will there be any nasty smells?
I try and minimise the use of solvents wherever possible which is why I almost exclusively use water based finishes on my floors and was one of the first people in the UK to do so. Very often solvent free water based products do however contain small amounts of solvents, typically around 5%. They are all NMP free and completely safe for children and adults including pregnant women but do have a slight ammonia odour. Ventilation is not normally required.
The shellac barrier seals I use contain methylated spirits, and the gap filler contains acetone, their water based counterparts unfortunately do not have the requisite properties to produce a satisfactory job, if you want a beautiful long lasting floor there will normally be a small amount of solvent involved but I keep this to a minimum. Opening a window either side of the work area normally pulls enough draught to dissipate this quickly.
If in doubt, always ask. For particularly sensitive people I have large volume air moving fans and ducting and can schedule filling and shellacking at a time where children are not present.
Do you restore commercial floors and joinery too?
Yes, I do. I have hundreds more pictures of hotels, stately homes, restaurants, church and community halls in my portfolio. I also restore architectural joinery, stairs, doors, skirtings, handrails, panels, fire surrounds, modern furniture and antiques.
I have more questions, can you help?
I will try my best. Please bear in mind that if you phone me I might be working and often I do not hear my phone or cannot answer if I am in the middle of filling or coating or talking to a customer, if you send me an email then you might have to wait a day or two depending on how late I am working but I will get back to you.
For a detailed overview of how I work please see my Guide pages for extra help and advice.