Archive for October, 2012

Energy Efficient Solutions

This post is about all of the energy efficient solutions that the average home owner might want to consider in an effort to reduce his or her total energy bill and make a contribution to reducing energy overall. This will save money too.  We are covering a lot of different topics, which are listed below. Most people are more motivated about saving money than they are about saving energy. By focusing on Energy Efficient Solutions, they can reduce their utility bills and have extra money to spend in other areas. Scroll down to your area of interest or read the entire post.

  • Automobiles
    • Driving Habits
    • Jack Rabbit Starts & Stops
    • High Speed
    • Tune Ups
    • Tire pressure
    • Plan Trips
    • Taking Public Transportation
    • Walking vs. Driving
  • Energy Use in the Home
    • Switch to LED Lighting
    • Electricity
    • Heating Fuel
    • Home Insulation
    • Sealing Windows and Doors
    • Setting the Thermostat
    • Going on Vacation
    • Turning the Lights Off
    • Turning down the Water Heater Temperature
    • Adding Insulation to the Hot Water Pipes
    • Upgrade the Furnace to High Efficiency
  • Outdoors
    • Solar Blankets for the Pool
    • Solar Heater for the Pool
    • Power Lawn Mowers vs. Push Lawn Mowers
    • Solar Lights

Energy Efficient Solutions – More Detail

Automobiles

Our cars and trucks are one of the largest energy consumers on the planet and our pocket book. Prices of gasoline and diesel fuel continue to go up, with gasoline recently reaching over $5 per gallon in California. We decided to include a large section just on cars that consumers can consider as a means of reducing their energy consumption in this area as part of the energy efficient solutions that we all should be striving for.

Driving Habits – play a large part in how much gasoline we actually use. Jack rabbit starts from stop signs and stop lights consume a huge amount of gasoline compared to gradual acceleration. Your car is designed for optimum energy efficiency at the speed limit. Any time you drive faster, the cost per mile or kilometer goes way up. Lots of one task trips, driving to work vs. walking or mass transit, lack of car pooling all contribute to poor overall energy efficiency. Maintenance of your car is another factor in the use of gasoline. Keeping your car at an optimum level of operation will also contribute to better gasoline mileage.

Jack Rabbit Starts & Stops – High speed acceleration literally burns gasoline at a huge rate, only to have to apply the brakes shortly after as you approach another stop sign, stop light or catch up to a car ahead of you. You wear down your brakes prematurely and there is more wear and tear on your tires. All of this hits your pocket book really hard. Brakes and tires are expensive to repair and the gasoline you use is becoming more expensive all of the time. Producing brakes and rubber tires uses a lot of energy as well so any time you delay the replacement of these components saves your pocket book at it increases your energy efficiency.

High Speed – Highway speed limits are designed for safety primarily. When it says 60 miles per hour or 100 kilometers per hour this is the speed that your car should be driven. It turns out that the optimum speed for maximum energy efficiency is near this speed as well. Anytime you drive faster than these speeds you are actually burning more gasoline or diesel fuel per mile than you would at lower speeds. In Texas and a number of other states, speed limits are set at 75 miles per hour and there is talk of increasing them even higher to 80 or 85 miles per hour. While the road can accommodate these speeds, your car’s engine is not designed for this speed in terms of fuel efficiency.  Try an experiment sometime and measure the gas usage at various speeds and it will become self evident.

Tune Ups – Fresh oil, new spark plugs or injectors, the right kind of gasoline, a clean air filter all contribute to better gas mileage. Although it can be expensive to take the car to the garage and have a tune up completed, your car will be running at its maximum fuel efficiency.

Tire pressure – Low tire pressure is not only unsafe since your car is less maneuverable at high speeds when the tires are low on pressure, they also will cause your car to use more fuel. The reason is that they have more surface area touching the road and there is more resistance. This drives the use of fuel higher and your costs up. Check your tires pressure on a regular basis even if you have one of these tire pressure monitor systems installed. Your tires can be down a few pounds without the monitoring system alerting you to a low pressure condition. Check all of your tires on a regular basis.

Plan Trips – How many trips do you make every day? Could you combine some of them so you actually take the car out less? Anyone making multiple trips in the same direction is using far more gas than they need to, plus short trips were the engine does not fully warm up to operating temperature is actually harder on your car than a longer drive. Plan your trips so that all of your errands are done at the same time and even delay errands until you have several to make better use of your car and conserve gasoline.

Taking Public Transportation – There are still far too many people driving their cars vs. using mass transit systems. While there is a cost to using mass transit, compared to using your car, the cost of gasoline, the wear and tear on your car and parking costs, mass transit is a bargain at almost any cost. Stop driving, take mass transit and you will be far more relaxed when you get to work. Read, work or sleep while you on the transit system. It will bring your blood pressure down for sure.

Walking vs. Driving – Both of my kids have cars, yet they both walk to work. Imagine the money they are saving, how much they help the environment and the exercise they are getting. This is just a win, win situation. Anytime you can walk instead of taking your car saves gasoline and you get fresh air and exercise.

Energy Efficient Solutions – Energy Use in the Home

Now we are turning to the home, which is another large part of our lives and a huge energy user. If we can cut the cost of energy by 20% in our homes by using energy efficient solutions we are making a huge contribution to our pocket book and the environment. We will discuss a number of areas that most consumer home owners can consider and impact the cash they spend every day around their home from an energy perspective.

Switch to LED Lighting – If you are still using incandescent lights, it is time to switch to either fluorescent or LED lights. They save so much energy and last so much longer it just makes sense to switch. These kinds of light bulbs cost more, however the energy that is saved will ensure a relatively short payback even with the higher initial cost. In fact most stores are gradually switching over to the new lights and pretty soon you will not be able to purchase incandescent lights as well. Switch now for an immediate energy efficient solution.

Electricity – The cost of electricity is going up every year and it will continue to do so as we depend on oil and coal and lately natural gas to generate much of our electricity. Even nuclear fuel generating plants are costing more due to the increased safety concerns. Whenever you can reduce your electrical usage, you are saving money and also contributing to improving the environment. Turn lights off, take advantage of time of day electrical rates, use a microwave instead of a regular oven, turning down your thermostat in winter and up in the summer to reduce electrical usage will all reduce your electrical usage.

Some people can also use solar generators, windmills etc to generate their own electricity and reduce the load on the electrical grid. This takes more investment and know how, but there are situations where it makes sense and hopefully more energy efficient solutions will be available in the near term

Heating Fuel – Whether you heat and cool your home with electricity, natural gas or oil, the cost is going up all of the time. If you use less, then you are going to save money and use less energy. Turn down the thermostat in the winter time, especially when you are not at home. Turn up the thermostat in the summer time to reduce the cooling load. Consumers can save a significant amount of cost by following these steps. Use an electronic thermostat that you can program so that your home is automatically controlled while you are not at home. There are systems available now that allow you to control the temperature at home while you are away from home. Upgrade now if you do not have one of these.

Home Insulation – Brand new homes are very well insulated to today’s standards. Older homes, even homes that are only 5 years old will not be insulated to the same standard. Homes that are 20 years old and older will benefit from increase insulation and air exchange systems that will increase the energy efficiency of your home over all. Increase the insulation in your attic, change your windows to improve the insulating value and make sure that all caulking is up to date and that your home is well sealed. Combining improved insulation and some of the other suggestions we are making in this post will make a huge decrease in your overall energy use.

Sealing Windows and Doors – Windows and doors are prime areas were cold air can penetrate in the winter time and of course the reverse in the summer. Consumers can arrange for a pressure test to confirm were all of the air leaks are around your home and them take the steps necessary to install weather strips and caulking were needed. Another little known fact is that electrical plugs on outside walls can be a source of air exchange. Sealing these can help to reduce the amount of air being allowed into the home.

Setting the Thermostat – We discussed installing an electronic thermostat earlier. These thermostats can be set to vary the temperature up to a minimum of four times a day so that the temperature is controlled while you are in the house and lowered when you are gone for the day to work etc. Some will even allow for remote adjustment now as well. Turn down your thermostat at night when you are sleeping and also when everyone is gone to work or school. The thermostat can be set to warm up the house just before everyone comes home.

Going on Vacation – One of our neighbors leaves his thermostat set at the same temperature all day long whether he is at work or going on vacation. This is a tremendous waste of energy and money. If you are not there, why heat or cool the house and spend money needlessly. If you are concerned about freezing pipes in the winter time, make sure your thermostat is turned down, but that the furnace continues to keep the temperature of the home at a reasonable level.

Turning the Lights Off – This is a big issue in our house. Lights are constantly being left on in our house when no one is in the room. The same thing applies to the TV. It can be blaring away and no one watching it. Turn off lights, TV’s, Radios, and Computers etc if they are not being used or no one is in the room. There is a myth that a TV takes more energy to turn the TV screen on, so you should leave it on. Not only does this reduce the life of your TV, you are using energy that need not be sued. Beside the TV’s today have a keep warm feature that allows for instant on. When we go on vacation, we turn the power off completely to reduce our energy usage of even this small component.

Turning down the Water Heater Temperature – There is really no need to have your water temperature scalding hot, in fact it can be downright dangerous. Turning the temperature a few degrees will save you money as well. Find a temperature that makes sense for your family and leave it at this temperature. When you go on vacation  for longer than a couple of weeks, you might also consider turning down the temperature as well to save money in heating water that will not be used anytime soon. When you return simply turn it up again.

Adding Insulation to the Hot Water Pipes – Our water heater is located in one corner of the basement and the bathrooms are in the other corner. Seems like a bad design, but since we cannot do anything about this, the next best thing is to insulate the exposed hot water pipes to keep the water hot in the pipes longer. Your water will heat up faster as well when you turn the hot water on in your sinks. Another approach is to install instant on hot water heaters close to were you use hot water the most. Also consider installing a high efficiency water heater to maximize the energy efficient solution.

Upgrade the Furnace to High Efficiency – If you have an older furnace, your probably losing 20 or 30% of the energy up the chimney compared to a high efficiency furnace. The savings in energy costs will likely pay for the cost of the new furnace in 5 to 8 years depending on the size of your home and the temperature that you keep your home at. Outdoor temperatures also play apart in the overall cost savings. We upgraded to a mid efficiency over 10 years ago and this furnace paid for itself in 7.5 years.

Take Advantage of Time of Day Pricing – in some cities, local electrical companies are installing meters that will report energy usage by the hour. With this information they can charge rates for the electricity used based on the time of day. In our municipality, they charge almost double for electricity used during the day vs. the electricity used in the evening. Makes a lot of sense to dry clothes with the dryer in the evening, run the dishwasher etc in the evening. Any transfer of electrical usage you can make from day time use to night time use is going to save you money.

Energy Efficient Solutions – Outdoor Energy Efficient Solutions

There are many solutions available for homeowners which when applied can be used to save energy use and decrease your overall cost. We have listed a few of them here in this part of the post, however we are confident that there are many more and look forward to contributions from readers.

Solar Blankets for the Pool – If you have a pool, a solar blanket can be used to keep the water warm as well as help to heat the water as well. It takes a little work to remove it and put it in place, but time and your labor is free and you are saving energy use as well compared to heating the pool with a pool heater.

Solar Heater for the Pool – are another approach that can be used that involves little extra energy use. Rubber solar panels on the roof of your home with the water circulating though will heat the water rapidly and transfer this heat to the pool water. The drawback of this approach is that you must run the pool pump during the day when the sun is shining and the electrical rates are at the highest levels in areas where you have time of day charges for electrical usage.

Power Lawn Mowers vs. Push Lawn Mowers – for those people who are truly motivated, a manual push mower uses your manual power to turn the blades and cut the grass vs. a mower that is run by gasoline or run by electricity. You can certainly save money in this situation; however for small lawns the returns may not be that extensive.

Solar Lights – are the most popular for decorative lighting in yards etc. They are improving and are being used more and more for outdoor lighting solutions for security and for enhancement of your yard.

Well that’s it for this rather long post. We will do another one in a few months covering an entire new set of topics. Hope you enjoyed reading this one.


Reliable Tree Service

Reliable Tree ServiceNormally on this website we discuss ways to save money and reduce the cost of home ownership. However this post and the next two will talk about tree removal and why it sometimes is worth it to hire professionals to remove trees.

Reliable tree service removal for trees on your property is sometimes difficult to find, however we recently had a tree removed on our urban property and the team of four guys did a really fantastic job.

They showed up on time, were courteous and very careful of our plants and shrubs. They took extra care to make sure that no damage was done to my shrubs, my house and my fence. I watched them do the work the  entire time, not because I was concerned about their work. I was really interested in the process of taking down a tree that was at least forty feet in height in relatively tight conditions. There were two houses close to each other and the tree was within 10 feet of my house.

They have obvious done this many times. They were organized, they took all of the safety precautions that were needed for themselves and my property and the job was completed within an hour. Everything was cleaned up and the leaves and small twigs etc that fell were raked and blown into a pile to be removed by them. There was a bit of sawdust left over, but that will disappear over time as nature takes over. Overall we are very satisfied and I would recommend these guys any time. We do not normally link to other web sites from this site, however we are so impressed with the service that we have added a link. If you are in the Ottawa , Ontario area and need a tree removed, click here for Ottawa Tree Surgeons.

Why I Did Not Take the Tree Down Myself

Normally I would do this kind of work myself. I have cut many trees down in my life and have my own chain saw. However there are a couple of reasons I decided not to tackle this particular tree on my own and depend on the reliable tree service of this Ottawa based company.

First this tree was a bit too close to my house and my neighbor’s home. This tree might have fallen perfectly into our front yard, however a slight wind blowing a top heavy tree at the wrong time could have blown it slightly off course as it fell and it could do a lot of damage to either home.

Secondly we have a lot of shrubs etc and I really did not want to damage these shrubs. It would mean digging them out and / or hoping they would recover next spring. Plus my wife would not be too happy!

Thirdly, it is all about the cleanup. This team came with a wood chipper and the tree and all of the limbs and leaves was chipped into wood chips in no time at all. It took just over one hour to cut the tree down and do the clean up and they were all done. This same job would take me at least a day and I would still need to dispose of the tree!

Reliable Tree Service You Can Count On

Reliable Tree ServiceFrom booking the appointment, to confirming the night before when they would arrive, to arriving on time, to not damaging our plants etc, to cleaning up, this team of four guys did a really fantastic job.  In our next post, I will write more about the process of how they take down a tree of this size, but I do want to refer you to the picture on the left that shows our tree just before they take the top off the tree.

In this picture, the fellow up in the tree is just taking the last major branch off halfway up the tree. You can see the ropes attached to the limb as he begins to saw the limb off at its base close to the trunk of the tree. next is the top of the tree to be sawed and lowered. In our next post we will show some of the pictures associated with this activity.

If you need a tree removed, then these are the guys to go to. We have not used any of their other services, however based on this work I am sure they would do an excellent job. Can’t say enough positive things about their work!

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Hardwood Floor Installer

The hardwood floor installer shown on the picture on the left is a power installer powered by an air compressor.  This is the professional version of the installer. It  is used by many hardwood floor installers to increase speed and decrease the labor required to install a floor. They work well, however most do it yourself weekend carpenters cannot afford to purchase this type of equipment.

The installer is triggered by the operator hitting the trigger mechanism with a specialized hammer. This action will cause the floor installer to push the board tightly into the groove and place a nail at the appropriate location as well to hold the wood floor to the floor underneath. An electric or gas air compressor is required.

Hardwood Floor Installer – Equipment

This equipment can be rented at a local equipment rental company if you are planning a weekend job for example or have only a small area to install. Professional installers will have their own machines which they will use on a daily basis.

There are also mechanical hardwood floor installers which perform the same operation however they must be hit slightly harder to trigger the nailing mechanism. A professional will usually have one of both, preferring to use the air powered machine for most jobs with the manual installer for used in special situations or as a backup to his main installer.

Can You Install Hardwood Floors Yourself?

The answer is definitely yes. The previous post , “wood floor installation”, outlined the specific steps in detail for installing a hardwood floor by do it your self installers. The trick is to have all of the right tools available and to lay out your floor properly. Once you have that first row of boards laid down to your satisfaction, the rest is pretty straightforward. Review our previous post and check out videos online that have been prepared by various hardwood floor materials companies.

In our previous post we talked about installing a hardwood floor. In this post we will discuss in more detail the process of preparing the sub floor.

Sub Floor Preparation

The first step is to remove the existing flooring. Even if you are having your floor professionally installed, removing the old floor yourself can be a great way to reduce some of the cost of installing a new floor. Remove the carpet, the underlay or linoleum flooring that is currently in place. Disposal can be arranged with the floor installation company you are using or other local junk removal companies.

Once the flooring is removed, you also need to clean the floor of any remaining debris and make sure that the floor is flat in all areas. Any protruding edges, staples or other material must be removed or hammered down into the floor.

If there are squeaks in the sub floor, now is the time to screw nail down the sub floor to the underlying joists. You should also verify that you have sufficient sub floor to support the hardwood floor you will be installing. Check with your supplier for the specifications, however at least 5/8’s inch is usually required. If the sub floor is thinner than this, there will be insufficient support for the floor and it may develop squeaks over time.

We often will also vacuum the floor to remove any dust and other particles of dirt that might have been on the floor. We even found cigarette buts from the time when the house was originally built. The original rug installers did not even take the time to clean the floor before they installed the initial carpet in out new home!

this is also the time to paint the walls if you feel that your walls need a new coat of paint. It is much easier to paint when you do not need to be concerned about spilling paint on the floor.

What Happens When the Hardwood Floor Installer Leaves

The installer will lay the floor and usually install the new baseboards as well. the base boards will be primed, however they will require another coat of paint. You should make sure that they also fill all nail holes in the base boards and the flooring before they leave. You will need to paint the baseboards with a final coat of paint. Give them a wipe first to remove any dust accumulation before painting.

Once the paint on the baseboards is dry, you will need to wipe down all of the walls and the floor. A lot of dust is usually stirred up during installation and it will come to rest on your walls and floors. All of this can be wiped up with a damp cloth. Avoid getting any water puddles on the floor to avoid water damage.

Once all of the cleaning is done, you are ready to move your furniture into the room.


Energy Efficiency Audit

Energy Efficiency AuditEnergy efficiency audits can tell you a lot about your home. Our home is approximately 25 years old and in need of some upgrades regarding windows that need replacement, a furnace that needs to be replaced and even our hot water tank. we were wondering if we should apply for an energy efficiency audit, or just make the changes we planned and proceed from there. You have to pay for the audit and in some jurisdictions you will receive some of the money back once you complete the audit of all of the changes you have made and confirm that your home is now more energy efficient.

As far as we can tell there are a couple of reasons why you would want to have an energy efficiency audit completed. We have listed them below and then we will discuss them in some more detail:

  • Potential rebates for expenses to improve your home
  • Potential sales tool when it comes to selling your home
  • Scientific approach to fixing energy problems

We have read a number of posts from people who have had an energy efficiency audit completed as well as looked at a number of web sites from official government sources. Our conclusion is that it really depends on were you live and what programs are available to help consumers improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Each person must evaluate these factors based on were they live and the condition of their home, before they embark on an energy efficiency audit.

Energy Efficiency Audit

Potential rebates for expenses to improve your home

One post we read indicated that after the audit was completed and the rebates provided, the audit cost approximately $100 which is not too bad. Once you have the audit with recommendations for what needs to be done to improve your home, you can then apply for rebates on the upgrades only after the work is completed. Before you can apply, you must have another audit to prove that you actually made some changes and that your energy efficiency actually got better.

The rebates will depend on what you did and what is available in your state or province. Be prepared to shoulder the full financial cost in case the rebates do not apply, are canceled or they feel that you did not do enough to improve your energy efficiency.

Potential sales tool when it comes to selling your home

This may or may not be something that everyone is interested in. If you are planning to sell your home anytime soon and also planning to do some upgrades in preparation, having one of these reports can only be a good thing. That is assuming that the report not only shows improvement, but also shows that you have a good rating for your home in terms of energy efficiency.

I guess if your audit does not work out, they you just do not mention it when it comes time to sell your home.

Scientific approach to fixing energy problems

We have thought about just going ahead and doing some of the up grades our selves without an audit. i.e upgrade the furnace, replace the windows, seal all of the doors and add insulation in the attic.

What we would lose is any rebates that the government is providing which may or may not be substantial. We might also be spending money for nothing.

I recently spoke to a neighbor who has original windows in his home like ours. He just had an audit completed and the auditor said that there was no need to replace the windows, since the R rating was ok and there were no leaks or areas were the wood was failing i.e. rotting. His energy rating was also pretty good. basically he found out that if he spent some money on his house, he probably would not be eligible for any grants since his home was already pretty good.

The bottom line is that if you approach the problem in a scientific manner, you will get a better result and make better more informed decisions as well about improving your home from an energy efficiency perspective.

This is the best way to proceed, we think in terms of knowing what state your home is actually in. We will be looking into having someone come over to complete an energy audit for us before we spend any significant amount of money.


Good Neighbor Fencing

We just finished installing good neighbor fencing along one side of my lot. The existing fence was 25 years old and needed to be replaced.  As well, my neighbor wanted to also replace it and since we share it between us, this meant that not only would he help me build it, he would also split the cost of the fence as well.

We decided on a traditional good neighbor fence, with a lattice at the top to add additional privacy and decoration. We also decided on a pre-built fence section which means the bottom part was built with a boxed in effect using two by fours and the same approach for the lattice. The picture shows this superior fence. Using the two by fours as a box makes this fence a much stronger and sturdier fence. The good neighbor fence which is vertical boards on opposite sides of the fence to allow the breeze to go through and to provide a more open look. More detail is provided in the following paragraphs.

Good Neighbor Fencing

Whenever you are building fences that are between neighbors there are several rules that apply in order to maintain good relations:

  • Always split the cost of installing the new fence
  • Always agree to design, style, price and any construction details before proceeding
  • The fence should be on the property line
  • If it is a do it your self job, always help each other to build it unless there are health issues
  • When one neighbor is going ahead without the others consent, it usually means that the cost is not split and the fence should not be on the property line
  • If you hire a contractor, always make sure that everyone agrees to price, timing, style and quality before giving the go ahead

Good Neighbor Fencing Pricing

We elected to  build it ourselves on the property line and split the cost of the materials.  We initially requested and estimate from a contractor who gave us a price of $4500 which worked out to a cost of $47 a foot which included removal of the old fence, construction of the new fence and cleanup after construction was finished. This was way too much for us and we decided to build it ourselves. The final cost for doing it ourselves worked out to be $1947 or $20 a foot which was a huge savings. We split the cost equally and so we ended up paying just under a thousand dollars each.

This is a much better fence than we would have had if we had hired a contractor to build it. We compared our fence to others in the neighborhood and not only is there more material in our fence, it is much stronger than any of the other fences that have been installed recently.

Compare Pricing for Good Neighbor Fencing

Whether you have someone build it or do it yourself , it is a good idea to compare pricing for the materials as well as labor before you begin. An important factor to discuss is the design of the fence to make sure you both agree on the design, but also how much material will be needed. There are many different designs and they all take different good neighbor fence sectionsamounts of material which affects the price. We compared pre-built fence sections from two major suppliers and found one to be superior. The superior fence was more expensive, however since we had a quote from the other supplier, the second supplier matched the price. We got  a great deal, a superior fence design, quality materials all because we compared pricing. We saved at least $200 in cash and got a better fence!

Pre-built Sections or Build it From Scratch

Building a fence either way works well, however using pre-built sections makes the job go a little faster and it means that you have consistency in the fence design in all sections of the fence. We did not compare pricing, however with the sale price we received, we were happy with the final price.  With a price of $161 for an 8 foot section of fence, all materials included, we had a very reasonable deal. This includes the 10 foot 4*4 post, sono tube and cement, screw nails, auger to dig the holes and garbage removal for the old fence. We could have saved some additional money if we had removed the garbage ourselves.

We had to work very hard to remove the old posts and cement and dig the new holes to at least 42 inches. Once this part of the work was completed, the actual part of the fence building went relatively quickly. Both parties are very happy with the result and plans are underway to approach other neighbors to build the rest of the fence surrounding our lot the same way.

 

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Wood Floor Installation

Wood floor installation is not too difficult if you have the correct tools and the proper set up for your floor first. We will walk you through the basic steps to lay a wood floor in the following notes on this post.

This is a step by step process to prepare and install a new hardwood floor. Wood floor installation is actually quite easy if you follow the proper steps and take your time. Look for videos on line from one of the many suppliers. These are quite helpful and will go through the process step by step.

Wood Floor Installation – Basic Tools

You will need basic tools such as : hammer, spacers, saw, punch for counter sinking nails, nail hole filler, ruler, pencil, pry bar, nailer, and carpenters knife. The floor should be clean and all material from the former floor should be removed. Make sure there are no nails or staples left in the floor and that there is at least a 5/8’s inch sub flooring in place to support the wood floor. If not you may need to add a sub floor onto whatever is already in place.

Here is the step by step process to installing a wood floor:

  • Remove existing flooring – carpet, linoleum etc
  • Remove the base boards
  • Prepare sub floor
  • Assemble all of the tools that you will need
  • Bring the wood into the room for at least 72 hours to acclimate with the air conditions in the home
  • Check each piece of wood for warping and defects
  • Lay out the guidelines along the longest length of the floor about on inch from the wall
  • Using one of the longest boards, lay this board along the guideline with the tongue side away from the wall
  • Place spacers between the wall and the first board for the expansion gap
  • The first board will have to be face nailed with a hammer and nail
  • Wear safety glasses
  • Pre-drill  holes about every 12 inches in the first board along the wall side
  • Nail finishing nails into these holes and then countersink the nails
  • Later you can use wood putty to fill these holes in the wood.
  • Lock the groove of the next board into the board that you just nailed down
  • Use a tapping block to ensure a tight fit
  • Position the planks so that joints do not line up with joints in the previous row at least 12 inches apart
  • You may need to cut planks to line up the joints in this manner
  • Cut the planks face side down to get a smooth cut using the right blade for floors
  • Once you have enough rows you can use a nailer to nail the rest of the floor
  • Stagger and match the grains as you go to create the effect that you are looking for
  • Position and cut planks around obstacles such as vents and pillars
  • As you near the other side there may not be enough room to use the nailer, so these rows will need to be hand nailed in the same manner that you did for the first row.
  • The last row may require the plank to be cut lengthwise in order to fit.
  • Measure the width you need, making sure that you leave a space for expansion
  • Place  last piece in the space and use a pry bar to press the last piece into the groove
  • Save your wall by placing a piece of wood against the wall for the pry bar to gain leverage
  • Install transitions as needed to match other floors as per manufacturers instructions
  • Paint your base boards before installing them
  • Remove spacers
  • Install new base boards , counter sink nails and fill with putty that can be painted over
  • Baseboards should be nailed to the wall and not the floor to allow expansion and movement
  • Paint and / or touch up base boards as needed
  • Clean your floor following the manufacturers directions and you are ready to move in

That is the basic wood floor installation process to follow. Pretty much anyone can do it with the proper tools and taking their time. Good luck!

 


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