I want to replace my parents' flooring in their old house. I'm afraid that there has been water damage in the bathroom because the linoleum is peeling up and is black. I want to do this as inexpensively as possible, but putting new flooring on top of the old really isn't an option and I know nothing about installing flooring. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do such major home improvement for as little as possible? Should I use the personnel at the home improvement stores, hire a handyman, etc?
My husband has refloored four bathrooms (two houses) in our past. One for the very reason mentioned (water damage and flooring turning black). He always used self-sticking vinyl tiles from Home Depot or Lowes. They are easy to install without a professional. Just make sure the sub-floor is in good condition, and follow the manufacturer's instructions on specific floor prep. The only tricky part (until the third bathroom) was re-installing the toilet. If you have no experience with this, you may want to consult a professional or at least a relative or friend who can give you some pointers. But, the tiles themselves are easy to install, very nice looking, and come in many styles.
I would turn to your church or your local church for help. A lot of people will donate their time to help people in need. Talk to the Pastor or put a notice in the church bulletin. The fact that you want to help your parents is wonderful. Keep up the good work.
Darcy from CO
Someone gave me a wonderful tip recently about any job that requires a skilled worker. Your local Senior Center likely keeps a listing of retired persons in the community who are skilled plumbers, carpenters, etc. They will put you in touch with one of these people who will do the job for a fraction of what a company in the yellow pages would charge you. These retired persons are just looking for occasional jobs where their considerable work skills and knowledge can be used. They might be a little slower than someone from the yellow pages, but their work is absolutely meticulous and first class because they take great pride in the skills they have mastered over the years.
There may be a program called a Time Bank in your area. People donate their time and skills for such things as babysitting, home repairs, knitting, yard work, etc. The hours are "banked," and when enough hours are accumulated, you can have someone else who is banking hours help you with the work. My neighbor is a carpenter with twin girls. He and his wife are happy to find babysitters through the Time Bank in exchange for odd jobs. Call your local Community Action, Seniors Organization, or the Department of Human Services to see if there is a branch in your area. I had a stockade fence installed in exchange for tutoring a teenager in math for a semester. No money changes hands.
Check your local trade schools. Sometimes, they need a project to work on for school grades. It may take longer, but the cost is free except for the material. You could also call local lumberyards to see if they can suggest a retired carpenter that is willing to give a cost break to another senior citizen. Another option is to wait until winter when the outside carpenter workers are in need of inside jobs.
Felina in Missouri
Go to the home improvement store and find a book on flooring. Once you have educated yourself on what's involved in installing various types of flooring, you will be able to decide if it's something you can do. Make an estimate of the cost. And, if you decide to contract the job to a professional, you will know what questions to ask and know if the answers seem reasonable. You will also be able to supervise the work. Get three bids and references of recent customers from all of the bidders.
Take the Next Step
Sign up for our free weekly eNewsletter Surviving Tough Times.
Looking for an answer to a frugal living question? Click here to ask a
Dollar Stretcher Stretchpert!
Copyright 1996 - 2013 "The Dollar Stretcher, Inc." All rights reserved unless specifically noted.
Contact the Dollar Stretcher at:
PO Box 14160
Bradenton FL 34280
"The Dollar Stretcher, Inc." does not assume responsibility for advice given. All advice should be weighed against your own abilities and circumstances and applied accordingly. It is up to the reader to determine if advice is safe and suitable for their own situation.