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Old 01-09-2018, 01:57 PM   #1
wamaha
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New Build - Tile/Baseboard Question

Wife and I are about to build a new home with a production builder. One of the items she wants is the wood look tile flooring. As best we can tell from the home sales guy, it is about a $20K upgrade thru the builder. In talking to some local tile guys, I can get the job done for about $8K in cash after close. Yep, crazy mark up from the builder....

Question for the folks not trying to sell me something - What about the baseboards?

Some of the standard stuff from the builder will be carpet, some of it will be tile. I am going to ask if they will carpet the wet areas (local installers do not charge for that removal), but I doubt they will. They're pretty inflexible on their standard stuff. So, if some area is carpet, and some would be demo'd tile, will that have an effect on how the baseboards turn out? Wife wants them painted gray in the build, not sure if that matters or not.

Thanks for any input you may have.
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:19 PM   #2
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Welcome, Wade.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade
So, if some area is carpet, and some would be demo'd tile, will that have an effect on how the baseboards turn out?
Not sure I understand the question.

If I were building the house, the baseboard in the carpet areas would be installed before the carpet was installed and the carpet tucked under it. The baseboard in the tile areas would be installed after the tile was installed.

Should all "turn out" essentially the same except perhaps for some difference in the installed height which can sometimes require some finesse. In any case, if I were to remove all your existing floor coverings and install tile as a remodel, I'd remove all the baseboards as well before installing the new tile.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:24 PM   #3
wamaha
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I guess I was worried about the height variations, as well as any paint issues. Since the subfloor is all at one level, the tile will be the same thickness across the two different areas, and now we are entering rooms where once some had tiles and some had carpet, would the baseboards look like a mashed up mess. Not sure if I am saying that right or not.

As you guess, I am definitely not a builder/tile guy.
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Old 01-09-2018, 04:01 PM   #4
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Some things to consider:

I should point out that the difference in cost is not necessarily builder margin. You're assuming that installing tile is a commodity and it's all the same. That would be a mistake, especially with plank tile, which can be difficult and exacting to install. What are the details of the installation? Ditra or similar? Floors flat? Expansion joints?

Don't know what the answer is for you, but production builders do have to make a profit just like any other business. They may indeed pump the price to cover the variance from standard. It almost always comes with attached costs, either up front or warranty.

The fact that you're specifically calling out " 8K in cash" concerns me. Legitimate business don't specify cash for payment of contracts, and you should have a contract. From what you've told us, this doesn't look like apples to apples comparison. Will the 8K folks warrant the work and be sure you're satisfied? Builder installed stuff is usually covered under home warranty.

How is it that local installers don't charge for work they perform (carpet removal)? Either it's in their overhead or specified on a contract. Nobody worth their salt works for free, do you?

Removal and reinstallation of baseboards will require figuring out the transitions and more than likely caulk and touch-up painting. If it's MDF there's a strong possibility some will need to be replaced. Seems a waste to remodel a new home right out of the chute.
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:02 AM   #5
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Tell the builders to leave the areas you wish to tile with no finished flooring and no baseboard or get your other subs in to do the tile before base and carpet. Makes it a lot easier to not mess up the carpet and have a cohesive baseboard.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:30 AM   #6
Carbidetooth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick
Tell the builders to leave the areas you wish to tile with no finished flooring and no baseboard or get your other subs in to do the tile before base and carpet. Makes it a lot easier to not mess up the carpet and have a cohesive baseboard.
We may have lost original poster, but FWIW the above may not be possible.

Production builders are typically under the gun to deliver a completed product. It's the only way that lenders will agree to convert a construction loan into a mortgage for the homeowner so homebuilder gets paid. Municipality has to sign off too with a certificate of occupancy. It's a tangled web but lenders drive the train and they won't knowingly expose themselves to liability...especially now.

If one is purchasing a house outright sans lenders what you propose may be a possibility, otherwise a hard sell.
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:06 AM   #7
wamaha
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Didn't lose me, just side tracked a bit.

Carbidetooth is correct, they were very specific that they "have" to deliver a completed home at closing, as that was my thought, just leave me a bare concrete floor and don't waste the tile/carpet that I am just going to rip out. But, that didn't work.

We are meeting with their design people on Friday, and will get an exact cost of the floor she wants from them vs. what we can do from an outside tile contractor. I just don't like the thought of ripping out brand new carpet/tile in a brand new house to put in the floor she wants. But on the flip side, I also don't like the idea of paying 2-2.5X the cost of the exact same floor thru the builder on a 15-30 yr. interest bearing mortgage either. Quite the quandary....

Thanks to all for your comments!
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:37 AM   #8
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Try to make sure you are really comparing apples to apples. Same quality tile, etc.
Though production builders have their faults, for sure, they also have a bigger hammer to hold over subs if they don't do the job right. It wasn't out house, but our builder removed and replaced all of the tile in the house across the street because there was a mismatch in tile lots. Will you cheap guy stand behind what he does? When you are buying the whole house, and have a problem before you settle, the builder will be motivated to make you happy.
There is some incalculable cost in the time and inconvenience of a tear out and redo after you've bought the house, maybe it's ok with you, maybe not.
I can't answer the question, but be careful about being penny wise and pound foolish.
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