…how much a home renovation ignites spirited discussions.

I had found a do-it-yourself article on OldHouseWeb.com about lightly sanding floors yourself and applying a few coats of polyurethane. Unfortunately, when the previous owners left, they also left behind a seriously scratched and discolored oak floors. I started to have doubts about our plan.

One night, Tig and I were taking a house (interior) painting class at the Boston Home Center. I casually asked the instructor (who works at a high end construction/renovation company in Boston building homes for very rich clients) about doing the floors ourselves. “That is the one thing I would recommend you hire a professional to do,” he replied, putting a bug in my ear.

When I got back to my seat, Tig and I had a heated discussion under our breaths before class resumed.
It took two instructors to help me convince my husband not to refinish floors for the very first time in our home. They talked to us after class for a while. “I like to do much of the renovations myself, but I leave the floors to the professional”, Jim said. “You may find you have a hidden talent for floor sanding, but you may also end up with wavy floors or swirling patterns,” Julio said, “I would seriously recommend that you hire out for that.” Later, when I asked my colleague (who managed to make a move-in condition home into a 1 1/2 year remodeling project) for a floor guy recommendation, Paul said, “I like to do a lot of work myself, but I always hire out floor refinishing.”

Tig left the class annoyed but agreed to get a floor guy. Now that he’s trying to figure out how to replace the subflooring and straighten out the framing in the bathroom - oh, by the way, we’re slightly behind schedule already - sanding the floors is one little task he doesn’t have much time for anymore.