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Sustainable Building Materials: How to Use These in Your Next Renovation

July 14th, 2022 |

When it’s time to renovate your investment property, consider using sustainable building materials. Besides protecting the environment and saving energy, going green can improve the resale value of your property by an average of 8 percent. Here are some eco-friendly examples. 

Solar Panels

A well-known sustainable building material, solar panels help keep electric bills down while using a renewable resource. The United States Energy Information Agency predicts that in 2022, solar power will account for nearly half of the new electric generating capacity in the US. Over the years, solar panels have become more aesthetically appealing and can be installed on a roof or in the yard. If you opt for rooftop solar panels, consider installing galvanized roof hatches for easy access.

Composite Roofing Shingles

If you’re looking for sustainable building materials that help save energy and need little maintenance, consider composite roofing shingles. Asphalt shingles and roof shakes tend to crack and fade, allowing air to enter the building and driving up energy costs. Composite roofing shingles, on the other hand, are a durable option that helps reduce heating and cooling costs. Plus, you’ll save money on repairs with this long-lasting material. 

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is a highly sustainable material that is usually more affordable than traditional hardwood flooring. It’s suitable for any area where you would use hardwood flooring, from living rooms to mudrooms. Even better, it has a rapid harvest cycle of three years compared to about 25 years for most hardwoods. When you choose bamboo flooring, you are helping to preserve forests by giving trees a chance to grow back. 

Smart Glass Windows

Smart glass windows adapt to seasonal temperature changes to help reduce energy use. For example, the glass becomes transparent in the winter to allow the sunlight to get through and aid in heating. In the summer, the glass turns translucent to keep out heat and reduce air conditioner use. The result is lower electric bills and a more comfortable building interior.

Hemp Insulation

Legally grown in the United States since 2014, industrial hemp is one of the most sustainable building materials. Hemp insulation is a sustainable, natural alternative to fiberglass and foam that does not contain toxic binding chemicals. Hemp also grows fast, improves soil health, and does not require the use of pesticides. Usually sold in batts, it is easily compressed and beats the industry standard R-value for the coldest zone in the United States. 

Insulated Concrete Framing

Insulated concrete framing (ICF) is another energy-saving building material. Unlike wood panels that can crack, ICF provides an airtight layer that prevents moisture and air transfer. It also stores heat and helps prevent temperature fluctuations throughout the day and night. Besides sustainability, ICF is a durable, fire-resistant material that helps keep out noise.

The experienced professionals at RH Blanchard are ready to make your Boston-area sustainable renovation happen. Let us be your go-to general contracting team, from project development to remodeling and finishing. Get in touch with us today for a free quote.

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When Is the Right Time to Renovate Your Investment Property?

July 7th, 2022 |

A building renovation can be exciting and disruptive at the same time. Whether a commercial building or a rental home, the project needs to go smoothly. So when is the right time to renovate your investment property? Here are some tips for the best times to schedule your building renovation.

Before You Rent

After you buy a rental property, check for areas that need repairs or upgrades. Now is the time for a fresh coat of paint or new flooring. When you’re ready to rent, you want prospective tenants to see clean, hard surface floors, not worn or stained carpeting. Replace appliances that are 20 years old or more. Make changes that will show renters that the property is well-maintained and up-to-date. 

Between Tenants

Take advantage of the transition period between one tenant leaving and a new tenant arriving. Consider any improvements that will let you charge higher rent and possibly increase your return on investment (ROI). Have you been wanting to replace that tired kitchen linoleum with tile or bamboo? Maybe it’s time to upgrade appliances. 

As soon as you find out that a tenant is leaving, contact any contractors you plan to hire. The sooner you can schedule the building renovation, the sooner you’ll be able to rent the property again. 

When the Property Needs Repairs 

Maybe your investment property needs some urgent repairs. If your property needs new plumbing, for example, your drywall will need replacing anyway. You might as well schedule that remodel you’ve been considering simultaneously. For an extensive renovation, it’s a good idea to hire a general contractor to coordinate subcontractors and keep the project on schedule.  

During Slow Business Periods 

If you’re planning on a commercial building renovation, it’s best to schedule the project during a slow business period. If your tenant is an accountant, for example, plan the renovation after the tax-filing season has ended. For a florist shop, don’t schedule the project the week before Valentine’s Day. During a busy time of year, you don’t want the office torn apart or the store temporarily closed.

When you schedule a commercial property renovation, the business should be able to operate during the project. This can require temporarily leasing office space, which can take months to secure. Make sure you allow enough time for the business to relocate, if necessary temporarily.

Before You Sell the Property

Maybe you’re ready to sell an investment property you’ve owned for years. When you list your property, you want it to look fresh and up-to-date. Your real estate agent can help you decide what renovations are needed to improve the resale value of your property. Whether you’re considering new windows or an extra bathroom, consult a general contractor well before you want to begin the project.

RH Blanchard has been providing Boston-area investment property owners with general contracting services for more than a decade. Our experienced team will manage your renovation project and get your property in shape. We’re happy to provide a free quote, so contact us today!

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5 Common Building Construction Delays (and How to Avoid Them!)

June 13th, 2022 |

Many factors and considerations go into planning a construction project. As a property investor, you want your remodel or renovation project to stay on schedule and on budget. Some potential construction delays, such as holidays, can be anticipated. But what about weather conditions and other unforeseen problems? The following post looks at common construction delays and how to avoid them.

1. Scheduling Gaps

Scheduling gaps can cause construction delays for a variety of reasons. For example, an electrician may run into a problem that causes setbacks for other subcontractors. You may even have to wait a month or more just to have your first meeting with an architect or designer. Then there are wait times for bidding and ordering materials 

That’s why it’s a good idea to schedule contractors at least three months in advance. Also, extra time should be built into the project timeline to allow for unforeseen setbacks and delays.  

2. Design Flaws

Sometimes a general contractor will discover a design flaw after the construction phase has begun. It may take an experienced contractor’s eye to discover a structural flaw, even after the blueprints are complete and approved. Needless to say, a flaw in the design itself can cause major delays and cost overruns, especially if part of the project must be dismantled and rebuilt.

One way to avoid such delays is to hire a general contracting company that includes in-house design and other pre-construction services. When stakeholders work together from start to finish, issues are resolved before they cause delays. 

3. Weather Problems

Weather conditions are beyond anyone’s control, but there are ways to avoid weather-related construction delays. If inclement weather prevents completion of outdoor work, for example, work can begin on indoor parts of the project.  

Weather can cause many types of construction delays. Muddy conditions may prevent operation of heavy equipment. Hazardous roads may prevent workers from driving to the project site. Shipping delays may cause materials to arrive late. Extra time should be built into the project schedule to prevent disruption from weather delays. 

4. Holidays and Vacations  

Of course, time off for holidays should be factored into the project timeline. Buffer time for major holidays and vacations can be worked into the schedule in advance. However, it’s also important to keep the lines of communication open during holidays. If you are on vacation, the project team should be able to contact you to help resolve any problems that could cause delays. 

5. Overbooked Subcontractors  

An experienced general contractor will have a long-standing network of reliable subcontractors. Unfortunately, some less reliable subcontractors will overbook their workers. Eventually, work on one project suffers while overextended workers are catching up on another project.  

You can prevent this type of delay by hiring an established general contractor who has built relationships with dependable subcontractors. Through years of experience, the general contractor will know which subcontractors will keep your project on schedule. 

For more than a decade, RH Blanchard has been providing general contracting and project development services to Boston-area property investors. Get in touch today for your free quote.

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Ask a Contractor: What to Expect During Renovations

March 21st, 2022 |

Before you begin a renovation project on your investment property, there are many factors to consider: cost, permits, hiring renovation contractors and more. Here is a guide to help you through the process.

Mandatory or Optional Upgrades

Your renovation project may include either mandatory or optional upgrades, or a combination of both. 

Mandatory Upgrades

Sometimes a building needs mandatory upgrades to comply with local safety codes. For example, you may need to upgrade the electrical or plumbing systems before you can rent out a home. 

Optional Upgrades  

Optional upgrades are a matter of personal preference and are not required for code compliance. Examples include installing solar panels, adding a new porch or replacing kitchen countertops. Optional upgrades can improve the design, func or curb appeal of your home. 

Licensed Contractor

A licensed general contractor has the experience and knowledge necessary for a successful and safe renovation project. In Massachusetts, for example, a general contractor must have a valid Construction Supervisor License (CSL). Specific licenses are required for plumbing, electrical and other specialized work. You can verify a Massachusetts contractor’s license with the Board of Building Regulations and Standards

Contract

A contract need not contain pages of legal jargon, but it should clearly state the essential points of the renovation project. Before you sign, make sure that the following details are written into the contract: 

Project description, including materials and their costs, labor costs, permit applications, debris disposal, liability insurance and workman’s compensation coverage. 

  • Payment installment schedule and payment method. 
  • Estimated project start and end date.
  • Lien waivers for each payment, stating that the funds were used to pay for materials and labor described in the invoice. 
  • Clear procedure for changes, including a description of new work, cost, and impact on the timeline. 
  • Escape hatch providing a specified time period to rescind the contract without penalty.
  • Signatures of both parties (general contractor and you)

A contract is essential if you want to avoid surprise charges, unnecessary delays, debris left at the construction site or other issues. 

Permits 

For a renovation project, the general contractor usually applies for permits through your local building department. A permit application ensures that the project will adhere to local building and fire codes. The required permits depend on the type of project. In Massachusetts, for example, permits are required for alterations to a building’s structure or major systems, such as 

  • Home additions
  • New garage
  • New deck
  • Interior wall removal 
  • Electrical rewiring 
  • Plumbing replacement

The permit must be prominently displayed at the project site. If construction has begun without the proper permits, the building department can order a shutdown or even a tear-down of the project. 

Inspections  

The local building department will send an inspector to check certain stages of the renovation. These inspections ensure that the project is meeting safety code requirements. If a violation is found, the inspector will tell the contractor what to do to bring the project up to code standards. 

The general contracting professionals at RH Blanchard have the skills and experience for your renovation project. Get in touch today for your free quote.

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5 Advantages of Basement Renovations

February 16th, 2022 |

A basement does not have to be a dark, forgotten space in your investment property. It can turn into a second bathroom, bedroom, or another source of income. Read on to learn about basement renovation costs and return on investment (ROI). 

#1 ROI vs. Basement Renovation Cost

Basement renovation costs can be pricey, but this type of renovation provides a 70 percent average ROI nationwide For houses in Massachusetts and other New England states, the ROI averages 52.8 percent. The cost of a basement remodel depends on the type of remodel and the planned use of the space. The nationwide average cost for a midrange basement remodel is $71,115, while in New England it’s $76, 429.  

Of course, the size of the basement helps determine the cost of a renovation. For a small 300- to 700-square foot basement, the price typically ranges from $9,000 to $52,000. Renovating a 1500- to 2,000-square foot basement, however, can cost from $45,000 to $150,000.  

#2 Increases Home Value

As a property investor, you’re keeping your eye on the bottom line — especially your property value. Basement renovations tend to increase the resale value of homes. You will likely be able to recoup a good chunk of your expenses when you sell your property.  

Let’s say you’re spending $50,000 on a Boston-area basement renovation. With the typical ROI of 52.8 percent for the region, your resale value could increase by $26,400. 

#3 Increase Living Space

With a basement renovation, you can increase the living space of the property without enlarging its footprint. This is an important advantage if zoning codes prevent you from expanding outward or upward. In some neighborhoods, an addition may not be possible because it will be too close to the neighboring house. Other locations have a two-story limit on homes. If your property has a basement, you can still add that extra room or apartment. 

#4 Increase Income

If zoning laws allow it, you can turn the basement into a rental unit and increase the income potential for the property. If you keep the property after the renovation, you will have increased cash flow from the additional unit. If you sell the property, the potential income from the renovated basement is a good selling point. A buyer may see the rental income as a chance to ease the burden of mortgage payments. 

#5 Additional Uses for a Renovated Basement

Bathroom 

An additional bathroom can be a deciding factor for a home buyer. The cost of hiring a plumber for this renovation can be worth it when it’s time to sell the property.

Bedroom 

Adding a bedroom increases the size of the home as well as potential rental income. A bedroom must have two forms of egress, such as windows, so the project will likely involve knocking down foundation walls to create openings. 

Recreation Room

Since it is below ground, noise from loud parties or kids playing will be muffled. A basement is an ideal location for a recreation room if you don’t want to disturb the neighbors. 

With more than 15 years of general contracting experience, RH Blanchard will give your Boston-area basement renovation the care it deserves. Get in touch for a free consultation.

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7 Types of Flooring to Consider for Your Investment Property

November 16th, 2021 |

The right flooring is essential for any rental property. As an investment property owner, you’ll need to consider some important factors when selecting flooring – you can choose from many types of flooring that will appeal to future renters. Some factors to consider include:

  • Durability 
  • Price
  • Installation requirements 
  • Ease of maintenance 
  • Appearance

Keep reading to learn our suggestions for the best investment property flooring!

1. Laminate 

Laminate is a synthetic alternative to genuine hardwood. Available in planks or squares, it is a good choice for bedrooms, dining rooms and living areas. 

Laminate pros:

  • Easily installed by clicking or gluing in place
  • Tough finish resists scratches and stains  
  • More affordable than genuine hardwood
  • Suitable for pet-friendly rentals

Laminate cons: 

  • Does not add the value of genuine hardwood flooring
  • Cannot refinish
  • Chips easily
  • Does not last as long as hardwood

2. Tile

Whether it’s porcelain, ceramic or stone, tile is a hard flooring installed over cement. The spaces between the tiles are filled with a mixture known as grout. Tile is a good choice for humid areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. 

Tile pros: 

  • Durable
  • Easy to wipe clean
  • Water-resistant 
  • Available in many styles and prices

Tile cons:

  • Can crack 
  • Does not insulate
  • Requires skilled installation 
  • Needs sealer or polish 
  • Grout requires periodic deep cleaning

3. Vinyl  

Vinyl is synthetic flooring that is manufactured in sheets, tiles or planks. It is usually seen in bathrooms and kitchens and is installed by gluing or clicking in place. 

Vinyl pros: 

  • Affordable 
  • Water-resistant 
  • Easy to clean with dry mop or vacuum 
  • Easily installed with little prep
  • Flexible  

Vinyl cons:

  • Moisture underneath flooring can form mildew 
  • Subject to tearing or ripping  

4. Hardwood

Suitable for high-end rentals, hardwood flooring is available in solid wood or engineered planks. It is installed by nailing the planks to sub-flooring and is ideal for bedrooms, dining rooms and living areas. 

Hardwood pros: 

  • Durable
  • Luxurious appearance
  • Easy to sweep clean
  • Can refinish solid wood

Hardwood cons:

  • Higher initial cost
  • Needs skilled installation 
  • Can be damaged by water or sun
  • Cannot refinish engineered wood
  • Easily dented or scratched

5. Linoleum 

Usually seen in kitchens and bathrooms, linoleum flooring is available in tiles or sheets. It is often installed over plywood underlayment.  

Linoleum pros

  • Simply sweep, dust or vacuum clean
  • Lasts up to 40 years
  • Water-resistant 
  • Available in a variety of patterns
  • Color runs deep, minimizing scuffs 
  • Springy and comfortable underfoot

Linoleum cons: 

  • Can expand or contract if water seeps underneath
  • Needs sealer and regular refinishing  

6. Cork 

Made from oak bark, cork tiles are glued to the sub-flooring or to each other. Cork flooring is a good choice for kitchens. 

Cork pros:

  • Affordable
  • Reduces noise 
  • Needs only occasional sweeping and mopping
  • Renewable resource
  • Biodegradable 
  • Easy to install

Cork cons: 

  • Can warp in humidity
  • Easily dented
  • Does not tolerate high traffic
  • Needs sealer  

7. Carpet 

Carpet is one of the most common types of flooring you’ll see on the market. It can be cut to fit a floor space and stapled to a carpet pad and works best in bedrooms and second-floor rental units. 

Carpet pros: 

  • Reduces noise
  • Insulates and reduces energy bills

Carpet cons:

  • Stains easily
  • Holds odors and pet hairs
  • Needs labor-intensive cleaning

At RH Blanchard, we’ll bring our general contracting expertise to help you determine the best types of flooring for your Boston-area project. When you’re ready to move forward, contact us for a free quote. 

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Home Addition Plans Guide: Where to Start?

November 9th, 2021 |

Are you thinking about a home addition for your investment property? Home addition plans involve many decisions and considerations. Read on to learn some helpful tips for your project. 

Start with a Budget 

The first step in building a home addition is to set a budget. It’s easy to become caught up in the excitement of a new addition, but costs can get out of control. Figure out how much you can realistically afford to spend and how you will finance the project. Several finance options are available, including  

  • Mortgage refinance
  • Home equity loan
  • Savings
  • Line of credit

Don’t forget to include non-construction costs, such as  

  • Higher property taxes
  • Increased homeowners’ insurance premiums
  • Increased utility bills

Most importantly, stick with your budget when you discuss your plans with a general contractor. 

Consider Alternatives to an Addition 

Before you commit to an addition, consider less costly alternatives that do not require a new foundation or roof. A remodel can cost 25 to 50 percent less than an addition. For example, a kitchen remodel may meet your needs. Maybe the attic or basement could be converted into additional living space. Tearing down walls or removing a closet or staircase can improve traffic flow throughout the house. If you decide that an addition is the best route, a general contractor can help you plan the next steps. 

Decide the Purpose and Type of Addition  

The best type of addition will depend on the purpose of the addition. Do you want to add more room for kids to play? Does the kitchen seem cramped and crowded? 

Once you’ve decided on the purpose, you can choose the right type of addition for your needs. Sometimes, less is more when it comes to adding space. A bump-out, for example, is a cost-effective way to add a narrow space without the need for a new foundation or roofing. Consider a bump-out if you want to add an eating area to a kitchen or extra storage room in a closet. 

Another important consideration is the effect of the addition on property value and return on investment (ROI). For example, Home Advisor notes that master bedroom suites produce an average 63 percent ROI, while second-story additions typically bring in a 65 percent ROI. You should also compare your planned addition with other homes in the neighborhood. If your property becomes overvalued in a moderately priced area, you won’t be able to recoup your investment.

Choose Materials that Blend with Existing Home

You’ll want the addition to look like it’s part of the original home. If the home has double-hung windows and vinyl siding, then the addition should have similar features. If you can’t find an exact match, look for comparable alternatives. A general contractor can help you choose materials, such as siding, roofing, trim, windows and flooring, that will integrate with the existing structure.  

Hire an Experienced General Contractor  

A licensed general contractor can assemble and oversee the work team and get the required permits for your home addition plans. With more than a decade of general contracting and project development experience, RH Blanchard will guide you through every step of your project. Get in touch today for a free quote.

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How to Mix and Match Laminate Flooring (Without Overdoing It)

October 18th, 2021 |

So you’re thinking about installing laminate flooring but can’t settle on just one color. When you know how to mix and match laminate flooring, you can use multiple colors, shapes, and sizes with elegant results. Whether you choose laminate tile or wood laminate planks, now is the time to get creative. 

Complement Existing Flooring

All of those color choices are tempting, but you don’t want to end up with too much of a good thing. One way to avoid overdoing it is to install new flooring that complements existing flooring in your home. Do you plan to install new laminate planks next to an older wood laminate floor? A good strategy is to match the faded color of the older flooring. If you can’t find a match, you can install t-molding between the spaces to create a smooth transition. 

Experiment With Patterns

You can create a simple, pleasing pattern without getting too complicated. All it takes is a focal design in the center of the floor and a pattern in the remaining space. You can choose from a variety of classic patterns, such as herringbone.  

Start your design by dividing the floor into quarters and placing the first plank or tile on the center point where the four quarters meet. Experiment by arranging loose flooring around the center piece until you have a pattern that you like. Create a simple pattern for a small room and save the complex patterns for larger rooms. When you are satisfied with the pattern, install the laminate flooring with adhesives recommended by the manufacturer. 

Add a Border

A border is a great way to mix laminate flooring without looking too busy. If adjoining rooms have different color flooring, choose a trim that coordinates with both colors. For example, a dark brown border works well between rooms with light brown wood laminate flooring.  

With laminate tiles, you can get creative by using different colors or shapes in the border. A bold, contrasting color will work well if you limit it to the border. You can also lay the border tiles or planks in a different direction from those in the main floor.

Mix Colors Sparingly  

Before you buy your new flooring, test different color combinations. Look for colors that coordinate, and avoid colors that clash. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than three colors in one room. 

If you’re mixing laminate tiles, keep it subtle by adding a few different shades of the same color. Let’s say you are installing mostly light grey tiles. You can add interest and depth by randomly adding a few medium to dark grey tiles. 

Another way to use color is to install one color in the main floor and add a harmonizing color for the border. Limit bold or contrasting colors to a few accent tiles or trim. 

Is it time to install new laminate flooring? Have more questions about how to mix and match laminate flooring? At RH Blanchard, our general contracting professionals are ready to complete your Boston area flooring project. If you’d like a free quote, contact us today.

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6 Home Improvements That Build Equity

October 6th, 2021 |

Part of owning investment property is making necessary improvements. Exterior improvements make a positive first impression, while interior renovations help create a comfortable home. In the Boston area, there are many home improvements that build equity and bring a handsome return on investment (ROI).  Below you’ll find six remodel ideas for your investment property.

Garage Door Replacement

Leading the list of top home improvements for ROI is garage door replacement. Besides the obvious curb appeal, this renovation can improve security and energy efficiency. Garage doors are available in a variety of materials and styles, including:  

  • Contemporary glass and aluminum
  • Carriage house style
  • Raised panel
  • Steel

In the Boston area, a new garage door brings in an average of 106% ROI. That’s a home improvement worth considering! 

Landscaping

Landscaping is a relatively inexpensive way to improve the resale value of your property. For example, you can replace unsightly weeds and overgrown shrubs with colorful flowering perennials of varying heights. With an average cost of $3,500 for landscaping and $1,500 for 1,000 square feet of sod, the 100% ROI makes landscaping an attractive option. 

Siding Replacement  

Siding replacement can be pricey, but the 79-80% ROI certainly helps. Vinyl siding is easy to clean and maintain and is available in many styles, from clapboard to scalloped. Regular pressure washing will keep vinyl siding looking fresh for years.  

Durable and relatively maintenance-free, fiber cement siding is an attractive alternative to wood or stucco. You don’t have to worry about termites, moisture, or fire with this siding. Whether you chose vinyl or fiber cement siding, you will be adding curb appeal as well as resale value to your property. 

Window Replacement  

New windows are a great way to update and refresh a home’s exterior and exterior appearance. Vinyl or wood replacement windows can add value to a home in several ways: 

  • Curb appeal
  • Energy efficiency 
  • Reduced carbon footprint 

For Boston-area property investors, vinyl replacement windows provide a 78% ROI. Wood replacement windows typically bring in 71% ROI

Minor Kitchen Remodel 

If you’re happy with your property’s curb appeal, you may want to opt for a kitchen renovation. After all, the kitchen is a central part of home life. Could your cabinets use a touch-up? A minor kitchen remodel can result in a 67% ROI in the Boston area. Examples of minor renovations include

  • New cabinets
  • Painted cabinets 
  • Granite, stone or glass countertops
  • Recessed lighting 
  • New backsplash 
  • New faucets 

Minor Bathroom Remodel

A bathroom can be a calming personal oasis, so it deserves attention. Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint or a new tub, a minor bathroom remodel can provide a 60% ROI. The smallest touches can make a big difference in a bathroom. Examples include 

  • Tub replacement 
  • Reglazed tub
  • Painted walls
  • Tile surround
  • Shower doors
  • Updated Fixtures 

Talk to a General Contractor 

At R.H. Blanchard we’re happy to help with exterior and interior home improvements that build equity. Ask us for a free consultation, and find out about our 15-plus years of general contracting experience.

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Eucalyptus Flooring: Pros and Cons

July 22nd, 2021 |

Eucalyptus is an exotic and economical flooring option for investment property. There are three types of eucalyptus flooring: engineered, solid plank, and strand-woven, which is the toughest. Strand woven boards are made from woven strips of eucalyptus that are compressed under heat and high pressure. Available in a wide range of styles and colors, eucalyptus flooring is an attractive choice. 

Pros

A eucalyptus floor has many advantages, from durability to easy care. 

Durable and Moisture Tolerant

If a floor takes a beating from foot traffic or kids and pets at play, consider installing eucalyptus. Strand-woven is exceptionally durable, rating 3,000 to 5,000 on the Janka hardness scale. Red oak rates only 1,200 and hickory rates 1,800. Eucalyptus trees grow in humid regions and tolerate moisture very well. Eucalyptus is an excellent choice for flooring in humid and rainy locations. 

Affordable 

Eucalyptus flooring costs about half as much as most hardwood varieties. It can be harvested within 3 to 10 years, compared with 20 to 50 years for many hardwoods. Its fast growth rate makes eucalyptus a highly renewable resource and helps keep prices down. Available at $5 to $7 per square foot, this alternative flooring will help your bottom line.  

Easy Installation and Care

This type of flooring is relatively easy to install. Traditional and strand-woven planks are both available in tongue-and-groove form; strand-woven is also available in click-and-lock form. Both forms can be installed using the float, nail down or glue down methods. 

With its durability and moisture tolerance, eucalyptus requires little maintenance. A weekly sweep or vacuum usually does the job. For occasional deeper cleaning, use a damp mop with a hardwood floor cleaning product. 

Sustainable  

Another advantage to eucalyptus is its sustainability. With responsible planting and harvesting, eucalyptus forests continually replenish themselves. The trees also tolerate drought, reducing their impact on the water supply. 

The eucalyptus tree is well-known as the main food source for Australian koalas. Most flooring boards, however, are produced from eucalyptus forests in Asia and South America. You can purchase eucalyptus flooring without worrying about these furry friends. 

The only environmental concern associated with this type of flooring is VOC emissions from adhesives and coatings. Look for a low VOC rating, which should be displayed on the brand.

Cons

When shopping for this type of flooring, keep some considerations in mind. 

Not Widely Available

It’s not easy to find eucalyptus flooring, in spite of all its advantages. You may have to purchase it from an online specialty store instead of your local home improvement center. You’ll also want to research brands extensively since eucalyptus flooring reviews are few and far between.

Costs More than Bamboo

Although eucalyptus costs less than traditional hardwoods, it still can’t beat bamboo for low prices. Bamboo flooring usually sells for $3 to $5 per square foot, making it 20% cheaper than eucalyptus. You can even find some cork and laminate flooring for a lower price than eucalyptus. 

Experienced Professionals and Quality Workmanship  

When it comes to floor installation, you want the best for your Boston-area investment property. At RH Blanchard, our highly experienced team has been providing remodeling services for over a decade. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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