Business OverviewFifty or 60 years ago, if you had hardwood floors it meant that you couldn't afford carpeting, and everyone who had the funds put heavy pile over those burnished boards. Nowadays, hardwood floors are valued for the beauty and warmth they add to a room. Homebuyers who find an older house with original hardwood floors count themselves lucky, and owners of new homes often request that the builder install wood flooring. But after years of wear and tear--even when buried beneath carpeting--those gorgeous floors can look downright dingy. If you like working with wood, restoring ugly ducklings to their rightful titles of flooring beauties, then a hardwood floor refinishing business might be for you. The advantages to this business are that you can work from home, you can start part time with relatively low costs, and you get the deep-down glow that comes from giving new life to fine wood. Hardwood floor refinishing is an art--you should know how to read wood, whether it's healthy or not, suffering from moisture or dryness, and how it lives in the home it's in. You'll need a good working knowledge and solid skills with your equipment and materials, including polyurethanes, varnishes and stains.
The MarketYour customers will be home and apartment owners, remodeling contractors and interior designers. You can generally figure that homes and apartments built prior to the late 1950s will have hardwood floors--target neighborhoods of these homes and leave fliers on doorsteps or as door hangers. Send fliers to interior designers and contractors, then follow up with phone calls to reinforce your company in their minds. Leave cards or fliers at neighborhood hardware or home improvement stores (larger warehouse-type centers don't usually allow this). Get your company written up in the real estate or home section of your local newspaper. Network in your community.
Needed EquipmentYou'll need a drum floor sander, an edger, a buffer with steel wool pads, and a reliable vehicle like a pickup truck to get you and your equipment to jobs.