Quality and craftsmanship are important factors in major purchases, whether you’re talking about buying a luxury car or installing new wood floors. But another important consideration is lasting value. And that’s where some things, like hardwood floors, out-rank others, like luxury vehicles. Just for fun, and for the sake of comparison, let’s look at investing in a new wood floor vs. buying a new BMW or Jaguar.
Happiness is a New Wood Floor
Luxuries can bring us happiness, comfort, and peace of mind. But as it turns out, a new hardwood floor elicits more happiness than a high-end vehicle. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Remodeling Impact Report, which examines the value of 20 common home renovation projects, new hardwood flooring has a Joy Score of 9.2 out of 10. The score is calculated based on homeowners’ reported level of happiness with the project. Seventy-eight percent of homeowners reported having a greater desire to be at home since installing new wood floors, and 67 percent feel a greater sense of enjoyment while they’re at home.
Having your worn wood floors refinished has an even higher Joy Score, at 9.5. Once the refinishing job is complete, 65 percent of homeowners report having an increased sense of enjoyment while they’re at home, and 78 percent feel a major sense of accomplishment about the project.
By contrast, a very long and detailed study published in the International Review of Economics found that luxury car owners don’t experience a gain in happiness when they choose a luxury car over a more frugal vehicle. The study is based on the idea of “diminishing marginal utility,” wherein each additional item someone consumes brings less happiness. The study concluded that having a car vs. no car brings great happiness, while having a good car versus an old beater brings some happiness. Choosing a luxury car over a good car doesn’t increase happiness, the study found. It may even reduce happiness due to owners being more worried about dings and scratches, having to pay more for repairs, and having to work a lot more hours to pay off the car.
New Wood Floors Bring Value
New wood floors are a worthy investment in your home, according to numerous experts. The aforementioned Remodeling Impact Report estimates that a new wood floor can have a return on investment (ROI) as high as 106 percent. Refinished hardwood floors can have an ROI as high as 100 percent.
Why is that? Well, wood floors draw buyers in. In fact, it’s pretty much expected these days that a home will have hardwood floors, at least in the dining room and living room. Most potential buyers aren’t very keen on purchasing a house that they then have to extensively remodel. They want to move right in and start living the good life. That’s why 27 percent of Realtors recommend homeowners refinish their worn wood floors before trying to sell, which can add three to five percent to the value of the home. While wood floors are typically expected in the living and dining rooms, having them in the master bedroom and kitchen is even better, as far as potential buyers and the sale price are concerned.
It’s no secret that a luxury vehicle will depreciate in value starting the moment you drive it off the lot. The average vehicle loses nearly half its original value after five years, according to Kelley Blue Book, and luxury cars depreciate even faster. That’s because luxury vehicle owners tend to trade the vehicle in as soon as it becomes outdated. But the people who are buying a pre-owned car don’t want to pay a steep price for a luxury model whose body and technology are so three years ago. So the market prices them lower than their worth.
Maintaining New Wood Floors is Economical
Hardwood floor maintenance is easy and inexpensive, involving periodic dusting and mopping with approved products. Every three to five years, your hardwood floor should be re-coated, which involves abrading the surface and laying down a new coat of water-based finish. If you opt for a high quality UV-cured coating, you can go around ten years between re-coats. Re-coating restores sheen and shine and protects your floors against future wear.
Maintaining a luxury vehicle is far more expensive than maintaining your hardwood floor. Routine maintenance is typically more expensive for luxury vehicles than it is for more frugal cars. Luxury vehicles generally have more specialized parts, including tires, and they require specialized mechanics, who charge a premium. You’ll also pay more for insurance and repairs, and depending on the car’s fuel economy, you may pay more for gas.
Now, does all this mean that you shouldn’t buy a luxury vehicle? Of course not. Our point is that by contrast, throwing your money at new or refinished wood floors can make you happier and provide a decent return on your investment, which your sweet ride will never do.
Lifetime Hardwood Floors Last a Lifetime
Lifetime Hardwood Floors can install a new wood floor or refinish your existing floors to improve the look and value of your home. Our high quality products and materials offer you the best possible value and ensure your floors will last a lifetime. Contact us today to hear what we can do for you and how we’re addressing safety issues during the coronavirus outbreak.