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Green Building Fortifies Floor Futures

Green building involves health, water conservation, energy efficiency, disaster mitigation and, of course, sustainable floor coverings. A certified green building is intended to keep you

Reclaimed Wood Flooring is GreenReclaimed Wood Flooring is Green 

healthier, save you money and help ensure the building’s durability. There are several national certifications and over half of states have regional, state or city certification programs.

Builders generally believe that green building certification is not worth the expense and time. Those who do get certifications most often opt for Energy Star or just a HERS rating. There is an expectation that many builders who currently get Energy Star certifications will drop out of the program when Version 3 goes into effect in January 2012 due to added challenges for thermal enclosure and preventing water intrusion.

Builders need to explore the costs and benefits of certification and incorporate certification into their business’s marketing plan. Average certification costs, including the third party certifier and the fees to the certifying organization, for a building of 1,750 square feet or less range from $600+/- for a local program to $2,500+/- for one of the national programs, according to Dr. Jennifer Languell, Trifecta Construction Solutions, Ft. Myers, Florida.

The Appraisal Institute offers a green certification for appraisers. Recently they announced an addendum to the Fannie Mae Form 1004 that lets appraisers add the contributory value of a home’s green features. Some builders have seen an increase in appraisal values from 8% to 20% for green features if they spend time with the appraiser and give them a copy of the homeowner’s manual, case studies from the Green MLS Tool Kit and carefully walk them through the home.

Green building products entail an even more complex list of third party certifiers and a good deal of “greenwashing” as well. To have some fun do a search on the term ‘sins of green washing.’ A few of the certification bodies to know about that relate to floor coverings include: CRI’s Green Label Testing Program certifies low-emitting carpets, GreenGuard certifies a wide variety of floor covering products and Scientific Certification Systems have developed a broad range of product certification programs since 1984…stay tuned, to be continued!

Finding a Wood Floor Professional

River Recovered Antique Pine FlooringPart 1, Choosing an installer for heart pine wood floors.

Historic reclaimed floors represent a substantial investment that will look good for a long time if installed and maintained properly. A good installation is greatly aided by the choice of a good installer. Installers range from those with little concern for quality, to the reliable and experienced, and finally an elite few have a reputation that commands a premium.

Here are a few hints toward finding an installer for your reclaimed wood floor; however, there are no hard and fast rules.
• Talk to people you know who have had good experience with their wood floors.
• Find out if questions asked after the installation received the same attention once the bill had been paid. Was service work done promptly?
• References from repeat customers are especially helpful. Most accomplished craftspeople are proud of their work and feel good about providing references.
• Websites usually show pictures of past work, and general company information.
• Schedule ahead of time. Many of the best firms are booked in advance.

Moisture issues are the cause of the majority of wood flooring complaints. Discuss the steps that will be taken to achieve the proper moisture content in the wood flooring with the installer. Highly resinous antique heart pine wood should be checked with a pin type moisture meter. Experience with local conditions helps determine the proper moisture level. Vapor retarders or barriers are a necessary part of most reclaimed wood flooring installations. Which product or system do they plan to use?

It is best to agree on your expectations of the final product prior to your purchase. This can include reviewing antique lumber grades for pine floors, species characteristics, installation standards (NWFA), and the time required to complete the work. A few detailed topics such as the proper nail schedule and checking the flatness of the sub floor are appropriate for discussion at this time.

Knowledgeable professionals are happy to spend the time to communicate with you in advance to assure your satisfaction. Written agreements can also help avoid misunderstandings. And don’t forget, workers should be insured to protect you from the potential liability of a medical claim.

Most good installers check the room lay out prior to starting the installation and periodically check that the floor is running true during the installation. Wood floor installation is a profession that offers easy entry for new workers in most localities. Experienced workers have had the chance to gain the knowledge needed for a proper installation.

You will not have all of the technical expertise to make the decisions needed for a good installation. Care in choosing the correct installer can help achieve the goal of long-term satisfaction. Contact Goodwin Heart Pine if we can answer questions about antique wood flooring.

Part 2, Wood Floor Finishers will follow

Reclaimed Wood Floors, Concrete, and Water

In the antique wood floor industry we often hear the comment that reclaimed wood flooring never needs acclimation. Unfortunately this is not the case. The high resin content of antique Longleaf pine diminishes the width changes driven by moisture fluctuations but does not eliminate them. Moisture concerns need to be addressed when using heart pine wooden flooring just as with other wooden floors especially if the subfloor is concrete.
Let’s start by listing a few observations
-Wood floors are often installed over concrete subfloors.
-The majority of wood floor complaints are moisture related.
-Untreated concrete readily absorbs, conducts, and emits water.
The combination of concrete and wood flooring calls for planning before the installation begins to avoid problems during the lifetime of the floor.
One of the first questions might be ’is the concrete dry enough now?’ Moisture meters or testing water vapor emission from the surface of the concrete can indicate if the concrete is wet. In some cases these tests are not reliable indicators of conditions that will lead to a successful wood flooring installation. Devices that measure the interior relative humidity within the concrete have been used in Europe for some time and are now often used here. If the moisture level is too high consider installing a vapor barrier or a penetrating sealer designed for use under wood flooring.
Concrete that is dry now may be exposed to water later. On-grade concrete can absorb water if exterior surface water accumulates or if the soil moisture levels increase. Once the water is introduced into concrete it travels to affect adjacent areas. If a vapor barrier was not installed the moisture can cause problems with an existing wood floor installation.
Non absorbing cushion such as closed cell foam is usually used under floating floors. Using porous padding material under floating floors introduces the possibility of retaining moisture if excess water is temporarily present.
Leaks from plumbing, appliances, roofs, or other building sources can result in wet wood floors. The National Wood Flooring Association suggests removing the water and drying a flooded floor promptly. For more details refer to the NWFA publication C200, ‘Problems Causes and Cures’. Some floors can not be saved. If the concrete under the floor has been wet it is important to verify that it has dried out before replacing a floor.

Connecting with Clients Who Love Reclaimed Wood

Green building is about reclaimed wood flooring and using reclaimed materials. See this beautiful River Recovered Antique Heart Pine reclaimed wood floor in this restored Key West home.

The owner noted that he chose Goodwin because he felt that we cared more about what he wanted than ‘just selling a floor.’

Call us and tell us about your project.

Key West Restoration Features Reclaimed Wood Flooring

Goodwin Organizes Green Halloween in Gainesville Fl

Goodwin’s heart isn’t just in our pine. As a Board Member on the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Heart of Florida Chapter, Goodwin arranged for Green Halloween to join with Boo at the Zoo at Santa Fe College. Sustainable minded groups showcased their products (which included Goodwin’s antique reclaimed wood flooring) and services in one location for 4,500 kids of all ages. See the video or look at the photos on Flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/goodwin-heart-pine/

Reclaimed Wood Flooring Road Trip to Key West

I went on a wood flooring road trip to beautiful Key West, Florida (about 500 miles from Micanopy, FL) to deliver reclaimed wood flooring last week. It was heart warming to reconnect with old friends.

First I wanted to see in person that a new client liked the grade of River Recovered Antique Pine we made to his custom specs. Rudy Molinet said,

“I bought my floor from your company over the other companies I talked with because your Charlotte cared more about what I wanted than just selling me a floor.”

Everyone loves Charlotte, but she is not on the web site (yet) because she is pretty camera shy. Here is Charlotte on the right, hard at work at Goodwin Heart Pine.

Heard similar sentiments as I visited with many longtime colleagues while in Key West: “Charlotte is absolutely wonderful… She always follows up… You can count on her…” When a builder said, “George is on the website, but you can’t see Charlotte”, I was reminded that she’s shy about having her photo taken. She has beautiful prematurely white hair and is quite lovely, yet you usually get her profile when taking a picture. Charlotte is in the yellow t-shirt on the right hand side of this photo of our neighbor at the Goodwin office in her clown suit. Charlotte’s not the clown… she’s the other person!

Rudy Moliet and Ales Bursa at the installation of Goodwin River Recovered Pine wood flooring.

See Rudy Molinet with his builder, Ales Bursa. You can buy Key West propery from Rudy at Marquis Property Realty. Thanks so much Rudy for loving beautiful reclaimed wood floors.

Continuing Education at Spectra Contract Flooring

Reclaimed Wood Flooring Continuing Education was presented to 21 architects, designers and flooring professionals at Spectra Contract Flooring in Tampa, Fl, 7/14/2010 by Carol Goodwin. Call if we can assist with continuing education events at your business. Participants will learn to: evaluate variations in types and grades and know what to anticipate when specifying reclaimed wood, compare characteristics of reclaimed wood with more available standing timber, analyze manufacturing variations to insure that specs achieve project goals; e.g., know when engineered wood products are well-made to avoid problems, and understand installation and finish specifics for various building types to ensure long term success of the wood products

Introducing Premium Mesquite

Goodwin offers Premium Mesquite… like reclaimed wood flooring it avoids cutting down the rain forest. Known for its warmth and natural beauty, Mesquite is a drought tolerant wood from regions not generally suitable forMesquite flooring other trees.  It has very good dimensional stability and is very hard wood. The wood flooring is sawn and manufactured entirely in the USA using green backers and glues with ‘no added formaldehyde’ for healthy indoor air quality. Mesquite has considerable character markings that add natural beauty. It comes in 3-1/2” or 5-1/2” widths in engineered and some wider in solid wood.

Best Reclaimed Wood Floor of the Year

Goodwin’s wood won again! DM Hardwoods created the winning entry for the National Wood Flooring Association 2010 Contest using River Recovered Antique Heart Pine from Goodwin. Here’s a photo of last year’s winner in the same category. More photos to follow as soon as they become available.
 

Buy Local, Grow a Sustainable Economy

Goodwin Heart Pine was recently featured in a Triple Pundit article on sustainable business:

The great news is that this feature is growing as Gainesville’s business people and citizens start new green businesses, transform existing businesses to be more sustainable and embrace the advantages for our community created by buying local. One of my favorite examples is George and Carol Goodwin of Goodwin Heart Pine Company .”

Goodwin Heart Pine Company sells reclaimed wood flooring. Their pioneering innovation is to harvest old timbers out of their local river rather than cutting down perfectly good trees that are recycling CO2 into oxygen. Their company and antique pine/cypress-sourced products have been featured on The History Channel, PBS and HGTV. Their clients are located from coast to coast, north to south. They epitomize the potential for growing green revenues, green local jobs and an enhanced local environment.