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The Future Of Business – Hardwood Floors

English: Tigerwood flooring from Brazil, offer...The Future Of Business – Hardwood Floors. An odd title but there’s a story behind it, and a story always makes it interesting. My wife & I put our home up for sale last year in May, we thought it was a good time to down-size, after all, we were only using a third of our 3,000 Square Foot home. The exercise proved to be educational, you see the market went flat right at the time we listed, we had 6 showings and no offers. The house showed well, according to the 6 different agents that showed the home. We thought for sure it would sell in a heart beat, we live in a very desirable area of town, we even made an offer on another home, that’s how sure we were about it. But nothing happened.

At the same time this was happening, we made a trip to Alberta with my Father-In-Law, it was a great trip. Also the last trip we would ever take with him again. When we arrived back home, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It wasn’t long before Dad had to come live with us, as he was unable to look after himself. Then another interesting thing happened, we were contacted to have a young man from Brazil come live with us, suddenly our house was full again….with kids!

As it would turn out, my wife’s Father passed away Nov 3rd, 2011, and it was then we decided not to pursue selling the house, we were going to stay put. And this is where the journey and the story of the hardwood floors takes shape.

Since we weren’t going to sell, we decided to upgrade the home, make our last home so to speak. The first project would be the Kitchen and Nook area, and the family room. We thought it would be great to paint and lay new flooring down, this should be fun we thought. The painting went well, we got it done in a just a few days, it looks great. The next part of the project is the flooring, what should we do with it was the question once the painting was all but done.

At this point, we really had no clue what we were getting into…I’m not kidding, it seemed simple enough. Next thing we knew, we were talking hardwood flooring, what a great idea, it will look awesome and we will be increasing the value of the home at the same time. We got excited and started shopping for hardwood flooring. I thought it would be easy to pick out something, but it’s not, I found myself fussing back and forth on different kinds of finishes. Finally we picked one, and had a flooring company come to our home and measure things up, so they could quote on the job. We also contact two other companies to quote on doing the floors, I sure wasn’t going to do it, I am not a handy man…I hire them : )

As it turns out, most companies that install hardwood flooring all charge about the same to install it, $3 per sq. ft. – the product we chose was just under $7 per sq. ft., but for the sake of numbers we’ll keep them round. To install the floor, $3 per sq. ft., and the product was $7 per sq. ft., doing simple math, that’s $10.00 per sq. ft. right? It turns out we need to cover 400 sq. ft. in total…$4,000 plus taxes. I thought, awesome, that’s way under what I thought it was going to cost. But then the sales guy(s) said, your probably looking at around $6,000 for the job to be completed. I’m thinking their calculator is broken, how did they jump two grand with no explanation. Then it came, well you see, you have a sub-floor that has to be taken out because the nails won’t hold in that big chunk particle board. OK, that made sense, but 2k to lift that out? Hell I’ll do it to save the money. As it turns out, the family room has carpet, and the kitchen and nook area have linoleum on a sub-floor…they aren’t even, or level. You can see where this is going. We have yet to have the floor installed because we are waiting for two other quotes, and I am learning about the sub-floor quickly : )

BUYING HARDWOOD FLOORING IN THE FUTURE

Now this adventure has me thinking about my work as a futurist and how will we go through this process say in the next 10 to 15 years. Could you imagine this whole process being automated through something as simple as a home automation system that turns on the heat & lights when you walk in the door. Everything in your home will have a chip of some sort in it, that communicates with software to make the examining, measuring and purchasing as simple as saying yes to the question, do you want to replace the flooring in your home? It would know exactly what the right color should be, and what kind of surface, and what kind wood…it will just know by the colors and type of home you have.

The long process I’m going through today would all be done by computers, and robotics! The robots will rip out the old flooring, then put the new flooring in….done! It would all be done in an afternoon, maybe even just a couple hours, and that’s only because it’s physical, not a screen saver you change at the click of a mouse, but that’s coming too.

UNTIL THEN

Much of what we do today will be change by technology, robotics, and nanotechnology, we will wonder how we ever got along with out it. We think that today with computers, we couldn’t go back to a day when computers were just an idea if we wanted to. Our businesses would come to a screeching halt, economies would collapse (they’re going to anyway) and what would we do for entertainment and social interaction?

So until technology can do these things, we will continue to rely on our own knowledge and muscle power, we will still have to figure things out. I might be 80 years old when I witness the turn of robotics replacing my flooring and installing it, but it will be interesting. Just imagine.

Will you run one of those businesses of the future that replace floor coverings, and installs them through technology? Would you let software and robotics do what you can do, will you let it replace your flooring?

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About Owen Greaves

Owen Greaves

I’m a Futurist, I write, speak, and teach the open & free business model, and the future of business. Create. Differentiate. Deliver. It’s a paradigm shift, I help you increase profits by changing the way you think about business.