Sheaves Flooring’ Mom-Son Sanding Crew


Images courtesy of Sheaves Flooring

At Sheaves Flooring, we’ve got what some would possibly assume is a singular sand and end crew. It’s me and my mother, Darlene Sheaves. Sheaves Flooring is a family-owned and operated enterprise began in 1993 by my dad and mom, Jeff and Darlene Sheaves. When the enterprise started, we solely did sports activities flooring, together with something from racquetball to basketball courts at massive universities. As time handed, we began to transition into the residential aspect of hardwood flooring.

We opened a retail retailer within the early 2000s. We had fairly a number of crews, however because the years handed, the workforce was dwindling, and it was powerful to seek out anybody to work or for anybody to wish to get into the commerce. Once I took over the household enterprise in 2018, we nonetheless had workers, however after one other couple of years, I made a decision to finish the work solo.

At that time, I wished to attempt to do all the pieces with Mother and myself, as Dad was working as a territory supervisor for Bona. I deal with all buyer calls/emails, going out and doing the estimates, reserving the roles, and the precise work half. She works alongside me every day and handles all of the bookkeeping and buying for the enterprise.

I’m not conscious of loads of different mother-and-son groups. When potential shoppers ask who will do the work, I inform them, “It’s really my mother and myself. We do all of it from begin to end.” The shopper appears to be like at me like I’m joking till they notice I’m telling the reality. Then, after each job, the shopper praises my mother in methods I’ve by no means seen for the work she places in alongside me.

It shouldn’t come as any shock, although, as Mother has been within the trade for 30 years. When she met my dad in 1981, he was already doing flooring. She continued working in bookkeeping/accounting and joined the household enterprise in 1993. She did all of the accounting for Sheaves Flooring whereas serving to on jobsites as wanted and continues with the identical as we speak. Mother all the time has loved the set up aspect of the enterprise however now prefers the benefit of sanding, particularly with the planetary sanders. This software has been a sport changer for her, as much less fatigue and vertical sanding have enabled her to maintain going.

Certainly one of our most-challenging jobs was an unique top-nailed parquet flooring from 1870 that we needed to patch with reclaimed white oak to match the prevailing hardwood within the dwelling. Then we needed to sand, end it, and have all of it match prefer it by no means occurred. It’s extraordinarily uncommon even to see a top-nailed flooring the place we reside in Virginia. We’ve loads of older houses round right here, however they normally could have 1 1/8” thick coronary heart pine nailed on to the flooring joists. It took a short while to trace down an organization that had some reclaimed rift and quartered white oak with the unique face on it and who may mill it down to five/16” of an inch for us.

The final word problem was after I mounted all of the lacking and broken areas, I obtained COVID, so Mother was caught doing a lot of the work to get the job to the end line. The nightmare endured as soon as I used to be lastly in a position to return to the job. That’s as a result of when working in these older houses, you by no means know what has been utilized to the hardwood flooring. We tried utilizing a water-based sealer twice, and neither software would dry correctly. It will streak up and never remedy correctly. To this present day, we don’t know precisely what was within the present wooden that was not being repaired, however after we lastly went to a penetrating oil product, we had completely no issues, and the job turned out nice.

In our commerce, you finally will run into stuff you by no means anticipated, and generally, you possibly can solely resand the ground and begin over. Since we’ve got been in enterprise since 1993, we solely have needed to resand 4 complete flooring. This specific job was a type of. The final one was a 100-year-old dwelling that was sanded utterly and prepared for waterpop earlier than stain. After I waterpopped the ground, black strains have been in every single place the next day. I got here to seek out out a boiler had exploded within the dwelling about 60 years prior, and all of the soot went deep into the cracks between the wooden. Once I waterpopped the ground, it introduced the soot again to the floor.

Not each job will go easily; you will need to discover ways to repair and handle a problem and transfer on. Issues occur out of our management, however the true craftsman/girl will take the time to resolve the issue and transfer on to the following job.

We try to good what we’re delivering to every buyer. It may very well be so simple as attempting a special abrasive for one step of the method to get that near-perfect scratch sample. There are all the time new merchandise popping out, and we department out to strive new issues as a result of you must be versatile in what you do. Nobody producer makes all the pieces you want for each job. You must grow to be fluent with completely different abrasives, sealers, finishes, and so on., to ship no matter outcome the shopper needs of their dwelling. The extra you are able to do in the end will lead to extra alternatives for your corporation.

Actually, the mother-and-son crew was probably the greatest choices I’ve ever made. Mother is wanting ahead to retirement and touring with Dad of their RV in a number of years. With a lifetime within the flooring trade, she says we’ve got been very lucky with our well being and the success of a family-owned enterprise spanning greater than 30 years.

Aaron Sheaves is the proprietor of Sheaves Flooring LLC in Weyers Cave, Virginia. He’s an NWFA Licensed Wooden Flooring Inspector, Licensed Set up Skilled, and Licensed Sand and End Skilled, who additionally was named to Hardwood Flooring journal’s 40 Beneath 40 listing in 2019. He will be reached at sheavesfloors@gmail.com.

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