DIY Epoxy Nightmares: A Do-It-Yourself Story
Being part of the garage enhancement industry we understand we’re not going to land every estimate we give. It’s part of the sales process in any field I suppose. All we can do is provide our potential customers as much information to make them feel comfortable with making the proper decision they feel is best. Sometimes people might think the quote is a little more than they wanted to spend and that is understandable. Some people look at what we do and think “Hey I’ve seen that stuff at the store and I’ll just do it myself.” Again, we can understand the thought process but it’s a story we’ve seen and heard unfortunately way too many times. We tell this story not to scare anyone into getting us a job but to ultimately just provide the information we’ve gained from years of experience. Here is one such story.
Let’s use John, since that is a pretty non-descript name. John one day decides he wants to put in an epoxy garage floor. He calls us out for an estimate and we provide him with all the benefits; how our coatings make your garage floor easier to clean, easier to maintain, and overall just look nicer. Not to mention inform him about all the prep work involved and the quality of the coatings we offer. We also tell him how we can usually do a job in typically a day and a half. I guess this talk got him to thinking he’d just do it himself. So he did.
John was a pretty thorough guy, so he didn’t just run out there and buy something. But he didn’t want to spend too much in the end, so he received a few more quotes and was shocked that even the DIY stores products weren’t cheap either. He priced out what I call over-the-counter epoxy garage floor coating products that you can buy at your local big box store. He ended up buying one that came with an accompanying product that degreases, cleans, and etches the concrete. It ended up costing him about $400 for the epoxy material itself.
After purchasing the product, John watched the instructional DVD and read the instructions (very important, although it doesn’t give you the information an experienced epoxy floor professional would have accumulated over the years!). After that, he had to purchase additional tools for the job. Not sure what all of this cost him, but I’d bet it’s at least another $200 dollars.
So far, he’s spent $600 bucks, give or take, and he hasn’t even started yet. John picks the day to start this project and spends his whole weekend in the garage. Overall, he does exactly what the instructions tell him to do and in the end has a garage floor that looks OK at best. The final product is an uneven coating with roller marks and very minimal flakes scattered about in a blotchy pattern. He now has a single epoxy layer with no protective clear coat to protect against stains and tire mark lines. The low grade epoxy takes up to a week to cure and then after the first time his car is backed out of the garage he notices pieces of the floor coating has peeled up under his hot tires. After a year or two his only option is to invest more money and time, recoat the floor and pray that it doesn’t peel up again.
All in all not a disaster, but certainly a hassle and a pain. And let’s review what actually happened here – supplies cost $600, at least 20 hours was spent on installing the epoxy garage floor, not to mention the time and hassle of talking with the epoxy companies customer service, the time and money to actually go pick up more product, and then not knowing if it was going to be okay after that.
So if you might be thinking about a do-it-yourself epoxy garage floor installation, at least explore hiring a professional. It is safer, you are guaranteed to receive a great looking product, and you get to save the time and hassle of trying to do it yourself.