Free Carpet Information and Buying Guide
Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert / Consumer Advocate - Retired after 30 years, do not sell or install carpet.
How to Find a Qualified Carpet Installer?
If installed wrong, your new carpet could lose more than half of its lifespan!
Finding and hiring a qualified carpet installer can be challenging. If you hire a bad installer you will surely regret it. The real good installers charge a little more and are often very busy, but is well worth the wait!
Some carpet installation jobs are more difficult than others and require that you hire a more experienced installer. For example, installing expensive carpet in a custom home requires much more expertise than does installing apartment-grade carpet in a rental unit.
To find qualified carpet installers in your area you may have to do a little legwork. You can ask friends or family, neighbors and co-workers if they know of any. There are websites that have lists or companies that specialize in carpet and flooring installation. You can also call local flooring stores or visit businesses that provide tools and supplies to the flooring industry.
Everyone wants their carpet installed correctly and hiring an installer with minimum of 5 years experience is where I would draw the line with a simple installation job. 10 Questions To Ask Every Carpet Installer
So, if you choose a more expensive carpet or your carpet job is quite large, more difficult or tricky, then you should hire a carpet installer with more years of experience.
I personally believe that it takes at least 10 years before any flooring installer can truly begin to master their trade, and that's only if they have the desire to become the best of the best.
Unfortunately, many installers NEVER become anything more than a poor-quality installer. Mainly because they either lack the formal training, or don't have the ambition to become a master of their trade. They might just prefer to install low-quality products and make just enough money to get by.
These are not the type of installers you want to hire because you cannot depend on them to do a good job or show up on time. That's why everyone refers to them as fly-by-night installers. They prefer to work "under the table" and prefer to be paid in cash and may offer you a discount if you do.
Bear in mind, if you pay in cash and don't get a written receipt with their name and license information, then they do not have to guarantee their work. You will not have any recourse when they leave town, disappear and cannot be contacted when you have an installation problem.
If you have a problem with your installation you might not be able to get them to come back to fix the problem.
Incompetent installers usually are easy to spot because they typically have a beat up truck or van with garbage piled up on the dashboard. They usually have a girl that does the driving and they wreak of stale beer, body odor and cigarettes.
There is another little-known factor that must be considered when looking for an experienced and reliable carpet installer. The important question you need to ask is "What type of experience do they have?" Here is what I mean:
Some carpet installers charge more because they are more experienced in doing custom homes and commercial work. Some charge less because they are used to doing apartment or property management work. (apartments or rental properties).
You need to determine what level of expertise your job requires and then hire an installer according to their level of expertise and standard pay rate. Learn more about Carpet Installation Cost
4 basic levels of experience
1. Property Management.
The experience of this type of carpet installer is obtained from installing lower grades of carpet in unoccupied apartments. They have limited experience with installing carpet on stairs, and limited experience with difficult or tricky installations. They generally use lower quality installation products (glues, seam tape, tack-less strips, transition metals) in order to save money.
Property owners and managers often do not thoroughly inspect the quality of work performed by installers doing apartment work. Many have become carpet installers as a result of being hired as a carpet layers helper and few are formally trained or have completed an apprentice program.
This is not to say that you should not hire them, but you need to be aware that many may lack the experience to perform all types of carpet installations. Installers who do apartment work are generally paid the least amount per yard.
2. New home construction.
Installers with the bulk of their trade experience from new construction will have increased knowledge of installing different types of stairs. (carpet can be very difficult to install on some types of stairs) They will have more experience with various styles and grades of carpet as well.
always have to satisfy the builder and the new homeowners with their
performance, which make them pay closer attention to detail. Builders
usually pay less than the standard rate for this type of installer but there
is usually a greater volume of work available.
3. Residential Remodeling.
These installers are paid quite well and do a great job for most residential remodeling homeowners. The command higher than normal fees and are booked weeks in advance. Be prepared to pay above the going rate for carpet installation in your area.
4. High-End Custom Homes.
These Carpet Installers are the most experienced and professional installers and as such are paid the highest fees. They are usually booked months in advance with custom home builders and million dollar realtors, and may not be willing to take on your project. They are quite picky about the jobs they accept and their installation fees are quite high.
If you are able to schedule them, you will receive first-class carpet installation and the absolute best customer service. Be prepared to wait several weeks before they are available to install your new carpet. Learn more about Home Depot's free Whole-House Carpet Installation
Personally, I think it is better to buy carpet from a local carpet store and let them make all the arrangements to have your carpet installed. You pay them for the carpet, pad and installation in a package deal. They are then responsible for anything that might go wrong with regards to the installation. It's a safer and easier way for most homeowners to go.
Next up: Carpet Installation Cost