Free Carpet Information and Buying Guide
Alan Fletcher - 30 Yr Carpet Expert / Consumer Advocate - I do not sell carpet.
Should I Buy Carpet from a Big Box Store?
Plenty of homeowners buy new carpet from a home improvement warehouse and are perfectly happy with their purchase. On the flipside, there are plenty of homeowners who are not happy with their carpet purchase and you need to know why.
The goal of any home improvement store is to make it as easy as possible for their customers to buy new carpet. They want you to come into their store, pick out a carpet that looks good to you. They charge you a fee to have your home measured and give you one price for the carpet, pad and installation.
If you agree to the sale, they collect all the money upfront, order the carpet and schedule your carpet to be installed in about two to four weeks. Sounds good so far...
If I Buy Carpet from Home Depot or Lowe's, What Can Go Wrong?
Sometimes everything goes just right and you have no problems. Sometimes things go terribly wrong and you are left holding the bag. Are you willing to roll the dice to see if you win or lose? Let's assume you are willing to take the chance...
Soon comes the day of installation. At this point you will be very excited and looking forward to having new carpet. You will have told all your friends and family about getting new carpet. On installation day, you took the day off work, moved out all the furniture, made special arrangements for your pets or children to be out of the way and then the phone rings.....
Maybe your carpet was never shipped, maybe it hasn't been manufactured yet, maybe the truck was delayed due to bad weather.
Maybe they shipped the wrong carpet, maybe they shipped your carpet to the wrong store, maybe the installer is sick.
There could be any number of reasons why they can't install your carpet today when they said they would.
"Don't worry we will call you back later today and let you know when we can install your carpet." Tom tells you.
So you wait all day. Nothing. No calls. You finally decide to call them back to see what is going on. You ask for Tom, but Tom is gone for the day so they transfer you to another salesperson named Bill.
Bill knows nothing about your carpet or your installation situation so you spend the next five minutes telling him all about your problem and concerns. "Let me look into this and call you back" says Bill. Nothing...
Do you want to go through this agony?
This is the same treatment you could be forced to endure if you have a carpet complaint after your carpet is installed. Does it always go this way, of course not. Home improvement stores have plenty of happy and satisfied customers.
I am sure they are working hard to resolve some of these common carpet buying and installation complaints. You can read more about their common consumer complaints by doing a simple Google search on the internet. They are easy to find if you type in a phrase like Home Depot Carpet Installation Complaints.
Measuring Your Home For Carpet Should Be FREE!
Need someone to measure how much carpet you need? Most locally-owned carpet dealers don't charge a fee for measuring your home. It a free service!
Lowe's and Home Depot will likely charge you $125 or more to come out and measure your home and it is not refundable unless you buy carpet from them!
However, if you do buy from them it may be deducted to your carpet purchase. This is a $125 incentive for you to buy from them.
If you don't, you stand to lose $125 bucks! That is almost like holding you hostage. Now you are in fear of having to pay other carpet dealers a fee to come out and measure your home.
If the person measuring your home makes a simple measuring mistake or mathematical miscalculation and doesn't order enough carpet, then there will not have enough carpet to finish the job in one day. The installers won't discover this fact until they come to install the carpet and by then it is too late.
You will have moved out all the furniture and made many special arrangements preparing to have your new carpet installed. To the installers surprise they will soon discover they have to order more carpet and then come back to complete the job in a week or two.
Sometimes the exact same carpet is not available anymore or you can't get the exact same dye-lot. Now you end up with some carpet that doesn't match the rest of the house.
Home Improvement stores don't pay their employees at the top of the pay scale so they often hire people who may not have very much experience with carpet or flooring.
Professionals with years of flooring experience are not generally willing to work for $10 to $15 per hour at Home Depot. This means that the person who is offering you carpet or flooring advice may not be giving you good advice.
Best Carpet Salespeople: Be careful who you trust.
Not all carpet salespeople are created equal. Don't expect every carpet salesperson you meet to be qualified to steer you in the right direction. Younger salespeople often know very little about the products they sell. It's not their fault, it the fault of the retailer who hires them.
It's common for certain carpet retailers to hire younger salespeople because they are eager to make money, they are highly impressionable, they are willing to work long hours and they are willing to follow instructions.
This means you have to do your homework. You can't just ask the salesperson at a home improvement store what carpet they recommend.
They likely do not know what carpet is "right" for you. Buying carpet is a large and important expense that you must take very seriously.
You have to buy a carpet that will meet your needs and lifestyle as well as your budget. You can't just pick out a carpet that looks good and expect it to do a good job for you.
You have to buy the right carpet based on your own special circumstances. Do you have kids? pets? How many people live in your home? do you entertain often? How long do you want it to last? What is your budget for this project? which rooms are you doing?
"These and many more questions must be answered in order to
determine which carpet will be "right" for you."
There is a lot to learn about carpet before you should buy. This is the carpet homework I am talking about, and this is exactly why I created this website!
Carpet Padding Choices
The same goes for padding. Choose the wrong padding and you void the carpet warranty. Choose the wrong padding and your carpet will not last as long as it was intended. Choose the wrong padding and you will pay way too much for a newfangled product that will not benefit you. This advice is not just for buying at home improvement stores, it applies to buying carpet and pad at any carpet store. You have to do your homework in order to keep from being ripped off or making a serious and costly mistake. Selecting the Right Carpet Pad
Carpet Installation Concerns
The same goes for carpet installation. Would you be able to tell a good carpet install verses a bad carpet install? If installed improperly, your carpet life span could be cut in half. Three out of four carpet installers are not properly trained. This is one of the biggest problems when buying carpet from a home improvement store. They have a hard time finding qualified carpet installers who are willing to work with them.
Most home improvement warehouses now use an outside company to do their carpet installations. If you have a problem it could be difficult to get a fast remedy, if at all. So how do you protect yourself?
Buying Carpet From Home Improvement Stores