5 Keys to Your Carpet Buying Success!

Carpet Professor

5 Keys to Your Carpet Buying Success

Choosing new carpet is more complicated and confusing than ever before. Here are 5 important things every homeowner needs to know.
1. Accurate Carpet Measuring Saves You Money!

Making sure you obtain correct measurements for your carpet project is very important. If your measurements are wrong, you will either pay too much or not have enough material to finish the job.

Inexperienced carpet salespeople tend to over-measure because they fear not ordering enough carpet to complete the job. Sneaky salespeople can intentionally over-measure your needs to increase their profit.

Homeowners who lack measuring experience tend to under-measure because they don’t know how to factor in the extra material needed for seaming, trimming and pattern matches. It takes years to become proficient at measuring for carpet so having your measurements verified would be wise.

Seasoned carpet salespeople know how to save you the most money by strategically using leftover material from one area to fill in areas in other areas. This can significantly reduce the amount of carpet you need to order and will also lower your cost for padding and installation too.

Here are some tricks and tips to getting your home measured right. You can also learn how to measure your home for carpet yourself! How to Measure for Carpet in 4 Simple Steps

2. Product Knowledge Gives You Power to Choose Wisely.

Selecting the wrong carpet fiber is worst mistake you can make! Learn the truth about carpet fibers and carpet styles. Learn more about Carpet Fibers.

Choosing the correct padding is very important too. The more you know the better choices you will make. Learn more about Types of Carpet Padding.

Beware of misleading or incomplete carpet buying information obtained from websites that sell carpet or make a commission from the sale. These sites may not tell you everything you need to know, especially when their main goal is to convince you to buy from them or their affiliates.

3. Wise Shoppers Get Several Free “In-Home” Estimates. 

Getting several estimates is just plain smart. It helps you narrow down your final choices and gives you the chance to compare estimates from local retailers side by side. You will come away knowing you made the best choice possible.

It’s not easy to compare carpets when they change the style and color names. That’s why its important to consider the specifications of each carpet to make sure you are comparing carpets of a similar type, grade or quality.

For example, you can’t compare carpet made of Nylon, with carpet made of Polyester. Print several copies of my free Carpet Shopping Form. It’s designed to help you compare similar carpets so you can make wise and informed choices. Learn more What Grade of Carpet Should I Select?

4. Installing Carpet Correctly Increases Long-Term Performance

Carpet installed improperly can develop wrinkles and can cut its life-expectancy in half.

Finding a qualified carpet installer can be challenging. Finding a carpet installer advertising on Craigslist or in your local Thrifty Nickel is one way to go, but rarely the best way to locate an experienced installer.

The best installers prefer to work for well established locally-owned carpet stores.

5. Proper Carpet Care and Maintenance Ensures Longevity

Take proper care of your carpet and it will serve you well for years to come. There’s a lot more to caring for a carpet then vacuuming. And if you don’t clean your carpets correctly you could easily ruin them.

You also need to know how to keep your carpet warranty in force. Too many homeowners unknowingly void their warranty by following the carpet manufacturers care and maintenance  guidelines. Read your warranty carefully.

Here I reveal the truth about proper carpet care, important warranty facts, and what you need to know about carpet cleaning! How often should I have my carpets cleaned?

 

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Carpet Professor’s Preferred Carpet Dealers

It’s hard to find a reputable carpet store these days! That’s why I have created my own special hand-picked list of carpet stores who are locally owned, give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and hire qualified installers. Homeowners want to know… Are there any reputable Carpet Stores Near Me?

Carpet Professor

Top 10 Causes for Carpet Wrinkles, Ripples or Waves

Why does my carpet have ripples?

What is a Carpet Wrinkle?

Carpet Wrinkles
If you have Carpet Wrinkles like this, you need to have it fixed before it gets worse! Most carpet installation warranties expire after 1 year.

Carpet wrinkles are usually the result of your carpet not being stretched-in tight enough to prevent wrinkles from forming over time.

Basically your carpet has no stretch left in it and it must be re-stretched.

A simple re-stretch of your carpet may fix your carpet wrinkle problem once and for all and hopefully avert any permanent damage to your carpet. However, your final outcome may depend on the reason why your carpet developed wrinkles in the first place.

Any carpet can develop wrinkles, especially if your carpet was not stretched in properly in the first place. However, there are many other reasons why your carpet might develop wrinkles, carpet waves or carpet ripples, or whatever you want to call them.

If your carpet is still under warranty, begin your carpet complaint by contacting the retailer where you purchased your new carpet. You want them to come to your home and inspect your carpet.

You need to give the dealer or retailer sufficient time to investigate and come to some conclusion as to the probable cause of your carpet problem and hopefully figure out who or what may be responsible for your carpet wrinkles. If they fall short and don’t satisfy your concerns then you need to consider other options.

Carpet Wrinkle
Carpet Wrinkles and Moisture Problems?

Carpet is much harder to stretch in when it is cold. That’s why carpet wrinkles tend show up during hot summer days because the carpet was originally installed on a cold winter day.

Don’t be a victim of a lousy carpet installation, you need to know your best recourse and what you can do to have a successful resolution to your carpet wrinkle problem, hopefully at no cost to you.

Here are my Top 10 main causes of carpet wrinkles and who or what may be the cause of your Carpet problems.

Carpet Wrinkles Continued…

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Carpet From Lowe’s, Home Depot, Empire or Costco?

It’s buyer beware especially when buying new carpet or flooring for your home. Here is some sound advice you might want to consider before you agree to buy new carpet or flooring…

Lowe's Carpet Sample Display Rack
Big Box Retail Carpet Sample Display Rack

The last time I checked… most of these Giant National Carpet Retailers use OTHER companies to facilitate their carpet sales, carpet measuring or carpet installation services.

That means if you ever have a carpet problem or complaint, you may have a hard time getting anyone to help you or take responsibility for making things right.

Did You Know…

  • Home Depot, Lowe’s and Costco contract out all their measuring and installation services to various privately-held companies?
  • Empire Today REQUIRES all their salespeople to form their own CORPORATION so they will be Independent Sales Contractors?

What does this all mean to YOU the homeowner? With so many fingers in the pie it is not too hard to figure out that you might end up paying way too much for your new carpet.

Carpet from Lowe’s, Home Depot, Empire?

These nationally advertised conglomerates take a large chunk of the profit right off the top.  Then let other privately held companies and independent sales contractors each have a shot at making more money from your purchase.

From costly measuring fees to needless carpet and padding upgrades, from carpet and padding removal and disposal fees to extra unnecessary and costly installation add-ons.

There are plenty of ways they will try to make you cough up a lot more money before it’s all said and done.

  • The Lure of a Great Sounding Deal…
  • Get Three Rooms for the Price of One!
  • Get 60% OFF New Carpet
  • Free Basic Installation!
  • Free Padding!
  • Low Price Guarantee!

Do these sales gimmicks sound familiar? Get out your magnifying glass so you can read all their fine print regarding these unbelievable sales gimmicks. I found this at Home improvement warehouse…

Free Carpet Installation?

Can you read their fine print at the bottom? Use a magnifying glass!
These advertised carpet installation deals are designed to attract unsuspecting homeowners who would like to save money on new carpet and flooring but don’t know how to go about doing it.

Unfortunately, these four giant retail carpet-selling conglomerates are heavy hitters with deep pockets who have only one thing in mind: Making Big Money by luring you in to buy from them.

Both Lowe’s and Home Depot have been trying to lure-in unsuspecting homeowners for years by offering low-cost or free “basic” carpet installation.

They make up a portion of this sneaky sales gimmick by charging more for the carpet and padding and by greatly increasing the added cost for anything extra you might need to complete the job.

They add on extra fees and charges for anything and everything that is considered beyond their limited definition of a “basic” installation. Their definition seems to change from time to time.

Their so-called “free” carpet installation that lures many homeowners in, may not be totally free once their sub-contracted measuring people and installers get a good look at what you really need to complete your project.

It’s highly likely there will be numerous extra fees & charges tacked-on to your final bill.

Final bill? Yes, and they may also require that you pay for the entire carpet job IN FULL before they will place your carpet or flooring order.

The final bill comes on the day of installation when the carpet installer determines that your job requires additional labor for various things like moving heavy furniture, special transitions, floor prep, and extra labor fees.

There are hefty charges for anything considered beyond their current limited definition of a “Basic” carpet installation.

These extra fees and charges can easily add up to hundreds that you were not forewarned about. That is, unless you took the time to read all their fine print.

As Gomer Pyle Says…
Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

Home Depot’s Low-Price Guarantee? They say they will beat any competitor’s price by 10%, but according to their fine print, that’s only on identical in-stock items.

That makes it virtually impossible for anyone to substantiate because they put private labels on all their carpet samples.

What are Private Labels?

They intentionally change the names of all their carpet styles and colors to make it nearly impossible for you to comparison shop.

The exact same carpet might cost a lot less at the local carpet store down the street, but how would you know?

You would have to lay out carpet samples from both stores side by side to compare. Lots of carpet retailers use private labels on their samples. It’s almost the norm these days.

Home Depot’s low-price guarantee sure sounds good until you read all their fine print. Can you say the word “exclusions”?

Homeowners need to avoid unscrupulous carpet retailers and only buy from locally owned, honest and reliable carpet stores.

Sneaky Carpet Sales Tactics

The Big Box home improvement warehouses have been charging homeowners a measuring fee just for coming to your home and sizing you up. The fee may be refundable if you agree to buy from them.

This is designed to add more sales pressure on you. They want to prevent you from shopping for carpet at other local stores.

Somewhere in the back of your mind, you think that if you don’t buy carpet from them, you will be forfeiting the $75 to $125 measuring fee have already paid.

Accurate Carpet Measuring?

From what I have been told by industry insiders, their licensed & certified measuring specialists they contract with, are required to measure your home using a “special method”.

Does that mean they add another 5, 10 or 15% of material to the total? Likely so! They are not going to tell you how many square feet your home needs. When they are all done measuring they leave to do all the calculations back at the office.

You Better Shop Around…

You will never know if their measurements are accurate. Even if you get several bids / estimates from other local carpet dealers. Why? Because they don’t give you anything you can use to verify their measuring. You will just get an estimate based on “one-price” to do the whole job.

Basically, they want to make darn sure there is more than enough carpet or flooring material to work with.

That way, they never have to worry about running short of material during installation.

That might translate into you paying for a lot more for new carpet & pad then you might actually need. Just adding an extra 10 yards of material could easily add $300 or more to the total cost for your carpet job. Ouch!

Empire Strikes Back?

Empire Today likes to attract customers by airing repetitive TV ads featuring unbelievable sales offers with next day installation.

If you call them, they will send a sales professional to your home who will show you samples and try to “close the sale” on the spot.

  • Are you getting a fair & square deal?
  • How long will this carpet last in your home?
  • What is your level of foot traffic in your home? Low, Medium, Heavy?
  • Are they trying to sell you a low-quality Polyester carpet and say it’s as durable as a Nylon Carpet?

These are just a few questions that you need solid answers to before you should commit yourself to buying from any shop-at-home flooring retailer.

Private Labels

All these giant retailers all use private labels on their carpet samples. Most farm out the measuring and installation of their products to other privately help companies. Some even have other companies do all the selling too. What does this mean to you?

  • If you have a complaint, you may have to deal directly with the independent contractors to seek a remedy.
  • Have a Carpet defect? You’ll have to contact the carpet manufacturer and have them inspect your carpet.
  • Have an installation problem? You’ll have to contact the carpet installer. No one likes getting called back to deal with a homeowner complaint.
  • If you can’t get a suitable remedy for your issue, you may have to file a claim in small claims court. The problem is, who is actually responsible for making things right and how can you prove that in court?
Costco Executive Members

Costco members were once shown a small display with miniature carpet samples. Lately they have been taking their displays with samples down. Executive members are offered some extra benefits that may be of interest to some folks. Like a longer warranty?

If you grab their free brochure you will be provided with a phone number to call to start your in-home Carpet Consultation Process.

Be sure to read all the fine print very carefully to see what added benefits you might qualify for, if any.

An independent flooring consultant will bring samples to your home and be happy to write up your order and arrange for installation.

While they do carry some good quality carpet, be prepared for sticker shock when you see what the total cost will be.

Again, you can’t comparison shop easily because they change the carpet style names and colors to thwart you.

To compare carpets, you would need to take their carpet samples with you into other nearby carpet stores and compare both identical samples side by side. It’s definitely not easy to do.

They know you probably won’t take the time and trouble to do this, and it is unlikely that they would leave their carpet samples with you anyway.

Is There a Better Way?

If you are in the market for new carpet or flooring of any kind, I think you should consider getting a free estimate from one of the dealers that I have listed in my Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory.

It’s taken me years to locate, investigate and identify these locally owned and family-run businesses and I think they are the best of the best here in America!

I suggest you visit several flooring retailers near you, get several free estimates and be sure visit a carpet store that I recommend if you can.

You decide for yourself who to buy from

When it’s all said and done, I think you will agree that my preferred dealers are knowledgeable, reliable and reputable!

You’ll be treated with respect, get a fair & square deal and get great customer service… Before, during and after the sale.

See who I recommend near you! Visit Alan’s List of Recommended Carpet Dealers (don’t forget to print up my free coupon so you can get up to $100 off new carpet!)

There’s a lot more you need to learn before you head out to shop for new carpet.

Best & Worst Places to Buy Carpet!

 

AbcCarpetPro.com Carpet Professor

It’s hard to find an honest and reputable carpet store these days! That’s why I created my own special hand-picked list of carpet stores who are locally owned, give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and hire qualified installers. Homeowners want to know…Are there any reputable Carpet Stores Near Me?

Free Carpet Installation Checklist For Homeowners

What to Do Before You Buy New Carpet

Do your carpet homework! Learn What makes one carpet better than another.

Take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to see what grade of carpet you should buy.

Learn about scams and rip-offs you need to avoid and why buying carpet is so confusing?

Do all interior painting at least one month prior or wait until after the carpet is installed.

Print out my free Carpet Cost & Comparison Form

Print out my free Carpet Durability Chart

What to Do During The Carpet Buying Process…
  • Shop for the grade of carpet you require first, then find several carpet styles and colors you like.
  • Take several carpet samples home to consider your Best Carpet Choice
  • Get several estimates from locally-owned carpet dealers (See who I recommend near you)
  • Get several bids/estimates in writing and get every detail written down IN WRITING!
  • Ask your salesperson for a spec sheet on any carpet you are seriously interested in buying!
  • Don’t be pressured into buying or agree to buy on the first visit. (in-home or in-store)
Take your time choosing New Carpet

If you can… Keep the original carpet sample you selected and ordered from, until after your new carpet has been installed, use for comparison purposes.

Many homeowners often forget exactly which carpet style and color they ordered, especially when it takes several weeks for the carpet to be delivered and scheduled to be installed.

This is not always possible when dealing with smaller retailers. They may not be able to leave the carpet sample with you for an extended period of time.

  • If you are unable to retain the carpet sample, then make sure you write down the brand, style number and color number for future reference.
  • Take a photo of the back of the carpet sample showing all the manufacturing details.
Ask These Key Carpet Buying Questions… Before you sign off for new carpet!
  • You always have the right to know the name of everyone who is working in your home.
  • Write down the full name and phone number of the installer.
  • Ask for his State Issued Contractor’s License Number (if required in your State)
  • Ask to provide a Surety Bond and Business Liability Insurance. Confirm it!
  • If your Carpet Dealer is providing carpet installation services for you, as part of a package deal, your Carpet dealer is responsible to make sure the installer they provide is qualified and has all his legal and licensing affairs in order.
 Before the installers arrive
  • Have furniture, wall pictures and knick-knacks removed from rooms to be carpeted.
  • Make sure all valuables are put away safe and secure.
When the installers arrive at your home
  • Check the carpet brand, color and style to make sure it is exactly what you ordered.
  • Cold carpet is more difficult to install. Have all rooms to be carpeted pre-heated to 70 degrees, 3 hours before and all during the installation process. This helps make sure the carpet can be stretched properly.
  • Carpet installation tools are razor sharp. Make sure kids and pets are safely out of the way in all areas to be carpeted. Never allow children or pets to roam free during installation.
What to do “After The Carpet Is installed”
  • Do a walk-around with the installer and inspect the carpet thoroughly. Make sure to inspect all the carpet seams.
  • Make sure all your questions and concerns are addressed before the installer leaves your home.
Read Your New Carpet Warranty
  • Obtain a copy of the New Carpet Warranty and Read it.
  • Do not make the final payment until you are completely satisfied with the completed job.
New Carpet Care and Maintenance
  • Read the manufacturer’s Carpet Warranty and follow all suggestions and requirements.
  • Vacuum your carpet regularly. Spot clean as necessary.
  • Never use bleach on your carpet unless it is recommended in your new carpet warranty.
Consider Buying a New Carpet Vacuum
  • Visit my Best Vacuums page to learn more. Keep all receipts for professional carpet cleanings, as they are required as proof of proper maintenance if you ever need to file a Carpet Warranty claim.
  • Always hire a professional certified carpet cleaning company.
  • Never use a store-rented carpet cleaning machine to clean your carpets while under warranty.

Always hire a Certified Carpet Cleaning Company

Q. How often should I have my carpets cleaned?

More Important Carpet Buying Information

Keep the original sales receipt forever and make sure the price of the carpet is shown separate from the price of the pad and installation.

You will need this receipt as proof of what you paid for the “carpet only” if you ever need to file a carpet warranty claim.

 

If you need to hire an independent CARPET installer…  Read This Article

Print or View My Checklist in PDF Format

Carpet Buying Checklist

 

 

 

 

 

©Alan Fletcher – All Rights Reserved. All content is the opinion of the author.