Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Lesson on Carpet Buying

Alright, I promised a blog about the flooring, so here it is!  We’ll start with a little back story on why we did our own flooring.  One of our first meetings at Wayne Homes, we went through the options available, and pricing.  The cost for them to install hardwood was far outside the range I was willing to spend, and I kind of had my mind set on nice looking flooring.  The carpet choices, and prices for upgrades was nothing crazy, but I was told with flooring it was all or nothing.  Being young and naive as I was, I opted to go with nothing :) .

A couple months down the road, and here I was, in the midst of painting, and now having to get the flooring done simultaneously!  I’ll start with the story on the carpet.  I had never planned to do my own carpet installation from the beginning, just to get that out there.  My plan was to have the carpet installed, and then do my own hardwood install, and tile install.  Given the refund that we got from Wayne homes for doing our own carpet, I underestimated the cost of having carpeting done in the areas we wanted by a fairly substantial amount.  This was completely my fault, because I never really looked into it, I was just worried about finding the wood floor we wanted.  Well, I had planned on roughly$2,500.00 for carpeting, so imagine my surprise when the first company to give me a quote was for $8,600.00.  But before I get into that, a little lesson on getting a carpet quote.  I first called Empire, because of their catchy commercials, and the talk of buy 1 room, get 3 free!  Well they won’t discuss any sort of price without sending out a high pressure salesman to your door.  I finally gave in, and setup a time to meet the guy out there.  This would be a goodtime to mention that this was done mid February, before the heat was installed in the house.  I met the guy out there, and he was surprised to say the least.  I brought him in, and he took measurements of the areas that I said I wanted carpet in, and then measured the rest of the rooms, that I had not requested carpet in.  I later found out that this was so he could try pressuring me into buying hardwood and tile from them as well.  After this, we went out to his car, and he pulled some samples out of his car for me to look at.  I really wasn’t in the mood to look at any of them because I was freezing my tail off, so I just picked a couple that caught my eye.  He then suggested we sit in his car, crank the heat and go over the numbers. Well the commercials don’t lie, they really do give you 3 rooms for the price of one, the only problem is that one room costs about 4 times what it probably should.  After adding everything up, he told me it would be $25,800.00 worth of carpet, but they automatically take 2/3 the price off.  What a relief that wasn’t!  I told him no, we parted ways, only to get a call from him about 30 minutes later.  “Brent, I spoke with my boss, and we can do $7,500.00but only if you give me an answer in the next 30 minutes!”  “No thanks, please stop calling me.”  I hate to paint a bad picture of a company, but this experience really rubbed me the wrong way.  There is nothing I hate more than high pressure sales tactics; I’m not at a used car dealership here! 

My next stop was to Lowes, where I would run the numbers myself, and not have to worry about people pushing me to buy.  Using the numbers that the Empire guy was kind enough to write up for me, I went in, and started crunching numbers.  I did ask the salesman there several questions which he answered to the best of his knowledge, and left with a price in my head of about $6,300.00.  The only problem was this was some of the cheaper carpet they offered, and not the thick soft carpet that I had been envisioning. Finally, on the advice of my in-laws, I called a local carpet place, “Carpet Mart” in Ottawa OH.  Once again, he wanted to meet out at our place to go over measurements, and with a bad taste in my mouth from this once before, I almost didn’t want to go through with it.  My wife and I ended up meeting the owner of the store, who came out at 5:30 in the evening, after his store had closed because that was convenient for us. This guy was about the nicest guy you could ask to talk to, gave us compliments on how beautiful our house was, and never once gave us a sales pitch.  We walked around, showed him the rooms we wanted carpet in, and he wrote down measurements.  After everything was done, he told us to stop into his business and we could discuss prices. He even offered to meet us after hours, as long as we gave him a call a couple days prior to set it up.  Well a couple days later we stopped into the store, where he had the numbers ready to go.  He asked us what our max budget was, and he showed us the carpets that we could afford.  We gave him a number of no more than $5,000.00, but after looking at the carpet samples we figured we were going to be over that.  We talked for a little while, and he said “since you’re buying so much carpet from me, and I know your parents, we can work out a deal to get you the carpet you want.  In the end, we got upgraded padding, upgraded tack strips, the carpet we wanted in every room (including some that was outside our price range) and installation for $5,125.00 after tax.  What a relief it was to have that done!  We could not possible be happier with carpet mart, we love the carpet, the installers did an amazing job (no scuffs or marks anywhere on our newly painted walls and trim) and the price could not be beat!  Oh and I forgot to mention, they had a deal going on for free tile with carpet purchase!  We got enough tile to do our Laundry room, master Bath, and Guest Bath.  After the installation was complete, we came back to the house to find a “Thank You Letter” for our business, and a new 19” LCD TV.  After an experience like this, I will be sure to recommend Carpet Mart to anyone getting carpet, and strongly suggest anyone reading this look into them if they are in the area.

Alright, Part 2 of flooring coming your way soon!  Don’t give up on me; I will get caught up eventually…