How to buy carpet cheaply
Buying Carpet for Less
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Buying Cheap Carpet
I need to buy wall-to-wall carpeting, 230 sq. yards. When does carpeting usually go on sale? Also, any pointers on doing this economically. I live in North Texas. Can anyone suggest a carpet shop? Thanks.
Best Price for Cheap Carpet
In a past issue of "The Dollar Stretcher," there was a "My Best Bargain" column about getting a real steal on Pergo flooring. I think that the person used the Internet to get the lowest price on Pergo, brought it to Home Depot (they beat the lowest price you can find by 10%), and then also opened a Home Depot charge for another 10% off that price. This would work with carpeting, too, as long as you know what carpet you are looking for.
Carpet Installer Key to Cheap
When I had wall-to-wall installed in my home, I wanted a custom install job - a dark color in most places, with an off-white rectangle in the middle of the living room. I contacted carpet mills for samples and choose the color from these. Then I called a local carpet installer who came out to my house, measured, and told me how much carpet to buy. He was also a great source of information re: buying high-quality padding and less expensive carpeting; which carpet mills have the best product; how to save on shipping, etc.
I ordered the carpet, called the installer when it arrived, and ten years later my carpet still looks great! I also have the satisfaction of knowing that I patronized an independent contractor, rather than a large chain, and of knowing that I didn't pay a high mark-up on the carpet. I estimate that I saved $400 - $500 (in a very small house). Look in the back of decorator magazines for carpet mill ads - these places were very easy to deal with - and ask friends, small business owners, or your local Better Business Bureau for a recommendation re: an installer.
Cheap Carpet: Financing and Removal
We just replaced an entire house of carpeting in a home that we were putting up for sale. I checked with numerous carpeting stores and each one wanted to measure the home themselves. I had 3 different carpet stores measure the home and checked out carpet samples at each store. I then checked to see who had the best financing package. The store I decided on had a 1 year payback with no interest charges if you purchased a particular brand of carpet.. I took the total amount and divided it by 12 and I am sending that amount in each month. At the end of a year, I will have the carpet paid for with no interest charges, and in the meantime, the home will sell better with new carpeting. It has been on the market for 1 month and we already have a signed contract.
I saved more money because my son (15) and I removed the old green carpeting and pad. I sold the individual room sized pieces of old carpeting by placing an ad in the local newspaper. The carpet store was going to charge me to remove the old carpet and pad.
Buy Cheap Carpet Direct
The cheapest way to purchase carpeting is to order direct from the mill. Carpets of Dalton (located in Atlanta) sells their carpet to Prizant's Carpets - they in turn triple the amount per sq. yd. First thing to do is contact a mill - there are several in Atlanta and ask them to send you samples. Next, look in the yellow pages or ask someone for a reputable carpet installer. The installer will come to your home and take all the measurements and tell you how much to order to where to have it shipped (probably to his dock where he will cut the carpet). The other plus to ordering direct, you don't have to pay tax when they ship out of state. I live in Pittsburgh and this is how my husband and I went about having our whole house carpeted (living room, dining room, hall, three bedrooms) for a fraction of the cost. Our installer was wonderful and didn't leave a trace of carpet pieces.
Numbers Describes Cheap Carpet
- How expensive is your home? The more expensive the home, the more expensive the carpeting should be to maintain the home's value. Cheap carpet in an expensive home detracts from the home's attractiveness/value; expensive carpet in a cheap home is overkill and a waste of money which will never be recovered on resale of the home.
- Carpeting itself is measured by the ounce (ounces of carpet weight per square area). this figure provides a relative density for comparison. The minimum FHA standard for a junker house to qualify for an FHA loan is "23oz." However, never, never use less than 27oz or 28oz carpet.
- FHA also prescribes a 3/8" thick pad as minimum standard. DON'T USE less than 1/2" - preferably 5/8" or more - pad thickness. Otherwise, you'll feel the concrete or other hard undersurface right through the carpet. also, there isn't much difference in price between a *quality* pad and a *cheap* pad of the same thickness. Spend the money - the more expensive pad will feel thicker, and it will hold up better to abuse. Moreover, when its time to recarpet, a good pad can often be reused, while a cheap pad must be replaced.
- Color. Lighter colors appear richer; darker colors look *cheap.* *Earth tones,* ranging from light beige to dark rust along with some slate blues, are easier to match in decor and thus make a home more attractive to a potential buyer. Earth tones are also more easy to match most furniture. If you're *sure* you're going to live in the house longer than the carpet life (8 to 20 years depending on initial quality & subsequent care), a more personalized *palette* can be chosen - including anything from dark green and black to navy blue to match personalized furniture and drapes. Otherwise, stick to the earth tones. Also, be aware that lighter carpet colors make rooms appear larger.
If you're planning to stay only a few years (three to five) in the home, but you have a color-coordinated furniture suite, buy cheap carpet which goes with the furniture. (Even so, buy good quality pad which can be reused. NEVER buy cheap pad!)
- In any event, try to maintain the carpet. Vacuum at least once per week, preferably two or three times. This keeps the nap up, and eliminates dirt which will act both as a stain and an abrasive. Clean spills immediately. (Learn what products/materials are best for each type stain.) After cleaning, apply Scotch Guard or other stain-preventing product (per instructions). Periodically move furniture a bit to prevent permanent impressions where furniture legs/feet press into the carpet.
- Cost, etc. Carpet styles, specific colors, and weights from a specific carpet mill frequently come and go on the market. If you're not in a hurry (an effective, permanent mental state), work with a known carpet dealer or broker and wait for just what you want. Be willing to accept a slightly different shade of color (especially in higher-priced carpets) if a good deal comes your way - which doesn't clash with your furniture/drapes. Always ask the dealer/broker about current *good deals.* Spend a buck or two per yard to get an otherwise acceptable carpet which is a significant *upgrade* from what you planned - you won't be unhappy.
- Repeat: never, never scrimp on the pad. A quality pad always makes cheap carpet seem better. And, the difference in the pad cost is a lot less than the difference in the carpet cost.
Our Cheap Carpet
We just purchased carpet for our entire house and got a great price. Here is what I found.
- Comparison Shopping. You can start on the internet and find information on what kind of carpet you want, get information to take in with you to the carpet stores so you know what to look for. Low pile, thick, and stain resistant is what we decided on, it holds up best. When you have a good idea what you want, start in the stores near where you live and bring home samples. Take a sample with you of what you want to the other store and see if they can beat it. Make sure it is the same quality.
- Find a good salesman. If a husband and wife go together, the salesman will take you more seriously. Why? I don't know.
- Buy as much as you can. We went ahead and bought carpet for our entire house and vinyl flooring for the kitchen and got a much better deal. The great salesman we found was willing to sharpen his pencil a bit because we bought quantity.
Take the Next Step
- Learn more about saving money on your home and auto. Visit our Home & Auto Page.
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