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What to Ask Before You Buy

Purchasing carpeting is confusing

If you haven’t purchased carpeting before, the process can be a little overwhelming. There are many choices of carpeting, a wide variation in pricing, and lots of extra charges. So, where to start? Here are the questions you should know the answer to before you sign a contract:

Qualify the company

After all, you are going to be inviting these people into your home. You should know something about them.

  • Are they established with a good online reputation? Are their responses to reviews positive and professional?
  • Ask for feedback about the company on Facebook or other social media.
  • Are their installation teams bonded and insured?
  • Ask to talk to a few previous clients who’ve had similar flooring installed.

Ask about the sales process

Don’t assume that every company will do things the same way,

  • Is the in-home estimate free?
  • Will you bring samples to my home? Light, wall color and furniture will all make the carpet appear different in your home then it does in the store. Be sure to place the carpet on the floor in different parts of the room before you make your final decision.
  • Does the sales person you send to my home to take measurements know about different types of carpeting? Will he/she be able to talk to me about my lifestyle and what type of carpeting is best?
  • Will your sales person evaluate my sub floor before submitting a final estimate?
  • Do you offer special financing and extended term options?

What’s included in the price

This is where we often see tremendous variation in pricing. Large box retailers and other discount shops often strip many of these elements out to offer the lowest possible per square foot price.

Sometimes you will even see offers of “Free Installation”. A word of caution about something which sounds too good to be true; it usually is. Despite what the advertising may say, free labor isn’t really free. You will pay for it one way or another.

Often the “free installation” charges are actually covered by inflated charges for other services such as removing the existing carpet, installing new tack strip, handling furniture, or stair labor.

To be sure there are no surprises or hidden charges ask for a fully itemized proposal so you can fairly compare prices. Be sure to ask about all of the following so you know that low price is really a low price.

Does the price include:

  • Is installation included? That ultra low price per square foot may not be a bargain if you have to install it yourself, or hire someone to do the work.
  • Moving the furniture? Carpet can’t be installed if there is furniture in the room. Sometimes you can save money by moving it yourself. Be sure to ask about this when your sales person is in your home taking measurements. This is especially important in rooms with large, heavy pieces like china cabinets or pianos.
  • Removal and disposal of the old carpeting? If this is not included, are you prepared to rip it up yourself and find a way to haul it away? A living room’s worth of carpeting won’t fit neatly in your trash can.
  • New carpet pad? Over the years, the pad wears down. You will feel the difference as you walk on carpeting with new padding underneath.
  • Guarantee or warranty on the carpet/carpet padding/carpet installation? This is a big investment; make sure you protect it appropriately.

With these questions in hand you are ready to go shopping for carpet. Ask the tough questions and be sure the company you hire gives you the right answers.