March 3, 2012

New Carpet: Purchase Process

I’m back to continue this mini series on the new carpet we installed on Monday. (Click here to see the sneak peek.) I meant to post this info on Thursday or Friday, but the busyness of work and life and just pure exhaustion got in the way.

So, I’m here with a weekend post to try and catch up, and then I’ll have a bit more for you this coming week. Hopefully, it’s not carpet overload for you, but for my own satisfaction, I want to get everything down in writing. So, today it’s story time about the purchasing of the carpet.

Let’s start from the beginning – a very good place to start. When you read you begin with A-B-C, when you sing carpet you begin with (name that song) … shopping, buying, and crossing your fingers you got it right.

While we’ve been planning to lay down some new carpet since we purchased the house, it wasn’t until 2 weeks ago that we actually looked at samples and got some price estimates. We knew we wanted to carpet 2 bedrooms and the stairs and hallways for no more than $1500. I didn’t know what that would get us in terms of quality/quantity of carpet.

We went to a local store here in Kenosha to start. They had lots of great options, but for some reason the interaction we had with the salesman left me really uneasy for a number of reasons.

  1. I didn’t find him helpful, but pushy – as if he was trying to convince me of things I didn’t already know about carpet and design. I didn’t feel like I was given the time to just look around on my own and contemplate what might work.
  2. Joey had drawn out on graph paper a perfect to-scale rendition of the spaces so that we could get real estimates that moment. The guy looked at the drawings, frowned, and said he’d try to use it but that he wouldn’t likely be close since they would prefer to come to the house and do their own measurements. He was condescending about the whole thing.
  3. I mentioned that we had shoe molding down on all the floors because of the hardwoods being there (the shoe was already there when we ripped up the old shag carpet after purchasing the house). The guy immediately recommended we take it out, which we said we weren’t doing given that it was all painted perfectly with the baseboards, and we wanted it to be left in case we or anyone else wanted to take up the carpet someday and refinish the floors. Again he frowned and said it would be a lot of extra work and add cost to the install.

In the end, the estimate he gave was for $2200 – $700 for the 2 bedrooms and $1500 for the stairs/halls. Waaaay over our budget. We left, went home, and I was in a terrible mood about the whole experience. Within 10 minutes of being home, we left the house again to go to a different carpet store up in Racine, WI. I needed other options.

On the way to the next store, I mentioned to Joey the idea of buying carpet remnants to save on cost. He was skeptical that it would work, but I told him I wanted to check it out. The previous place didn’t even offer that as an option.

Once we arrived, I felt much more at peace in the new store. It was larger with more variety, the place was empty besides us and 2 salesman. So, I knew we could take our time and ask questions. The salesman was very nice and friendly. Within a few minutes of walking around the store, I looked at the back and low and behold, there stood rows of carpet remnants with sizes and prices all marked.

The salesman saw me look that direction and recommended we check it out as a great way to save money. I also liked being able to see the carpet in much more life-sized version than just the tiny samples. I’m such a visual person, this really helped. Once we got started here, there was no turning back. Another benefit of purchasing the remnants is fast installation because we don’t have to wait for the carpet to be ordered.

Joey handed this salesman his graph paper with measurements and the guy was blown away at the detail. He said no one ever came into the store with those kinds of measurements. He was so confident in Joey’s drawings that he felt no need to even have the store come out and measure. He said he could give us real costs that night and help us figure out what kind of  overall dimensions would be needed in the carpet remnants to cover the space.

For the hall and stairs, he figured out that 12 foot by 24 foot remnant would work. I found one I like that was almost exactly that size.

And check out this price. $550 with pad and install…

I like the colors. It was berber-esque carpet that would wear well and hide dirt. I liked that it had a small variety of colors and a some good texture/pattern to it. And at almost $1000 below the other store’s price, I couldn’t pass.

I bring my paint swatches EVERYWHERE I go. They’re one of my staple purse items (who doesn’t carry paint swatches with them?). So, I whipped that out just to be sure the paint would look alright with the brown color. It was a perfect complement to the blue colored walls.

I was sold!

For the 2 bedrooms, we went with a plush carpet. This happened to be a pretty high-end carpet on major discount.

A 12X22 remnant would cover both bedrooms and the large closet in the upstairs bedroom. The only thing we had to leave out was the downstairs bedroom closet, but I didn’t mind. It’s super tiny and has the hardwood floor in it.

The price of $789 was a tad higher than the previous store, but it was much nicer carpet than we had picked out there. I could tell by running my fingers through it how nice it would feel under our feet. It was supper soft and fairly long strings.

Again, I had to hold out my paint swatch to make sure it would work…

We were sold!

And with that, we purchased the carpet. We did get a pad upgrade. We wanted quality padding that would help the carpet’s longevity and feel good on the feet. Total cost came to $1330, which is actually LESS than if you simply add the prices in the pictures above. He gave us a discount – even with the pad upgrade. Now THAT is how you win over a customer. And it was under our $1500 limit. Whew!

We booked the date for the carpet install and left. Then I sweated it out for 6 days waiting and waiting and praying I had made the right choices. There was no turning back.

Next up? The install pictures… coming Monday!

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