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interior redesign training, home staging training, furniture arrangement training
interior redesign training, home staging training, furniture arrangement training
interior redesign training, home staging training, furniture arrangement training

How to Protect Yourself When Buying Carpets!

Here are some more tips to help you with your decorating and redecorating. If you have any tips of your own you'd like to share with other readers, we welcome you to contact us. We'd enjoy hearing from you. Click here to share your ideas on our blog.

DECORATING TIP - Beware Carpeting Scams!
Looking to buy wall-to-wall carpeting?  Well, here are some guidance tips to keep you from getting ripped off! There are lots of carpeting scams, so you need to be careful.

Carpeting retailers (and wholesalers, for that matter) are in a very competitive business and have a few tricks they hope you don't know about.  So here are a few safeguards you need to take before having any carpet company come to your home to give you an estimate.

First, Compare Prices and Get Samples

1) Go to several retail showrooms and look over the brands and carpet samples. Compare prices with at least 5 retailers.  When you find the one or two carpeting samples you like the best, ask to borrow a sample of each to take home to check the color.  This is very important because you want to make sure the color will be compatible with your color palette already established (the color of your walls, trims, furniture, fabrics, wallpaper, etc.)  Colors change depending on the room light and the other colors in the room.  If you are using the same carpeting throughout the entire home, take the samples into each room to verify that the colors will be right in every room. Be sure to get samples of various types of padding as well.

2) Look on the back of the sample and write down all of the information you see there: color, style, manufacturer, price, etc. just in case you have to return the sample.  Be sure and record the type of yarn and the density because you are going to need this information later.

Carpeting Scam #1

3) Make every attempt to keep the carpet sample until the carpet has arrived and is ready to be installed. Then, before the carpeting has been unloaded from the delivery truck, take your carpet sample out to the truck and compare the color, yarn and DENSITY.  This is one of the areas that consumers have been scammed by carpet companies.  You order a particular carpet with a specific density, but what they deliver to you is a carpet that is not as dense, which is cheaper than what you paid for.  Most people don't check the yarn, color and density of the sample with the end product, and many homeowners have been cheated and unknowingly accepted a carpet that was far inferior to what they ordered.  Don't blindly trust the carpet company to have delivered to you what you ordered.  If it is not exactly the same color, yarn and DENSITY as your sample, refuse it immediately.

Carpeting Scam #2

4) Before you invite a carpet company to send out their salesman to measure and give you a quote, take a 25 foot measuring tape (you can get at any hardware store) and measure each room yourself.  This is very important.  Measure the length and width of each room, including the closets.  Measure all hallways.  When you have a total measurement in feet for all rooms you intend to have carpeted, add them together for a grand total. Divide that total by 9 to get the square yards.  Add 1-3 more square yards to your total, or whatever you feel comfortable with adding, just as a precaution.  This should be the maximum number of square yards you will need. (The last time I ordered carpeting for my whole home, my measurement without adding anything came to 200 sq. yards.  My carpet rep told me I needed 205 sq. yds. Not true.  I did order 200 sq yards from them, and when the truck arrived with the carpeting, the tag said 198 sq. yards had actually been ordered. My rep tried to fleece me by 7 square yards. And don't forget, they will fleece you by the same number of square yards on your padding too, if you don't stop them.)

5) When the sales rep comes to your home to measure and tell you how much carpeting and padding you will need, do not mention that you have already pre-measured your home.  Wait and see what total they come up with on their own. An honest carpeting company should come up with no more than you have totaled up, because remember you have added 1-3 extra square yards on your own to make sure there is enough and that you have a little left over in case of any damage to your carpeting where you'll need to have a piece "patched" in later.  Do not purchase your carpeting from a company that grossly inflates the yardage total.  This is where they fleece unsuspecting and trusting homeowners. If they "pad" the yardage here, where else are they going to rip you off? However, if for some reason they are the only company you can get your particular choice of carpeting from, go ahead and order from them but tell the rep that you measured the home yourself and that you only want to order the amount of yardage that you have determined will be enough. They will probably try to tell you that it's not enough and try to scare you into ordering more, but don't be fooled.  If you have taken accurate measurements on your own, trust your measurements.  They aren't going to measure your home any differently than you did. (Even though I measured 200 square yards myself, the carpet company only ordered 198 square yards, and I still had enough to add a small bathroom to the plan before the installers left. Even then I still had some left over carpeting on hand.)

6) When you do place your order, make sure that the manufacturer's name, style, color, yardage, density, yarn, price per yard, unit price, total price, padding specifications and price, sales tax, installation charges are all noted on the paperwork.  Hand over no money until you are completely satisfied that all details are on the paperwork and they reflect exactly what you want.

7) If you can, it's a good idea to request an installation bond to ensure that they bring the right carpeting the first time.  (I caught my last carpet company bringing me a density that was not nearly as dense, so I refused it.  But I already had all of my furniture from upstairs sitting in my living room ready for installation.  I then had to wait 3 weeks to force them to deliver what I had ordered in the first place. Since I didn't know how long it was going to be, and I had moved a lot of furniture downstairs, it sat in my living room in a huge pile for 3 weeks.)  So after all of the paperwork is filled out and signed by everyone and before you have given them your deposit (never pay in full in advance), make the sales rep note on all paperwork that if they fail to bring you the exact same carpeting that you have ordered and you have to wait a period of time for them to correct their "mistake", that you want a specific percentage discounted for every day you have to wait. They probably will refuse to make that kind of a deal, but at least you will have let them know right up front that you are savvy to their tricks.  You probably won't have any trouble getting exactly what you ordered the first time then.

Comment From a Reader

The information provided under the heading Carpet Scam #2 is somewhat misleading. Carpets for the most part come in three widths 12', 13' 6", and 15' goods. Therefore, you must factor in the width of the carpet in order to make a fair judgment. For example, in a house with 200 square yards you might have three bedrooms. If you use 15' goods and the three bedrooms measure 14.25x16.5, 14.5x15.75, and 14.75x17.75, you would be left with waste that unless you are comfortable piecing together a 5' closet with 3" to 9" goods (on 9" goods that would be 5 seams), is pretty much useless. Alone, those three rooms account for 83.33 square yards, not even half of the original 200, with almost 2.75 square yards of waste. You must also take into account what type of carpet you are using, that is to say if you are willing to seam. For the sake of esthetics, a Berber might not seam as well as let's say a Frieze.

Carpeting Scam #3

8) Make sure all valuables and breakable items are removed and put in a safe place BEFORE the carpeting is installed. Carpet installers are not always as careful as they should be, nor are they always honest.  Keep an eye on them the whole time they are in your home.  Try not to be too obvious, but do keep your eyes open.

Carpeting Scam #4

After the installation is complete, check every room thoroughly.  Do not be in any hurry, even though they are waiting to get your final signature and payment.  If you find anything wrong, make them correct it right then.  If you are completely satisfied, sign the paperwork, pay the balance and enjoy your new carpeting.

Once in a while, however, you may notice something later that is not satisfactory, such as a flaw in the carpeting, a color variance, carpeting pulled too tight or not tight enough, a seam that shows. If you have already paid for the carpeting and the store does not do everything in its power to make the situation right, file a small claims suit against them.  This is a good place for me to mention that you should always do business with a reputable dealer, one that is incorporated.  Corporations do not like to be sued.  If the amount isn't huge, they will almost always settle out of court because they don't want to take a chance on losing, but even more importantly, they don't want to have to spend the labor cost to send someone to court to defend the company.  Small companies, from my experience of 20 plus years, are less likely to settle out of court and more willing to take their chances.

Don't file a frivolous law suit.  But if you are in the right and they don't stand behind their product and service, take them to court.  That's the only way they will improve their business practices toward all consumers.

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