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Carpeting Protection Tips

There is a lot to consider when you're in the market for wall-to-wall carpeting. I thought I'd write about some personal experiences to keep you from getting ripped off like I was! There are lots of carpeting scams, so you need to be careful and do your homework.

Seems everyone has an angle or pricing strategies they don't fully talk about. Carpeting retailers (and wholesalers, for that matter) have a few tricks they hope you don't know about.  Before you have a carpeting company give you a quote, here are some choice tips.

Warning #1

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 for color.  This is very important because you want to make sure the colors of the carpet blend with other colors in the room(s). Colors change depending on the natural light in the room and the other colors in the room and where they are located.  If you are using the same carpeting throughout the entire home, check out each room to verify that the colors will be right everywhere. Be sure to get samples of various types of padding you will consider too.

2) From the back of the sample, write down all of the information you see listed: price, manufacturer, color, style, and so on, just in case you have to return the sample before you're ready to buy.  Be sure and record the type of yarn, length and density of the sample because you are going to need this information later.

Warning #2

3) Try to keep the carpet sample until the carpet has arrived at your door and is ready to be installed. Before the carpeting has been unloaded from the truck or van, take your carpet sample and compare the color, yarn and DENSITY of the sample to the carpeting.  This is one of the areas that consumers have been scammed by carpet companies.  It is not that unusual for them to deliver a carpet that is not the same quality you ordered.  Most people don't check the yarn, color and density of the sample with the end product. Many homeowners have been cheated and unknowingly accepted a carpet that was inferior to what their contract called for.  Don't blindly trust the carpet company to deliver what you ordered.  If it's not the same quality, refuse it.

Warning #3

4) Measure your home yourself first. This is very important.  Measure the length and width of each room, including the inside of all closets.  Measure the halls.  When you have a total measurement in feet, add them together for a grand total. Divide that total by 9 to get the square yardage.  Add 1-3 more square yards to your total for good measure as a precaution.  This should be the maximum number of square yards you will need. (My measurement came to 200 square yards on my home. The carpet company only need 198 yards but them told me I need 205 yards. Beware. Over measuring is common in the industry.)

5) Don't tell the sales reps that you have premeasured. Let them measure and see what they say. This will give you a clue as to whether they are an honest, reputable company or not. Do not purchase your carpeting from a company that grossly inflates the yardage total. 

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 deposit until you are completely satisfied that all details are on the paperwork and they reflect exactly what you want.

7) Request an installation bond to ensure that they bring the right carpeting the first time.  Never pay for the carpeting in full in advance. The more detailed the contract is, the less chance you'll have of being duped into buying an inferior grade of carpet.

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.

Security Warning

8) Make sure all valuables and breakable items are removed and put in a safe place BEFORE the carpeting is installed. Carpet installers may not always as careful as they should be, nor are they 100% honest people.  Keep an eye on every vendor who comes into your home to work.

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 it cannot be corrected right then, don't make final payment until you are fully satisfied. If you are completely satisfied, sign the paperwork, pay the balance and enjoy your new carpeting.

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Barbara Jennings is author of 10 decorating books: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Home Staging for Yourself, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Where There's a Wall - There's a Way, The Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties! Great Homes!

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