Arm Yourself with Knowledge to Avoid Carpet-Buying Scams
Monday June 02, 2008
Article Word Count:455 Comments (4) Permalink
Everywhere you look, there are people out there trying to take advantage of you; unfortunately, some people in the carpeting industry are no different. Carpet scams are not new, but it seems in recent years that disreputable carpet retailers have stepped up their efforts to make an extra buck or two.
The best way to ensure that you will not be taken advantage of when buying carpet for your home is to arm yourself with knowledge. If you know some of the common carpet-buying scams, you will be ready to avoid being burned.
Here are some tips to prevent being scammed when buying carpet for your home:
- Measure your rooms before buying – Even if you are going to have a company’s professionals install your carpet, get a tape measure and take your own measurements. The reason for this is that installers may exaggerate on the amount of carpet that you really need so they and their company can make a larger profit. If you measure the rooms that are going to be carpeted, you will have a better idea of whether the installers’ measurements are accurate.
- Take a sample home with you – After you visit a carpet retailer and make your selection, be sure to take a sample (carpet square) of your carpet home with you. A ploy used by some unreputable carpet retailers is to downgrade your carpet to a cheaper version after they sell you a more expensive carpet. Be sure that the sample you have has the name and grade and as much information as possible about the carpet you have selected.
- Make sure you have the right carpet padding – Some carpeting requires the use of a certain thickness of padding. If your installers use the wrong padding, it can sometimes void the carpet warranty. The carpet can then wear more quickly than it was designed to do.
- Don't leave small valuables out during the installation – You don’t want to assume the worst about the installers who will come to your home to put in your carpeting. You also don’t need to leave anything to chance. To ensure that nothing will turn up missing, lock up or hide any small valuables you have - jewelry, art, electronics - before having your carpet installed and deal with reputable companies that you trust around your belongings.
- Check out the retailer before you buy your carpet – Before you buy your carpet, call your local branch of the Better Business Bureau to make sure that the retailer is reputable. The last thing you want to do once you get your carpet from them is to not be able to get any response if and when you do have a problem or question.
Talkback – Leave a commentThere are 4 comments
I agree with the pre-measurement. Home Depot measured at a cost of $35 and came up with 1001sf using 15ft wide carpet. I came up with 840 sf. The company I'm going with came up with 825 sf. Others dealers measured in the region of 840-850 sf.
The carpet you choose may have the identical specifications as other named carpets. We went to 4 different shops and inquired about 15ft wide carpet. Martha Stewart Boscobel II, sold by Home Depot is identical in specifications to Passageway III, On Going III and Harborfields III all sold by different dealers but all Shaw carpet. It was easy for us to compare as we were looking for 15ft wide carpet and there are not that many to choose from. This is done so as to make it difficult for the buyer to compare.
We finally chose a reputable company that gave us an installed price of over 25% less than Home Depot.
The thing you do not account for on here (and in the estimating tool) is that carpet USUALLY comes in 12ft widths. We HAVE to purchase the entire width. When figuring how much carpet you need... #1 draw out your room #2 lay out your "drops". A drop is a 12' width of carpet cut to length wall to wall. Remember... each "drop" must run in the same direction. Example: a 10'x10' room is NOT 100sq ft of carpet... it is 120sqft of carpet. I MUST multiple 10X12 due to the size of the material I am working with. Add 5% waste for carpet and be sure to check pattern repeat... it will increse the amount you need to match any dots, stripes, flowers etc. There are companies that will add several unnecassary feet. When shopping... ask for total price and also have the sales rep break it down by unit price (per sqft or yard). Have them break down materials, labor and tax.
Another scam is when a carpet store sells you carpet but not installation, and then gives you a list of unlicensed installers to contract with. This keeps the price low but the liability to the homeowner is great.
Who knew there were so many sneaky tricks to watch out for buying carpet. Thanks for the education!!