1. Choose a Carpet that meets your
needs and goals.
The carpet you install in your rental unit must be able to endure the normal
wear of your typical tenant. You also need to consider the frequency of your
current carpet replacements and if you allow pets. Select a lower grade of
carpet if you tend to replace it more often due to pet damage or excessive
Choose a better grade carpet if you do not allow pets and your tenants
are generally not overly rough on your carpets. The trick to saving money
here is to select a grade of carpet with a life expectancy equal to or
exceeding the lifestyle and average length of stay of your tenants.
factors contribute to this approach, including the average age of your
tenants, number of children, average income and occupation, type of pets,
Selecting a better grade carpet can potentially add several years to
the life expectancy of your carpets. It could be well worth the additional
expense if you do not allow pets and your average tenant stays for 5 to10
years. It may be a waste of money if your average tenant turnover were less
than 2 years and you allow pets.
2. Select a Nylon Carpet.
Nylon is the most recommended carpet fiber for rentals. Nylon outperforms
all other fibers and is the most resilient, durable and easiest to clean.
Selecting a Continuous filament Nylon carpet will help eliminate the
shedding, fuzzing and pilling that is often observed with staple fibers.
Carpet samples of continuous filament Nylon are usually labeled BCF (bulked
continuous filament) or CFN (continuous filament nylon).
3. Save 10% or more on your padding costs.
In most cases, installing new carpet requires about 10% less padding than
carpet. For example: If your 3-bedroom rental unit requires 100 yards of
carpet, you probably only need 90 yards of padding to complete the job.
Unlike carpeting, padding can be turned in any direction and even the
smallest scraps of padding can be utilized. It may require a few extra
minutes of work for the installer but you will enjoy the savings.
long been the industry standard to charge equal yardage amounts for carpet
and padding. Some flooring retailers or vendors may be reluctant to
negotiate with you regarding this area of potential savings. If this is the
case, simply ask the carpet installers to leave all decent-sized padding
leftovers and your savings will add up quickly. Store this extra padding in
a dry location and use it on a future carpet replacement.
4. Know your padding options.
The lifespan of your carpet depends on using good quality padding. What type
of padding are you currently using? How much are you charged for it? There
are many types of pad available and you may not be aware of all your padding
options. With typical apartment-grade plush carpet, a 7/16” inch, 6-pound,
rebond padding is commonly used in rentals.
Another less expensive option
would be to use a 3/8” inch, 4 to 6-pound, rebond padding. You could enjoy
savings of about 50 to 75 cents per yard or more. Ask your flooring provider
about your padding options and you may be able to reduce your pad costs
5. Consider re-using all or part of your existing pad.
When its time to replace the carpet in a rental, consider reusing some or
all of the existing padding. Depending on the age, quality and condition of
your existing padding, you could save a significant amount of money by
replacing only the areas that really need replacing. Of course, someone will
have to make the judgment call after inspecting the condition of the
Most often, the hallways and main traffic areas will show the most
wear and replacing those areas would be a good idea. Padding in other areas
may still be in good condition and you could install the new carpet right
over the top. Prices for new padding may vary from $2.25 to 3.95 per yard so
if you are able to reuse 80 yards of padding, you could be saving anywhere
from $180 to $316 on one apartment unit alone.
6. Select the right pad for the job.
If you allow pets in your rentals it makes good sense to use a
less-expensive padding since your chances of reusing the padding are greatly
reduced. You could use a less expensive padding and save yourself some
money. You might consider using a 3 or 4 pound 3/8”inch, rebond padding
and only spend about a dollar or so per yard.
The overall savings would add
up quickly and you won’t lose as much money when the carpet and padding
needs to be replaced again in a year or two. On the other hand, if you
don’t allow pets, you might want to consider installing a higher quality
padding now with plans to reuse it the next time you need to replace your
7. Remove your old carpet and padding yourself.
Most carpet installers charge between fifty cents and a dollar fifty per yard to
remove and haul away your old carpet and padding. You could easily be saving $40 to
$120 on a typical 2-bedroom, 80-yard unit. Consider having your maintenance
people do the removal prior to the carpet installers arriving and perhaps
use an onsite garbage dumpster to dispose of it.
Be sure that all old carpet
and padding is removed and the unit is swept clean prior to the installers
arriving to install the new carpet and padding. You may also want to
consider recycling your old padding. Some recycling companies are willing to
haul away your old padding at no charge to you.
8. Maintain Open Communications.
Keep your flooring contractors and vendors well informed and you can save
time and money. Confusion can quickly undermine even the best-laid plans.
When scheduling carpet replacements, be sure to inform your flooring
provider of all the pertinent information they may need to know. For
example, notify them in advance if there are any signs of pet damage, water
damage or dry rot. This would help the flooring installers to arrive well
prepared and to be able to complete the installation in a timely and
You should also inform them if you are scheduling a floor
replacement in an occupied unit. Be sure your tenant knows of their
responsibilities too. Ask the tenant to be sure to have necessary furniture
moved, have everything off the floor and have kids and pets safely out of
the way. Maintaining good communications will keep your business running
9. Make sure tenants know how to properly care for flooring.
Your tenants can help you save money too if you let them know what you would
like them to do. For instance, to make carpets last longer they need to be
vacuumed regularly. Inform your tenants about this basic rule of thumb for
vacuuming carpets: Vacuum as many times per week as the number of people
living in the home. For example, if there are three people living in the
household, vacuum three times per week. Educate your tenants using a simple
flyer or include useful information in your monthly newsletter.
You would be
smart to include tips on carpet stain removal, how to properly clean vinyl
floors, what products you recommend they use, etc. Providing useful
information to your tenants not only makes their life easier but it allows
them to help you by making your flooring last longer. Check with your
flooring provider to obtain proper care and maintenance information on the
flooring materials you currently use.
10. Inspect all new flooring installations.
It is very important to inspect your new carpet right after it has been
installed. It only takes a few minutes and could save you time and money. If
there are any problems, you need to let your flooring provider know as soon
as possible for a quick remedy of the problem.
Make sure the correct carpet
style and color has been installed, check for proper installation, and look
for any defects in the carpet itself. Early detection of problems is the
best way to help avoid delays in renting your units.
If you would like to
know more about what to look for when inspecting carpet installations, you
can print out Free Carpet Installation Inspection Forms at Alan's website: www.Landlordfloors.com
Alan J. Fletcher is a 30-year veteran of the flooring business and provides
consulting services to rental property owners and property management
companies interested in saving money on flooring replacement and repair
may be reached via email at Alan@AbcCarpets.com
To find out more tips on how to buy carpet, visit Fletcher’s website at: Http://www.abccarpets.com
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