After 30+ years in the business, I'm sharing my knowledge and experience with homeowners who want to choose wisely, avoid scams and get qualified installs from a reputable dealer.
"How To Choose New Flooring Like A Pro"
Carpet Installation Cost
Carpet installation fees and charges vary widely depending on your location, how difficult your job is, and the type, style and grade of Carpet you select. In the Southern states where the sun is always shining, carpet installation prices are typically much lower than in the northern states.
For example, in Miami, Florida, from ads I found placed on Craigslist, you can have carpet installed between $3.60 to 4.95 per yard. If you look at the service directories of the local newspapers you might find someone with a lower price.
I’m not saying hiring blindly from Craigslist or a service directory would get you a qualified flooring installer, but there are always plenty of hungry carpet installers in almost every state who are willing to work very hard for very little money. How To Find a Qualified Carpet Installer
Make sure your installer is qualified to install your grade of carpet.
that every carpet installer who says they have 20 years of experience is qualified to install your carpet.
I figure that less than 30% of all carpet installers are properly trained to
install a good quality carpet in a residential setting.
Most flooring installers start out as a carpet layer's helper, and after several months working as a helper they might buy some carpet tools, buy a used van and then place an ad in the local service directory or on Craigslist to drum up some carpet installation business.
If you have an apartment or low-end rental property that needs new carpet or flooring, these new and inexperienced flooring installers may be able to install a low-quality carpet for you at a reasonable price. They may also be able to install new vinyl flooring or laminate flooring for you at a discount. However, if you need to install a good quality carpet or flooring in a residential or custom home scenario, then you need to hire a more experienced or a more seasoned installer.
Installation prices are negotiable and determined by years of experience.
It took me a full 10 years to become a really good installer. It took me a full 20 years to become a great installer. It took me 30 years to realize that I needed to stop laying carpet and flooring as my knees and back were killing me.
I guess what I am saying is that someone who is 24 years old cannot have a full 10 years of carpet installation experience, however, someone who is 40 years old can have 20 years of experience. Expect to pay a bit more for the older guy and a little less for the younger guy. You must consider the complexity of your job and hire an installer who has enough experience and is qualified to get YOUR job done right the first time.
Asking for and checking out several references is wise and making sure they are licensed and bonded (if required by your state) and have business liability insurance. Learn more about your state requirements: State License Requirements for Carpet Installers
The states with the lowest carpet installation costs have typically been Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and Southern California. Other southern states like Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas and Southern Arizona have fairly inexpensive carpet labor and installation costs too. Prices will range nationally from $2.25 per yard to $6.50 per yard depending on the difficulty of the job and the grade of the carpet selected.
The highest carpet installation prices are in the Northeastern states like New York, Virginia, Massachusetts and Ohio and also in the Pacific Northwest like Oregon and Washington and Northern California. Prices may range from $3.50 per yard for a medium grade plush style carpet to $6.50 per yard for a heavy duty looped Berber style carpet.
Savvy Homeowners Can Negotiate Better Deals.
Negotiating with your (independent) flooring installer is another area where you can save some money. This option does not apply if the installers are provided by and paid by the carpet retailer as part of a package deal where you purchased your new carpet or flooring.
In our current economy as of January 2018, I find there are still a few hungry carpet installers out there looking for work. This is good news for those consumers who have money to spend on home renovations and are willing to do a little legwork to find a qualified carpet installer and negotiate a good deal. If you are willing to haggle with your installer you might get a really good deal on carpet or flooring installation. How To Save Money Buying Carpet Remnants | Consumer Report
If you have a little ambition, It's possible to negotiate as much as 10 to 25% off their normal carpet installation charge, especially if you are willing to pay them in cash at the end of the day. (But always get a detailed written receipt and insist on at least a full 1-year written warranty) You never want to sacrifice quality installation in exchange for a discount on price, so be sure you make it clear that you expect a first class job, even if they agree to do the job for less than their usual charge.
How To Find a Qualified Carpet Installer
Buying Carpet or Flooring at Wholesale Prices.
If you can afford to buy rolls of carpet or large quantities of tile, laminate or vinyl flooring, you can get a much better deal than if you order smaller quantities. So, if you have a large home, an apartment complex or several rental properties that you plan to renovate in the near future, then it might be wise for you to buy your flooring in bulk to save money over the long run. You need to have a place to store the materials and you need to hire independent installers and pay them directly. Best and worst places to buy new flooring
"Looped Berber Carpets are much more difficult to install than other styles and the installation cost may be as much as $2 per yard higher than a standard plush-style carpet. Selecting a Patterned Carpet Style may also increase the installation cost as well as increase the amount of Carpet material needed to complete the job."
Learn more about Carpet Styles
"If you buy carpet from a reputable carpet dealer you would be better off using the installers that have a longstanding relationship with the flooring dealer, instead of hiring an independent installer off of Craigslist."
Most Retailers Bundle the Cost for Carpet, Padding and Installation.
To get your best TOTAL carpet deal, you will have to negotiate with the carpet dealers of your choice and not be afraid to ask the retailer for a discount or other incentives for you to buy from them. The smart homeowner always gets at least three bids/estimates and then takes plenty of time to negotiate a better deal. Patience is key here, and those who wait for the price to come down are the winners. Be sure you are comparing apples to apples! Best Locally Owned Carpet Stores
Learn how to Compare Carpet
I think that asking for a minimum of a 10% to 15% discount is very reasonable as long as you are ready to write a check at the end of the day. If you are daring, ask for a 20% discount and see what happens. They may say no, but you have nothing to lose by asking. Just be sure you have selected the right carpet and padding that will meet your needs and goals! Take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to see what grade of carpet you need to buy.
Carpet Installation Cost - Getting the job done right!
The main thing you want to be sure of, is that the carpet installers are qualified and experienced with the type of carpet and job you are doing, and that they will use a power-stretcher to install your carpet. Gone are the days where a simple knee-kicker will do the trick unless you’re installing cheap carpet in a very small room on a very hot day. Carpet needs to be stretched in tight, and the only way to ensure this is to use a power-stretcher. If they don’t use a power-stretcher, then find an installer that does!
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All content is the opinion of the author.