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Carpet Installation Cost | Free Carpet Installation?

by Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert and Consumer Advocate


Beware of Carpet Installation Specials!


Looking to have new carpet installed soon? Everyone wants to know how much it costs to have carpet installed, probably because Home Depot and Lowe's have been offering a ridiculous carpet installation special lately. 


The latest TV advertisement I saw now offers FREE carpet installation if you buy a certain brand and sizable amount of new carpet AND padding. Guess how much they are charging for the carpet and pad? I think it's going to be a lot more than you ought to be paying! 


Learn more about buying carpet from home improvement stores.


In my professional opinion, you can't afford to go with a special cut-rate on your carpet installation. Done improperly, you could lose half of your new carpet life span! If you are looking to find out how much it REALLY costs to install new carpet I have all the answers you need. 


In different parts of the country, (The USA) the price of carpet installation may be higher or lower depending on the supply and demand. In our current down economy, there are a lot more 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. I bet you can negotiate as much as 30% off their normal carpet installation charge, especially if you are willing to pay them in cash at the end of the day.


Buyer Beware: Print out my free carpet installation checklist. You want to be sure your carpet is installed right the first time!


Ensuring Qualified Installation


The main thing you want to be sure of, is that the carpet installers use a power-stretcher to install your carpet. Gone are the days where a simple knee-kicker will do the trick unless youíre 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 insure this is to use a power-stretcher. If they donít use a power-stretcher, then find an installer that does! Otherwise you might void your warranty!


Important Note:

Is your Carpet Installer Licensed, Bonded & Insured? Check Now to see if you carpet or flooring installer is subject to your State Licensing Regulations. You should always call to make sure who you hire is properly licensed, bonded and insured according to the State and Local Laws where you live. You can also check to see if there have been any prior complaints filed against the contractor in question. 


Cheapest Carpet Installation Costs


In the southern states, there is much more competition and carpet installation prices are much lower. For example, in Miami, Florida you can get carpet installed for less than $2.00 per yard. Iím not saying it would be a qualified install, but there are plenty of hungry people in the area willing to work very hard for little money. 


Making sure your carpet installer is qualified is up to you. Donít assume that every carpet installer is qualified to install your carpet. In fact, I believe that less than 35% of all carpet installers are properly trained.


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.


I am not suggesting you go for the lowest installation price, in fact, getting your carpet installed properly is extremely important if you want your carpet to last as long as it was intended. 


The northern states are the highest priced which includes Northern California, Oregon, Washington State and the Northeastern States including New York, Ohio, Illinois, West Virginia, and Connecticut. I find that Midwest States have their share of hungry installers too, especially in Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, Kansas, Idaho, Utah and Nebraska.


The Real Numbers:


You can expect to pay at least $3.50 per yard for installation in the southern states and as much as $6.50 per yard or more, in northern states.


Some Carpet Retailers Profit From the Cost of Installation


Some carpet retailers choose make additional profits by padding the installation charges, often adding as much as 25% to the total installation cost. I feel this is an unfair charge to the consumer. Carpet retailers already make a fair and reasonable profit from the carpet and pad. 


Charging more for installation costs is unwarranted and unethical in my opinion. If you get a bid from a carpet retailer with usually high carpet installation fees and charges, you might want to shop around to see if other locally owned carpet stores have lower and more reasonable carpet installation prices.


Beyond the scope of  basic carpet installation


Some carpet dealers offer specials on carpet installation. Some of these specials are too good to be true. Free carpet installation sounds good when you hear about it, but in the end, is it really as good as it sounds? Not always. 


The basic carpet installation does not include any extras. If your carpet installation job needs any extras, then you may find that the final bill for your carpet install is much higher than you expect. Donít assume that their low price installation is valid n your situation. When your carpet is installed, you may be faced with a sizable final bill that you did not expect.


Itís the unexpected extra fees and charges that can add up in a hurry if youíre not careful. Installing carpet on stairs will almost always demand an additional charge. Depending on the type of stairs you have it will be anywhere from $3 for a standard box step to as much as $15 per step for a double-wrapped stair with a pattern match Berber. The longer it takes to upholster a step the more it will cost. The standard flight of stairs will usually cost about $75 in addition to the normal cost of carpet installation.

Removing your old carpet and padding.


Tear out of your old carpet and padding can be anywhere from fifty cents per yard to $3.00 per yard. They may also try to add on a dump fee of $10 to $50 depending on how much old carpet and pad you have. A good carpet team of three can remove 100 yards of carpet and pad in less than an hour. I think $2.00 per yard is more than enough to remove the old carpet and padding and haul it away. Most carpet retailers have a dumpster available onsite for their installers to use, so they don't have to drive to the dump after every job. 


Installing new tackless strips.


New construction will require that new tack strips must be installed. It is easier to install on wood than on concrete. The fee for wood might be an additional 25 or 50 cents per yard. The fee for installing tack strips over concrete might be an additional $1 per yard. In existing homes with damages tack strips that need to be replaced, it should be about $2.00 per each four foot section.


Some installers charge by the hour to do any work that is preliminary to the installation. In this case, Itís usually about $50 per hour (per person). This includes moving furniture, sealing floors and doing any floor repairs.


Carpet and Doorway Transitions


The carpet will meet other flooring types and must have a transition of some type. Examples are: Carpet to vinyl, carpet to hardwoods, carpet to vinyl tiles, and carpet to ceramic tiles are some of the possibilities.


Transitions can be made of wood, metal, rubber or plastic. Each transition is available in different quality levels and depending on the application, the correct transition must be used to ensure a long life without failing. The cost of transitions vary widely and should be discussed with your carpet estimator/retailer before the bid final is drawn up. 


The cheapest gold or silver colored transitions are generally priced at $1-$2 per foot. A rubber transition in a utilitarian application should cost about $3-$5 per foot. A transition of pre-finished hardwood can easily cost $5 to $20 per foot. Brass of other specialized transitions can be quite costly.


Thresholds are another story. If your front of back door is in need of a new threshold, plan on spending at least $50 for a new one. Usually these are made of aluminum and have to be cut to fit. If you want a snazzy threshold made of a pre-finished hardwood, expect to pay much more. Installing a new threshold is not always a quick and easy job and may require expert finish-contractor abilities.


Trimming the bottom of doors


If your new carpet is thicker than the last carpet installed in your home, your doors may need to be trimmed at the bottom. If your installer is qualified and well equipped to do this, then the charge can be anywhere from $10 per door to $50 per door depending on what your doors are made of. Trimming the bottom of doors is not a job for the inexperienced. It is not easy to do correctly and it is easy to ruin a door if it is not done properly.


You canít just run a skill saw or jigsaw along the bottom of a door and expect it to look nice when you are done. Some woods like pine or mahogany will easily splinter and fray on the backside and end up looking horrible unless you take steps to keep this from happening. Again, depending on what your doors are made of will determine how to trim your doors without damaging them. If in doubt, call in a professional carpenter.



Buy From A Reputable Carpet Dealer!


Carpet ProfessorAlan's Preferred Carpet Dealers

It's hard to find an honest and reputable carpet dealer these days! That's why I have compiled my own special list of hand-picked carpet retailers who are locally owned,  give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and hire qualified installers. It doesn't get any better than that! Don't risk losing thousands! See who I recommend near you!











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