Carpet Installation Cost - Carpet Installation Scams
©2021 by Alan Fletcher - 30-Year Carpet Expert and Consumer Advocate
Beware of Low-Cost Carpet Installation Specials on TV!
Looking to have new carpet installed soon? Everyone wants to know how much it costs to have new carpet installed, probably because Home Depot and Lowe's have been offering ridiculous low-cost or no-cost carpet installation specials on Television. Is this a scam?
Home Depot and Lowe's latest TV ads offer FREE or Discounted Carpet Installation, that is if you buy enough of a certain brand, type or style of new carpet & padding. There are requirements and limitations to their offer and there are also added costs that you may not be aware of. Did you read all their fine print?
Do you know how much they are charging you for the carpet and pad separately? If they give you free or discounted carpet installation, then you can bet it's going to cost you a lot more for the carpet and padding than you should to be paying! Do you know about all the added installation costs you are responsible to pay?
What is "Basic Carpet Installation"
Some carpet retailers like Home Depot or Lowe's offer TV specials on carpet installation. Some of these specials are too good to be true. Free or discounted carpet installation sounds good when you hear about it, but in the end, is it really as good as it sounds? Not always.
Home Depot and Lowe's "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. Don’t assume that their low price installation is valid n your situation. When your new carpet is installed, you may be faced with a sizable final bill that you did not expect.
It’s the unexpected Carpet Installation charges that add up fast.
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 cost to install a flight of stairs will usually cost about $125 in addition to the normal cost of carpet installation. More complicated staircases, especially those with spindles or pattern matches can be much more costly to install new carpet, often more than $500 per flight.
The Truth about Buying Carpet from Home Improvement Stores.
Most homeowners can't afford to go with a special "cut-rate" price on Carpet Installation. Why? Because carpet installed improperly can lose up to half of it's intended life span! If you are looking to find out how much it REALLY costs to install new carpet by a qualified Carpet Installer, I provide all the answers you need for free! How To Install Carpet | Tools Supplies
In different parts of the country, (The USA) the "going rate" for carpet installation may be a bit higher or bit lower depending on supply and demand. In our current economy, prices are increasing but there are still some hungry carpet installers out there looking to make some extra money.
How to Reduce Carpet Installation Cost
You can't negotiate carpet installation cost if you buy from a retailer who sells you the carpet, the pad and provides installation too. The only way to negotiate a lower carpet installation cost is if you hire an independent carpet installer and pay them directly for their services. This means you must purchase the carpet and padding materials separately.
The trick to negotiating a good deal on new carpet installation is to give the installer some leeway that allows them to install your carpet in a time-frame that does not interfere with their regular source of income. This means you may have to be flexible and give them options to install your new carpet when it is most convenient for them! Nights and weekends are often a good time for some installers to schedule side work to make extra money.
This is good news for homeowners 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. It's common to negotiate as much as 20% to 30% off their normal carpet installation charge, especially if you are willing to pay them in cash at the end of the day and/or allow them to work nights or weekends.
You still need to get a written receipt, get a signature for payment received, and a full name, address and phone number of the installer. You must still expect the installer to get the job done properly and professionally, regardless of any discounted price for services rendered.
Carpet Buyers Beware:
Print out my free carpet installation checklist. You want to be sure your carpet is installed correctly the first time!
How To Get Qualified Carpet Installation
The main thing you want to be sure of, is that the carpet installers use a power-stretcher to install your new 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 in an apartment. Carpet needs to be stretched in tight, and the only way to insure this is to use a power-stretcher. If they don’t use a power-stretcher then find an installer that does! Otherwise you might void your new warranty!
Is your Carpet Installer Licensed, Bonded & Insured? Check Here to see if your carpet or flooring installer is subject to State Licensing Regulations. You should always call to make sure anyone 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 $3.00 per yard. I’m 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. Don’t 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.
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 or more. In existing homes with damaged tack strips that need to be replaced, it should be about $3.00 per each four foot section.
Some installers charge by the hour to do any work that is preliminary to the installation. In this case, It’s usually about $50 per hour (per person). This includes moving furniture, sealing floors and doing any floor repairs.
Discuss Carpet Transitions with your Estimator or Carpet Installer
The carpet will meet other flooring types and often 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 usual situations.
Transitions can be made from 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-$3 per foot. A rubber transition in a utilitarian application should cost about $3-$6 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 to $250 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 an expert with "finish contractor" capabilities.
Trimming the Bottom of Your Doors is Important
If your new carpet is thicker than the last carpet installed in your home, your doors may need to be trimmed at the bottom to prevent abrasion. You never want your doors to rub across the surface of your carpet as they open and close.
If your carpet installer is qualified and well equipped to do this, then the charge can be anywhere from $20 per door to $50 per door depending on what type of wood 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 not done properly.
It takes a special saw blade and proper technique to cut the bottom of doors properly. You can’t just run a typical skill saw or jigsaw along the bottom of a door and expect it to look nice when you are done. Some doors are made from woods like pine or mahogany and will easily splinter, crack and fray if cut improperly. The bottom of your doors will end up looking horrible unless proper steps are taken to keep this from happening. Again, depending on what type of wood your doors are made of will determine the proper method to trim your doors without damaging them. If in doubt, call in a professional carpenter.
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. Who do I recommend near you?
Recommended Carpet Stores
Best Carpet Cleaning Services
How To Choose New Carpet
Carpet Padding Choices
Carpet Installation Facts
FREE Forms, Guides, Charts and Coupons
All content is the opinion of the author.