I recently bought a house that had two rooms of unusable carpet – bright pink Kool-Aid stains, engine grease, and some other things that I just could not identify. I had exactly $700 to spend on either cleaning that carpet or replacing it. My first choice, of course, was to replace it.
I checked out three companies based on word of mouth advice from friends: Home Depot, Lowe’s, and R.C. Willey (a Utah based furniture store).
All three had great carpet in countless prices, colors, textures, brands, qualities, and available warranties. There was no discernible difference between them, other than if you were looking for something very specific.
My main concern was price. I challenged each to provide me with two rooms of carpet, pad, tear up, haul away, and installation, for less than $700. My second concern was that I had a preference for a light gray or stone color, but not if it was going to send the price over budget.
I first went to the R.C. Willey carpet department in Riverdale, Utah. R.C Willey came the most highly recommended from friends. They had the exact color that I imagined in their least expensive carpet. I had the salesperson ring up an estimate and it came to $850. No deal.
Next I went to the Home Depot carpet department in Ogden, Utah. They showed me around and found a color that was more or less acceptable, and told me it would be under $700 for the whole package. I put down a $50 deposit to have them come out and take exact measurements. It only took a few days, and then about a week later I was called with an exact price: about $750. I told them no deal, and then had to bicker a little bit to get my $50 deposit back.
Finally Lowe’s carpet department in Riverdale, Utah. This Lowe’s just had one worker in the carpet department, but he was extremely knowledgeable and seemed to have some decision-making power. I told him about the $700 challenge. He told me if I didn’t care about color he could do it. So I paid another measuring deposit, this time only $35, and they sent someone out. A week later I stopped in and the same gentleman told me $710. I reminded him he had told me under $700, so he played around with some numbers and came back with $690 – effectively winning the challenge. The color was called “fossil”, a light brownish-gray, which was fine.
A week or so later, someone called me about the install. I’m a nine-to-fiver just like everyone else, so I requested a Saturday install. The best they could do was Friday afternoon.
The Lowe’s contract carpet installer arrived exactly on time. He was a man in his fifties, and was clean, polite, professional. He had all of the required tools and claimed 30 years of experience. The only odd thing was that he was alone. I could see right away that he was going to have a very tough time getting that big 15 foot roll of carpet off of his truck by himself, so I helped. I’m really not sure how he usually gets that carpet off the truck, because it was tough for us to do together. He was a bit slow to install that carpet, and ended up coming back the next day to finish. He did a good job though, and the house looks great.