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The New Carpet Journey Part 1 : Empire Today Comes To Visit

 

carpet, purchasing a carpet, estimated carpet price

My wife and I built our home almost eleven years ago. It was fun picking out the décor for our new home and it all seemed shiny and new for several years. Years have gone by, kids have grown up, and the shininess has worn off of many of the things in our home. Most notably, the carpet has become worn in high traffic areas, and there are stains that resist even the most intense carpet shampoo session.

My wife and I decided to look into replacing some of the carpet in our home. We will be getting estimates from several retailers and then make an educated decision as to whether it’s a good use of our money right now.

Of course the first thing that popped into my head is this would be great journey to share with my friends here at Clever Dude. So buckle yourself in, as we begin this journey. If you’re thinking of replacing flooring in your home in the near future, maybe our story will help you with your project. If you’ve replaced flooring in your home recently, please please PLEASE share your experiences in the comments and help us out!

The first call we made was to Empire Today. They have a catchy jingle on TV which prompted my wife to give them a call. The salesman actually came to our home, and spent about 90 minutes with us. Here are the highlights of the visit:

The Questions

The first thing he did was to ask us questions about what we wanted to replace, why we wanted to replace it, and how long we planned to be in the home. This gave him a good idea as to the products that might work best for us.

Explanation of Service

Before even showing us a sample he gave us great information about their warranty service, how quickly they could get a crew to do our job, and their low price guarantee. It was the last one that really caught our ear. Basically he invited us to negotiate their price. He urged us to look at their products, get an estimate, and then go look somewhere else. If we found something we liked somewhere else we could give him a copy of the estimate even if the product was not exactly the same. He would send it to corporate, and they would respond with whether they could reduce their price or not in order to get our business.

The Samples

He brought in dozens of samples for us to look at. Once we picked a couple that we liked, he urged us to put them in each of the rooms we were looking to replace the carpet as well as to look at it from several angles. When we had narrowed our selection to three, he stated he would get us large samples shipped from his warehouse that we could have in our home for a few days to move around and really examine and decide which we liked the best.

Measuring

While my wife and I were looking at the samples, he made detailed measurements and diagrams on his iPad of the rooms that were to be carpeted. He would use these to accurately build our cost estimate.

The Cost Menu

He asked for our email address, and said that he would send us a cost menu within 24 hours. The menu would state the cost of the product, and what it included. Then there would be an menu of options such as tear out and haul away, furniture moving, and others. The cost for each add on would be listed next to the service, allowing us to pick and choose which options we wanted and determine the total cost.

Final Impression

I have to be honest, the guy was personable and made me feel extremely comfortable. I liked how he gave us a lot of information regarding how his company operated, and asked us questions to help match the right type of product with our needs. I also really liked how he was going to get us a detailed estimate with a menu of

After he left though, I realized he had given us the charge per square foot for the add on services such as moving furniture, but hadn’t given us a cost per square foot for the different carpet products. We hadn’t asked either.

We were left completely clueless as to even a ballpark estimate of what our carpet project may cost us. We had no idea even what price range was available for their products.

Those were questions we should have asked.

Right now, we’re waiting for the email containing our estimate. I guess we’ll see what the numbers are, and go from there.  Stay tuned, more to come!

CleverDude_CarpetPic

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Have you replace flooring in your home recently? What was your experience? Do you have any advice to offer us?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

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About the author

Brock Kernin

8 Comments

  • Well my advice would definitely be to shop it around, as I’ve heard that Empire is generally quite a bit more expensive than a lot of other places. They tend to nickel and dime and while their prices may be ‘low’, it could include things like subpar padding or something, and by the time you get to where you want to be, things could look quite a bit different.

  • We had Lowes install replacement carpeting in our last home a couple of years ago. The prices weren’t bad, and they do sub-contract to local guys, but the work was good and they were in and out in a day with us moving the furniture.

    On the other hand some other friends purchased a fence and some doors from Lowes with installation. The doors and fence were to be delivered the day before and then installed. The doors were wrong, fencing arrived weeks early, and when the fencing was put up the end result was cracked and not butted up with the house. Before Lowes could get someone out to take it all down the gate even broke off the hinge.

    I guess I’m saying YMMV with them as they use contractors. As an aside we faux-tiled a small bathroom and it was extremely easy. Actually the Mrs. did it to be honest.

  • When we bought this house a little over 4 years ago Empire was one of the few contractors we had out all in one day. We’d shopped another local company and ruled them out for being too expensive, but another made the cut to come and measure as well. I think having lots of contractors running around at the same time put a little incentive on the Empire rep to make a good offer. In the end, we got great padding, installation and the carpet we wanted for a pretty sweet price.

    Of course, with 3 cats, one dog and now a munchkin…. a couple spots are a little worse for wear, but that’s carpet for you.

  • Eesh. This makes me very glad we had tile installed when we moved in. It was part of general repairs made rolled into the purchase of the house, so we didn’t have to go through this rigamarole.

    I guess the only questions I can think of are pretty obvious. Like, is the padding included in the estimate? How long will it take and what would you need to move out?

    And yeah, definitely shop around. The places with the most advertising can have the higher prices. Because they have to pay for the ads somehow, right?

  • @Dan – I think you could get some good vs bad stories with just about any installer, unfortunately. I have a friend that works at Lowes, so we’re definitely getting an estimate from them…we’ll see where they come in. Thanks for your comment!

  • @Eddie – I would bet they have quite a bit of wiggle room in their estimate, given what they came in at. We might go back to them and test their “lowest price guarantee” to see how much we could get them to come down. I really liked the guy, and their product. The warranty was great too….but you know, does anyone really plan to keep the same carpet for 20-30 years???

  • @Abigail – Those are great questions….the padding game with, but the moving the furniture in and out was extra. The cost for moving the stuff in and out was like $100. I’ll pay $100 to have someone move our heavy furniture out and in the rooms!

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