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Home Improvement Flooring Sales Gimmicks

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Home Depot and Lowe's FREE Carpet Installation?

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You can buy new Carpet and Flooring at Lowe's or you can buy new Carpet and Flooring at Home Depot. They both certainly want and need your business. They pay millions in advertising to try to convince you to buy new Carpet and Flooring products from them. That's because there are such high profit margins on new Carpet and Flooring products.

  • Home depot gave final cost of all material & installation (8 bags of leveler) of $3000. Looking for more prices. Project Location: Tewksbury, MA 01876.
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There is so much money to be made selling flooring, including carpet and padding that they offer whole-house installation for $39 or less! Why do you suppose they offer carpet installation at such a low cost? Profits!

Carpet Buyers Beware!

Both Lowe's and Home Depot use an independent installation company to handle all their flooring installations and they in turn hire subcontractors to do the work. This means that you have no way of knowing in advance who is going to install your carpet until they show up at your door with your new carpet or flooring. Are they really qualified?

Will they do a good job for you? And what if something goes wrong and your carpet or flooring is installed poorly? Who do you call when you have a problem? Who will accept responsibility and come to your rescue? Will you get a quick remedy or will it take weeks of calling and calling? You know the answer..

I've heard from so many homeowners who ended up with a poor installation job and their horror stories about the runaround they got when calling the store to try to get a remedy. I don't want this to happen to you. If you have a problem with your carpet or flooring installation you need to get a quick remedy.

But if you only pay $39 for installation and you are not satisfied with the outcome will you just get a $39 refund? That's how much you paid for the installation, right? Hmmmm..

Carpet Sales Gimmicks

Many new carpet sales gimmicks have been offered up lately by the big box warehouses and some nationally advertised 'shop at home' flooring retailers. Their claim of deep discounts on carpet or installation are designed to lure you into thinking you have a chance at getting a really good deal. No matter what their current sales gimmick is, their goal is to make you think they are giving away the farm. If it sounds too good to be true..

Have you watched those quirky shop-at-home for carpet TV commercials that offer next day installation? Did you know that their salespeople are independent contractors? They are paid solely on commission and are basically free to charge you as much as they think they can get away with. That means if you live in a nicer home and have an expensive car in the driveway, you might be quoted a higher price.

And what about the products they sell? Are they well made and as durable as you might expect? You will not be happy if you buy a cheaply made carpet at inflated prices. You must decide for yourself if this is the way you want to go. I suggest you do a quick Google search on any carpet retailer you are considering to see if they are reputable, and see what their previous customers have to say. It could open your eyes!

Even if you are tempted to buy from a big box retailer, you would be wise to get several bids to compare prices on similar carpet, pad and installation. There is no standard markup for carpet and pad. An identical carpet can vary in price at every carpet store you visit. Any dealer can price their carpet, materials and labor any way they want.

How Much Does Carpet Cost?

Carpetand Flooring Installers and Extra Fees

I totally respect carpet and flooringinstallers. Most work very hard to earn their money by providing an honest dayswork, often implementing strenuous physical demands and following strict legalstate licensing and insurance regulations. Installing carpet or otherresidential or commercial flooring is very difficult and time consuming andrequires significant hard work and attention to detail. I think flooring installers are often taken for granted, underpaid and underappreciated.

Whole house installation for $39.00? No professional carpet installer is willing to work for freeor is willing to install a house full of carpet at a huge discount. Surprise!Your carpet installation will likely NOT fall within their 'basic' guidelinesso there WILL be some extra fees and charges and you should expect that from the big box retailers who lure you with this sales gimmick.

Recent email from a reader:

'I just had (a home improvement warehouse) give me a measure and quote for carpet. The basic installation is $99, then it is an additional $195 for tack strips, and an additional $85 because it is a mobile home.

I've called other carpet installers and they charge less for padding ($3 vs. $5.65) and more for installation ($4/yard), and it will cost me $250 less than the home improvement warehouse!'

What is considered a 'Basic' Carpet Installation?

Does the price include removing the old carpet and padding? dump fees? haul away fees, recycling charges? What about transitions, are they included? Some stores charge for measuring, but this should be a part of their service and not an extra fee. I would never agree to pay for measuring because plenty of local carpet dealers offer free estimates and measuring.

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Extra for measuring, extra for delivery, extra for removing the old, extra for stairs, extra for transitions, extra for tack strip, extra for just about everything.

Isn't is obvious to you that they hide the added cost of low-cost installation by charging extra for every little thing AND inflating the price of your new carpet and pad too? Do you know how much they mark- up new carpet and pad? There is more profit in new carpet, padding and other flooring products than most people think.

The average going rate for carpet installation in the USA isabout $5.25 per yard. It's a little higher in the northern states and a littlelower in the southern states. There is almost always an extra fee for stairs, furnituremoving and transitions where the carpet meets vinyl, tile or hardwood flooring. Theyhave a long list of added fees for services that do not fall under their'basic' installation description.

Is this really true? If you think I am making all this up,take two minutes and do a Google search of 'Carpet Complaints'and see for yourself. You will have plenty of reading to keep you busy. When youare done reading all that, come on back and let me help you make wise and informed carpetand flooring choices.

Why I support Locally Owned Carpet Dealers

Some carpet installation specials are a really good deal for consumers, especially those offered by locally owned and family run carpet retailers. Reputable carpet retailers may advertise discounts on carpet, padding or specials on installation similar to the big box stores, but without all the fine print!

Times are tough and to earn your business some local retailers have lowered their prices to stay in business. But be careful who you buy from, it's easy to fall prey to a carpet scam these days and that's why I have been compiling a special list of locally owned carpet dealers for my preferred carpet dealer directory. Take a peek and see if I have a preferred carpet dealer near you.

For these reasons and many more, I would never buy carpet from Home Depot or Lowe's or recommend that you do. I think you need to buy from a reputable locally owned carpet retailer that has your complete satisfaction in mind and will treat you right from to start to finish AND after the sale!

Read my answer the question: Should I buy carpet from Lowe's or Home Depot?

If you’re looking to have carpet installed soon, there could be a good chance you wander over to the Home Depot to check out their selection or maybe you saw an advertisement proclaiming free installation.

Whatever the case may be, Home Depot, by outsourcing its work to licensed, local contractors, is able to install your carpet as long as it’s purchased from them.

How much does carpet installation cost at the Home Depot?

A professional in-home measurement is always required before purchasing carpet from a local Home Depot. This measurement service will cost about $35 to $55; however, if you commit to the purchase, they will credit your final total with this measurement fee. When the associate comes to your home, this is the time when he or she will evaluate the site, verify all measurements and determine if any special installation is required. At that time, once the measurements are done, Home Depot will then be able to offer you an installation estimate, although it will not be guaranteed.

As for the costs to have your carpet installed by the Home Depot, it will greatly vary depending on the current promotion being held and the type of carpet you’re purchasing. Most of the time, from what we researched in the past, as long as you met a certain spending requirement, you could have the carpet installed by a locally assigned contractor by Home Depot for free. The “free” installation, however, will be for a basic install only and later on in this guide, we will talk about the additional costs you need to be aware of. A basic install basically means the contractor will install the new carpet on the existing subflooring using the already-existing tack strips.

For example, at the time of this publishing, the official Home Depot page states free carpet installation will apply to any carpet priced $1 per square foot or higher and customers will need to spend a minimum of $699.

If you do not qualify for the free carpet installation offer, then, from what we noticed, the costs of the install would, again, vary on a few factors, including the size of your home, the type of carpet purchased and the complexity of the install. For the most part, people reported paying an additional $199 to $550 or about $99 a room for the average-sized home if either on promotions were being held or, again, they didn’t meet the specifications.

Members on this thread talked about the “free” installation and was wondering if there was truly a catch. While most said what we already said — you had to spend $699 or more or purchase a certain carpet — one member did note that they will upcharge quite a bit on the specialty items such as tack strips and transitions.

Is it really free?

The “free” installation includes no hidden fees, rip up of the old carpet and haul away, but the offer is not valid in all markets. As long as you meet the qualifications as specified by the Home Depot associate, you should not see any additional charges.

As per the fine print, the discount will apply to the total installation job — product + install + pad. We took a picture of the fine print we saw during a promotion being held in 2018 and included it below:

The additional costs to think about

Reading the fine print, it appears any glue-down and/or commercial installations will not be included in the free installation quote. This offer only applies to family residential homes only.

Speciality items which are required in order to complete the job are additional costs to consider.

Buyers, for the most part, are responsible for moving all of the furniture off of the carpet before the install. According to an associate, if they have to pick up a drill in order to take apart any furniture, such as a bunk bed, then you will be charged about $20~ per piece.

Stairs, most of the time, will be an additional cost and won’t be part of the free installation package. Previous customers reported paying $8 to $12 per step.

Some people report that if you live on a higher floor of a condo or apartment, an additional charge may apply.


Other fees such as padding, dump fees, haul away fees and recycling charges may apply.

Tips to know

If you do choose the Home Depot to install your carpet, keep in mind that Home Depot will not complete the install. Rather, it will be a local, licensed and bonded contractor who Home Depot screens for the job.

Local flooring companies, for good reason, recommend checking with them as well because most of the time, they can come close, if not beat the price. Even if they are able to match the price, the communication between the companies, from what we noticed, will be much better. Plus, you’re supporting a local business.

Home Depot carpet installation reviews

While it may be biased, seeing it’s coming from the official Home Depot website, over 9,000+ previous customers gave their experience a 4.4-star rating on average.

Multiple reviewers on this thread stated they were very “pleased” with the process.

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Visitors to this Zillow thread had mixed reviews, with some people saying they are no different than other flooring companies, while some the experience was frustrating.

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Average Reported Cost: $0

Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

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