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New Carpet: A Few Surprises

You’re sick of your stinky poop-stained floors. It’s time. The stacks of samples at Home Depot beckon. So clean. So soft. You speak of pad (how cushiony!) and stain resistance (how thoughtful!). What’s that I smell? Is it the smell of new carpet or the promise of a better life, a fresh start–a new you with clean floors and a nice house?

That’s the power of new carpet. It can be transformative. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you jump in with both feet.

Expenses You Don’t Think About

There are many great deals and sales you can find when you decide to get new carpet. But don’t just think about the price of the actual carpet. You’ll need pad to go under it, of course, and experts say that the pad is a worthwhile place to splurge. It makes you carpet feel better and last longer. That said, my carpet and pad were only about 2/3 of my total bid. One of the hugest expenses is the removal of the old carpet. You’ll save money by tearing it up yourself. But you also have to haul it away and dispose of it so you need a truck and strength and a dump. It’s kind of a big job.

Stairs are Extra

Even when you find a deal with a flat fee for installation (and you should find a deal like this because it does cut costs) you still have to pay more for stairs. And if you are replacing wood or flat carpet with something fluffy your baseboards might need to be adjusted. That’s not free.

It’s Like Moving

You’re so blinded by the idea of new carpet you don’t think things through. Fact: You are going to have to move every piece of furniture in your house that you want new carpet under. It’s a BIG deal. I mean, logistically it takes some figuring if you’re carpeting your whole house. The installers I’ve worked with are great and flexible and will schedule the installation over a few days so you can shift furniture from room to room. Most installers offer furniture removal, but it is expensive and that usually means moving 5 or 6 big pieces per room. It doesn’t mean packing up books and knick knacks or toys or clothes. So even if you splurge on help moving the furniture, you kind of have to pack up your house before they come. Your installer may have specific instructions for you, too–Like removing all the interior doors before they can install. Betcha didn’t think of that when you were rubbing a wool Berber sample across your cheek!

There is Cheap Carpet that Looks Nice

I was surprised that I could rarely tell just by looking at a carpet sample how high the quality of it was. Now, once you get into it and start reading labels and listening to salesman you figure out that Nylon is the best and Stain Master is awesome. You can spend a million dollars on beautiful, everlasting, guaranteed carpet if you want to. However–and this is good news for the rest of us–I found carpet I liked the look of at every price point. Read: Cheap carpet isn’t ugly anymore. So if you are just doing a basement or are in a place you don’t plan to stay long-term or have to re-carpet because of water damage (I’m looking at you, Sandy), you can find something affordable that will look nice.

I didn’t think about any of this when I was rubbing my hands over plush carpet squares in the store. It was intoxicating. My head wasn’t right. I wanted you to go into your carpet adventure with eyes wide open.

Read more of my writing at Kid Scoop.

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A big thanks to The Home Depot for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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