The day after the tardy, sans writing utensil, carpet estimator showed up to measure the room, I received a call from Lowe?s, my estimate was ready. $445 and change.
Huh? Mentally doing some math in my head, carpet 144 sq/ft at $1.28 per plus 52 cents a sq/ft to install is around $250. With tax I should still be under $300. So I asked the girl on the other end could she break it down for me. There was 156 sq/ft of carpet (I asked for this so we could cover a little step going into the kitchen) so that is and additional twenty bucks. There was an additional $47 for the extra labor of covering said step. That seems a little high for amount of work, but that still leaves us in the middle $300 range. Then there was an additional 35 dollars for floor leveling compound and $45 for adhesive. I told her that my floor didn?t need leveling and she said she would have a Mr. Howard from the installation company call me.
So Donna and I started whittling away at some of the costs to get the price down to a manageable level. Forget the extra foot of carpet, I’ll just paint the step. No leveling and a favorably installation date & time and we would go for it. And WTF, the installation cost didn?t already include the glue? For the 52 cents a sq/ft they were basically trimming 5? off two sides and laying it down in the room? I?m betting the installation cost you see advertised in the store for wall to wall carpet doesn?t include the tack strips either.
Mr. Howard never called me, but the Lowe’s girl left a message on my work phone the next day to the effect that she had spoken to him and he said if the floor wasn?t leveled we ran the risk of seeing or feeling the joints in between the flag stones of the existing floor through the carpet.
Because I never got to speak to Mr. Howard I never got to explain to him that it is not real flagstone, it is some sort of hard vinyl outdoor flooring from the fifties that is a fairly convincing simulation. There is a difference in height between the ?stone? and the ?grout?, but it is measured in thousandths of an inch and in no way would be felt through even the thinnest carpet applied over it. And had the mental midget who measured, looked down at something besides his tape measure, he would have noticed the swirly glue residue left behind from when we had pulled up the previous carpet and maybe realized that the floor didn?t need leveling.
So what now? We are into Lowe’s for $51 for the measurement visit, but thirty-five of which we would get off the install charge if they did it. The other $16 was for an asbestos check that was spent on our estimation guy using his Jedi mind powers to look for this problematic material. Either that or he can smell it because we didn’t see him do anything except unfurl his tape measure twice.
So we did the smart thing, cut our loses with Lowe’s, found some commercial carpet we liked at Home Depot for 85¢ a sq/ft, bought a tub of glue and some fresh blades for my box cutter. Total cost, is under $200 because my labor is free and that even includes the $51 we threw away.
(coming soon: Home Depot carpet buying experience & Lowe’s Ship to Store fun)