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Ask the Readers: Saving money on carpet replacement?

We are planning on replacing the carpet in our house this coming year. What are your suggestions to save on this big purchase while still getting quality carpet? Thanks! -Dana

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78 Comments

  • Chandler says:

    I know it says they are replacing the carpet, but I wonder if it can be steam cleaned to add life to it. Our carpet was in need to an uplift. Fortunately, we got a local steam cleaning company to come out and steam all of our carpets for less than $200. I feel like it added years back on to our carpet.

    • Wendy says:

      @Chandler, I’ve had our carpets steam cleaned a few times, but I’ve never been very happy with it. Then a few weeks ago I finally rented a Rug Doctor and did it myself. It was easy and cheap! (~$50 for a 24 hour rental plus the cleaning solution – check the Rug Doctor website for coupons!) I was also able to clean it like *I* wanted it done, so I could do a second coat over the dirtier parts of the carpet. Honestly, I think the home-done cleaning came out much better than professional, and for 1/6th of the price!

      One of the best money-saving measures is always “put it off and save up” – so if you know you want to replace carpet eventually but not just yet, you might be able to clean it now and put up with the old carpet for an extra few months or so. Then you’ll have saved up that much more money to get something good quality!

      • Suzy says:

        @Wendy,
        If you still have your reciepts, there is a $10 rebate in one of the Smart Source inserts. It was for a rental between Sept 1 and Dec 31st, I think.

        Go to http://www.afullcup.com to find the date on the insert.

        Three families went in together and rented one for 24 hours and it cost us about $15 each. Screaming deal.

  • Davonne says:

    Carpet remnants – some of them are huge, and the savings is incredible! Also, doing the prep work when possible (moving furniture out, taking up the carpet, etc) saves a ton of money.

    When we pulled up carpet in two bedrooms, we were surprised to find beautiful wood floors underneath – we’d already prepaid for the carpet in the kid’s bedroom, but we paid nothing to scrub our wood floor, so that was a great saving. So now I always recommend checking under the carpet before purchasing new 🙂

  • Jill says:

    I hate to say it, but if you are replacing carpet, you need to spend money on good quality carpet. I just replaced mine and went with a more expensive brand as I had construction quality and I can’t replace every 5-7 years. They told me to look for what the carpet “face weight” is as this is how many strands are together. I was told 45 or higher is a great face weight. I also went with a higher grade that has a 15 year warranty as I will be in this house that long.

  • Laurie says:

    I agree with Davonne – we’ve renovated two homes and remnants were definitely the way to go! You can usually find very large remnants that can be cut down to the sizes you need, and doing any extra work helps save quite a bit of money! We’ve always pulled up our own carpet (it’s very easy to do) and made any repairs to the floor that were needed (i.e. tightening floor boards to get rid of squeaks), before the installers came in and installed the carpet.

    And it’s always a great idea to take cash with you to the carpet store – when salesman see that you have money ready to spend they’re usually willing to make a deal!

  • Kellie says:

    I sell carpet for a living, my advice… Never, ever go to a retail big box store. Find a small local reputable company. If you can find one that concentrates on commercial/builder accounts, that’s great. You want one with a showroom, but nothing that drives the overhead up. Mark up on carpet is about 20%, so there’s not a lot of haggling to be done. No need to upgrade pad, standard is great. Move your own furniture (saves over $1/ yard) do your own take up, they should haul off for free. Ask the sales person if there are any specials, mills typically have a promotion going on…
    That’s all the tips I can think of right now. Good luck!

    • Jill says:

      I agree with kellie! go to a nice local store. we did this, told them we were paying in cash and you will be amazed!

    • bdaiss says:

      We just put new carpet in last year while building our house. I’ll second (or is it sixth…) those who say do the tear out yourself. Also, look for a carpet wholesaler. Carpet Direct is a great one. There is no store. You call them, they come to your house with samples. You’ll have to pay cash, but you’ll save between $4 and $7/square foot for very high quality carpeting. Also check with local handy-men. They may know someone who can install carpeting for you cheaper than what the stores will charge.

      Although honestly…I’d really suggest going with the hardwood or other alternatives if you can. So much easier to keep clean and so so so much more durable. Another alternative are carpet squares. If you’re facing a high traffic, highly abused area these are great because when one gets grape juice spilled all over it you just pull it up and replace one square. What? Do I sound like I’ve done such a thing? *blush*

      • Caroline says:

        @bdaiss, I agree with Kellie. One of our friends went to a big-box store for their carpet and installation. Looked great at first, but within a couple months the carpet had gathered up and was no longer flat. A total tripping hazard for adults/kids/animals!

  • Aubrey says:

    We just bought carpet and needed to find a good price but still wanted nice carpet that would last. I would suggest looking for remnants or discontinued styles which are often heavily discounted. Also, you may be able to negotiate with them a little on the price of the carpet, pad, or installation.
    If you have to pay sales tax you can save money buy purchasing your carpet from somewhere that will install it too. Since we bought it and had it installed by the same store we didn’t have to pay tax on it. I don’t why that is, but I do know it saved us a lot!
    Look around and try to choose a piece that will last, some cheap carpets are just that, you don’t want to have to replace it again just a few years down the road!

  • Ashley Bradford says:

    Growing up my family did not have much money. We had very old carpet, but never had extra money to replace it. It just so happened that we had friends with lots of money who decided to remodel their house. Their carpet was only a couple years old and VERY high quality. When they remodeled they were very careful taking it out, and they gave us the huge pieces of nearly perfect carpet. Our house was much smaller than theirs so my parents just had to pay for the new to us, but used carpet too be installed. We were able to use carpet from barely lived in rooms of our friends’ house and it lasted for years and years…it is still in my parents house today!

  • Bonster says:

    Think about no carpet. It gathers all kinds of nastiness and dirt and it’s expensive. We have 2400 sq ft and only one room, the living room, has fixed carpet. We purchased do it yourself laminate floors 7 years ago. Affordable, durable to our two kids and two dogs. I can always tell when it’s clean. We had lots of tile at our previous home, loved it too but it can be cold, although tile can be very inexpensive if you do yourself. Some people stray away from this because they think even the laminate is too cold but we use appropriately sized area rugs for wherever we need them. Ranging from 60-200 bucks, the area rugs can be cleaned and if they get to yucky or you want a change, they can be discarded easily, without huge commitments. I love, love love my hard surface floors

    • K says:

      @Bonster,

      Couldn’t agree more! And to add…if you have someone with allergies, carpet could definitely be exacerbating the problem.

      Here’s a reasonable alternative though…Bamboo flooring! Renewable source, adds more value to your home than carpet, looks very similar to hardwoods, and easy upkeep. Even better, quick search showed me it is found as low as $1.99 per sq. ft (DIY.) Plenty of sources out there to teach you to install this stuff (FREE sources.) Yes…it will require sweat payment and time. But the monetary aspect will be manageable.

    • Lana says:

      @Bonster I agree. It is estimated that there are 10 thousand organisms in every square foot of carpet. The few rooms of carpeting that we have are a huge problem for my allergies, thankfully they are not rooms where I spend alot of time.

    • Amanda says:

      @Bonster, Agreed!! Carpet is gross. It is so hard to keep it clean, especially when you have children. For a while, we lived in a rental house with faux wood laminate. Everyone warned me how much I would hate it, but I loved it!! Sweeping is an easy chore, and mopping is not expensive (unlike carpet cleaning). Even if you would prefer carpet is some part of the house, consider laminate (or another hard floor) for high traffic areas.

    • Janice says:

      @Bonster, I second the allergy part. If anyone in your families has allergies, carpet can be a nightmare. We are very careful in our home now to just use hard surface flooring, and we will never live with carpet again. The worst case was when we moved into a new apartment that had newly installed “cheap” carpet. The carpet fibers were a nightmare and made me very ill resulting in sinus surgery. Granted – a worse case scenario, but sometimes “cheaper” is not the best option for your health. I had no idea that I would have a problem when we moved in – I was thrilled to have new carpet. Ha!

  • Lisa says:

    We bought carpet (higher quality) on sale (could use Plastic Jungle and get gift cards to pay for it) at a local hardware store. We picked it up ourselves and did all the prep work to remove the old carpet and nails. The room was 100% ready to be worked on and we hired someone to come in and just lay/stretch the carpet. I would suggest asking around for someone who can do this for you as a side job maybe?

  • Natalie says:

    We got new carpet in our entire house last spring. I agree with the others who advise doing the tear out yourselves. I think that saved us about $500. Also, find the carpet that you like, get a precise measurement of the square yardage that you need, and call around for quotes. 3 of the well known carpet places around Milwaukee that do a lot of advertising quoted us around $5-6K, and the smaller place that gets great word of mouth and relies on that instead of media advertising did it for about $3200.

  • Megan Camp says:

    Check out Carpet Direct. We just built our house and had to pay for carpet. We found Carpet Direct online and was very pleased with the quality and price. They have many different options for carpet (and other flooring) in many different price ranges. They ship straight from the factory to a local pick up location and don’t pay the middle-man so their prices are very competitive. They’re not in all areas of the country but it’s worth checking out.

  • Lisa Whitmore says:

    When my husband and I built our house 10 years ago we went to some local stores and found the carpets we wanted, fairly high quality with a price to match. Then we called some stores in Dalton, GA where a lot of the carpets are made and got the carpets we wanted for much cheaper (you can probably google the stores.) We had to have them shipped and we picked them up at the delivery company about 20 miles away. We had a carpet layer come in and lay it and it was done. Great carpet for not much money.

  • Need A Nap2 says:

    We had talked about replacing carpet with our realtor and he suggested one place in town that was by far the cheapest. That was a long time ago but I would suggest asking around, like others suggested maybe someone has done some remodeling and will know or a realtor might have a great suggestion for you!

  • Used to be a carpet lady says:

    I worked in inside sales for a carpet/flooring store for 8 years. A few suggestions I would make from the “other side of the desk” are:
    DON’T buy looped carpet, aka “Berber”. It may be less expensive on the price tag per sq ft, however it doesn’t take much for it to snag and one swipe with a vacuum and you’ve got an ugly pull all of the way across the room and it can’t be fixed. It doesn’t seam well (doorways, large family rooms, etc) , or patch well if you’ve got other damage done to it (kids do the darndest things!) so depending on your room sizes you may end up with way more wasted scraps.

    DO buy Nylon… not olefin/polypropylene. Some polyesters can “pill” like a cheap sweater. Wool is the best, but can be very expensive. Stainmaster is good name brand of nylon, but not the only one out there. Some carpet mills have their own private label yarn. Bulk Continuous Fillament is also a good thing,, basically means your carpet won’t shed after the first few months.

    The easiest nylon carpet to maintain is a Frieze or twist. It almost looks like a short shag. It’s easy to patch, typically there are fewer scraps/less waste, because it can be seamed end-to-end or side-by-side. It holds up well on stairs, too. Keep the same color of carpet throughout. Changing colors ( like in different kids’ rooms) can add lots of extra costs all around.

    It’s better to get a good quality pad and middle of the road carpet then really nice carpet and cheap pad. If you have pets and small children, you might want to consider a pad with a moisture barrier on top. This will prevent spills from soaking through to the pad and much easier to get it up, therefore prolonging the life of your new carpet.

    Carpet typically comes 12 feet wide. Keep this in mind if you are trying to measure your areas and estimate how much it’s going to cost ahead of time or you might get a little bit of budget shock. It can be a big difference between what you actually have in sq ft versus how much carpet they have to order. Like a 10×10 kids’ room… It may be 100 sq ft, but they have to order a piece of carpet 12’x10’6 (extra inches are common because most rooms are not perfectly square and neither is the carpet) which is 125 sq ft and the pad is 6′ wide, and the installed gets paid on the sq ft of carpet & pad ordered, not what’s actually in your house because that’s a lot of work handling all of that and the installers are the ones that cut your room drops, not the carpet mill nor the carpet store you ordered it from.

    Ask the installers to leave scraps that are doormat size or larger. Some stores can bind these for you if you’d like and you can use them to protect entry ways from soiling or just store it in your attic for when the dog decides to chew on a red sharpie pen in the middle of your living room.

    If you have heavy, excessive furniture, like bookcases, china cabinets, pianos, large entertainment systems, that can cost extra on labor if you leave it to the installers to empty and move it. My store didn’t charge on tear out for carpet when replacing with new carpet.. unless like one time this guy had a water leak for a long period of time and he thought the odor was only in the carpet and pad. When the installers got the old pad out, they discovered the water leak had severely damaged the tack strip and had to replace a few pieces of it and that was an additional cost.
    Stair installation is in addition to your sq ft cost, typically $7-$10 per stair.

    Sorry for the info overload; I hope it helps.. Good luck!

  • Brandi says:

    We just replaced our carpet last week. We have 2 small kids and the carpet in our house was very expensive and fancy, but not kid friendly. When I started looked I asked some basic questions about what is easiest to clean, patch, maintain, hides dirt/marks, wears best, etc. I found that the carpet in our house was just wrong for our needs.

    I think a great way to save is to get the right carpet in the first place. It’s sad that what was here didn’t even last 5 years because it wasn’t meant for heavy traffic. Then I negotiated. I asked what I could do to cut the cost and get what I want. I was able to combine my order with another and saved some. We also moved our own furniture.

  • Lacey says:

    Where can you find the carpet remnants? Do I call the local stores and ask if they have some or where do I go?
    I am looking to repace our carpet in the begining of the year after we get our taxes back. It really needs new carpet and we have tried steam cleaning it but we have 3 small kids and lots of neices and nephews that come over so we need something that will hold up.

    • Wendy says:

      @Lacey, Just go to your local store and ask. Not somewhere like Home Depot; go to an actual carpet store that carries rolls of carpet. Ours had a big pile of carpet rolls along one wall – each was marked with how much was left on the roll. Do your measurements first – the rep told us that it’s much harder to find lengths of more than about 25 feet, so it works best if you have smaller rooms!

  • Leighanne Johnson says:

    My father laid carpet for 30 years and I worked with him every summer through college – it was a ridiculously hard job! A few tips I would suggest would be:
    1) Replace your carpet with another carpet being ripped out. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I’m sure if you asked around, there will be someone in your neighborhood who can give carpet away or know someone who is also getting carpet replaced. People might even be selling it in the ads or Craigs list. We would replace carpet with used carpet all the time and it looks as good as new when you can find a good piece.
    2) I would NOT go with a large home department store because the installers are not good. We would have to go back into homes and fix whatever the people did wrong before, and it would cost the homeowners a lot more money. The workers get paid so cheap that they don’t really take pride in what they are doing, therefore, they just do it quickly
    3) Remnants are the way to go. They are cheaper by far. You could even ask the store if they had any cancellations lately and they might have some large pieces cut already and those would be discounted as well.
    4) Don’t go cheap. You don’t want to be replacing it too soon. But don’t let the salesman talk you into something too expensive either. You want to make sure you do your homework. See if you want commercial (probably not though), and check to see what type of padding you NEED with the carpet and not the best type of padding out there. A lot of people forget that padding is a huge expense too, when getting carpet. But if you research what type of padding AND carpet you need, then you won’t get taken advantage of.

    I really hope this helps! Good luck!

    • Leighanne Johnson says:

      I just read through the others… and I forgot about the tear up. Definitely do that yourselves. It’s easy and saves a ton of money. Also moving your own furniture helps too.

    • Cherie says:

      @Leighanne Johnson, my husband and I own rental property so we buy a lot of carpet and are always trying to get the best bang for our buck.

      I agree that used carpet can be great. We found someone on Craigslist who just bought a house that had new carpet installed before they bought it and they didn’t like it. We got all of it for about $100. It was frieze style so it was easy to patch together with an iron-on adhesive strip that we got at Menard’s. It was enough for a living room, three bedrooms, a hallway and stairs.

      We’ve also had great luck with the remnant room at a local carpet store. We’ve found pieces big enough to do living rooms in there.

      Another thing that’s saved us a lot is doing much of the installation ourselves. If you have the right tools (we borrow from one of our landlord/handyman friends) it’s not that tough to do smaller rooms.

  • sara says:

    habitat for humanity is GREAT!!

  • Debi says:

    I shopped on craigslist and found that a local hotel was being bought out by a National Hotel Chain and they were selling every single thing in the hotel including the carpet(which was only a few years old). They sold each hotel room’s carpet for $25 each(including suites). I went through 60 rooms smelling and looking for stains and selected the best 5 rooms I could find. We had to tear out and remove the carpet ourselves(an adventure). We had a local handyman (recommended by friends) install the carpet. After everything had been done, we had a whole house full of carpet for what 1 room would have cost. Here are some pics and the crazy story: http://bellamariamom.blogspot.com/2010/05/crazy-carpet-conundrum.html

  • jamie says:

    we just put carpet in our house. we went to a local family owned store. we talked to the owner and ended up getting carpet that he had bought at a recent show…really cheap. so we got a good deal too. it was nylon freze, middle of the road. but we got good padding. we hired a private carpet layer who did a good job. she’s actually the one who got the pad at a good cost from a local store that she partners with. with all the money we saved, i bought a new dyson vacuum to keep the new carpets nice and clean. 😉

  • Cat says:

    We are replacing the carpet in our house room by room. We looked around to see who had the best prices on the engineered hardwood floors. We pulled up the carpet, the basebords and we even installed it ourselves. It wasn’t easy, but we made it through. We are very please with how the hardwood floors turned out. The maintenace is easy too.

  • Cat says:

    We are replacing the carpet in our house room by room. We looked around to see who had the best prices on the engineered hardwood floors. We pulled up the carpet, the basebords and we even installed it ourselves. It wasn’t easy, but we made it through. We are very please with how the hardwood floors turned out. The maintenace is easy too.

  • Sandy says:

    When I sold my home my realtor gave me a book which had a list of service contacts, such as handymen, electricians, and carpet layers was one of them. I called a couple of them and found one who wanted $110.00 to install the carpet in one bedroom, which doesn’t really seem like a deal but, he took me to the carpet warehouse showroom and I was able to order the carpeting I wanted at cost. Super huge savings!

  • Maria says:

    When we purchased our carpet we looked for a remnant place. We paid cash, which got us a discount, and took in our newborn baby, which got us another discount. 😉 We did the tear out and installation ourselves, which saved a lot.

    My brother did his house in remnants as well, and hired a guy off Craigslist to install it.

    My parents actually bought theirs from Home Depot (with free installation), and got a really durable berber (sp?) that’s held up super well. (They have 9 kids, so if it’s held up for them, it’s gotta be good!) If you use your Home Depot credit card you can often get 10% off your total. (We’ve done this several times, paying it off immediately after, of course. 😉 )

    • Beth says:

      In our first home, we had the carpet replaced by a local, family owned business. Within a couple of years, the carpet was bubbling, and the business had went out of business…When we had part of our basement finished, we went with Home Depot. We picked a Berber which has held up and I was pleased with the installation. And – Home Depot is still in business if I have a problem!

  • Katie says:

    If you choose a plain carpet then the pile can go in any direction which, if you are doing two rooms,means they can re-jig a smaller piece around. When we got a carpet we worked out ourselves exactly the amount we wanted and choose a carpet that a large home builder used for their show homes. Because of this we got the carpet alot cheaper as it was end of line. Remember the carpet tends not to be the expensive part but underlay and fitting. If you know a carpet fitter you could probably get this cheaper than the store.

    Also go to the store at the end of the month and negotiate – they will probably give you a good deal because they need to meet their sales figures.

  • Ashlie says:

    We just replaced the carpet in our living room last year, and were very concerned about how much it would cost. We ended up finding a Budget Carpet Store in our area and they had remnants and rejects from building projects for sale. We were able to go in and look through the entire warehouse of carpet that was marked up to 75% off, and find just what we were looking for. They also through in a free carpet pad, and loaded it up for us for free. They were an amazing company to work with, and really did have EXCELLENT customer service. Never be afraid to look at what someone else did not want because it may be exactly what you want… including the price!

  • Rhonda says:

    We replaced our carpet a year ago. We went to a local carpet store where we knew the owner. We told her what we wanted to pay, and she suggested we try to find overruns.(Overuns are what is left on a roll) And before we looked for the carpet, we had someone from the store measure our house(important because you don’t want to buy too much or too little) We found a few samples we liked, took them over to her, and she called the company directly to find out if they had any of these styles discounted. It took a while but we were able to find a two toned frieze (medium quality) for about half off, and the amount left on the roll that we needed. We bought a high quality pad, and ripped it out ourselves.

  • Rhonda Owens says:

    My family has been in the building and real estate business for many years. I would strongly advise against carpet. Laminate flooring is reasonable and looks like wood with rugs over it. It is great with kids. We have it at our lake home. Also, my husband and I are building a house and I got our wood flooring at a salvage store. There are good deals but you have to shop around.

  • Lorianne says:

    You can get away with a slightly cheaper carpet if you spend the money on a quality carpet pad. The pad makes all the difference! If you get a cheap, thin one, it will wear down really fast.

    • Sherri says:

      @Lorianne, I have been told the exact same thing by our carpet installer- and he doesn’t work for the store, so there’s no incentive for him to sell me something more expensive.

  • Michelle M says:

    We have laminate floors in part of our house and I love them. Don’t know if you have a Menard’s close to where you live but if you watch their sales (the “crazy days sales” specifically) you can get easy-to-work-with laminate for $0.70 sq ft and free (after the mail in rebate) underlayment (there is a very thin pad you are supposed to put under the laminate called underlay).
    If you do go the carpet route I suggest getting a good quality pad. When we bought our carpet (again at Menards) the standard pad was free (after the mail in rebate) but the premium pad was an additional $0.15 sq ft and that was probably the best flooring money we have ever spent. The premium pad (from there at least) is water proof (which is awesome when the kids spill something or when we have a pet issue) and feels like memory foam. So it made the cheaper carpet easier to clean and feel softer. Since we have young kids we didn’t buy expensive carpet, knowing what little kids can do to carpet, and just expect to have to replace it in 7-10 years when hopefully we are less rough on things.
    I’ve had tile in a previous house and passed on that. For many reasons I didn’t like it in the least bit (lots of cleaning, slippery when wet, cold all winter, and if the floor isn’t perfectly level it will crack eventually).

  • cherith says:

    Remember that if you hire a private carpet installer, that he/she may be willing to trade for part of the payment as well.

    • Diane says:

      @cherith,

      I’ll second that. I’ve been doing some home improvement projects around the house. New outdoor outlet, roofing, even new kitchen countertops. And I’ve been able to reduce the bill by hundreds in exchange for the handyman’s wife coming over to “shop” my surplus. They were happy because the value of what they selected was at least twice that of their discount to me and I was happy because although I probably could have sold what they took for near the same as the cash they discounted the work, I would have had to drag it all out of my basement and sit there all day long hoping for sales then cart it all back down again.

      In fact they liked my surplus so much they asked if some of their relatives could come “shopping” in my basement and pay me. Has given me the idea of setting up a friends/family sale right out of my basement where I don’t have to even cart the surplus up and down.

  • Lea Stormhammer says:

    We purchased high end carpet with a quality pad 4 years ago when we finished off our basement (laminate would have made the ceiling too short to be legal by about 1/8 of an inch!) and have been so pleased with it. I know many poeple thought we paid an arm and a leg for it, but 4 years, two kids, several guests and 4 HUGE birthday parties later it looks brand new. This is in our family room/play room so it sees lots of traffic daily. In fact, people keep asking us when we got new carpet – 4 years later!

    We have the Owen’s Corning Basement System for our basement so we got free installation as the carpet had to be hand stretched and they needed to train people in. They left us the remnants so we can recarpet the stairs when they start to wear out and to floor an unfinished closet area when that gets done (which it has since that time). Fabulous experience all the way around.

    I definitely recommend doing your research and buying a higher quality, in both pad and carpet. And going with a smaller company (our neighbor works for a local flooring retailer). All those things helped us save a ton of money and got us great looking and wearing carpet!

    Hope that helps!
    Lea

  • Cathy says:

    We also went the DIY route and installed laminate when we took up our carpeting. Much better for the allergy sufferers in our home and easier to keep clean with small children and pets, though the person asking didn’t mention if they have small children or pets. If you have Lumber Liquidators in your area or a nearby large city, I’ve heard their prices are really good. We went with materials from a local home improvement store and found the prices to be much better than at the box stores.

  • Erin says:

    Most everyone says to pull up your own carpet and move the furniture. Good enough, but where do you move all the furniture while you are doing so?

    • Sherri says:

      @Erin, Squish it in wherever you aren’t doing the carpet- the kitchen, bathroom, basement, garage? We only did 1 room at a time, so there was always another room where we could put the stuff.

  • Catherine says:

    With almost every home improvement project, you can save a lot of money by doing the demolition work yourself. It doesn’t take any special knowledge (just make sure you don’t knock down a baring wall when doing a full demo!) just hard work and some tools.

    You never know what you might find under that carpet, too. It could be a icky subflooring or lovely hard wood! You might discover you don’t even want to replace the carpet.

  • Julie says:

    I don’t know if the entire house is being replaced or if different carpet could be used in different rooms, but when we recarpeted our living room we went to the neighborhood home store and asked to see the remnant pieces. We got 50% off by purchasing a remnant.

  • Heather says:

    Like others have said, forget the carpet! It’s dirty, aggravates allergies, and a constant expense and worry. Well, if you never have kids come to your house, and you have no sniffles or pets, I guess it could be okay. Still.

    Hardwood lasts a lifetime and adds value to your house! Wood laminates are much cheaper than hardwood, and still have the benefits. Just toss down some inexpensive rugs for warmth if you like. When a kid pukes on a rug, you can just toss it. Or even better, if I think there may be sickness coming, I roll up the rugs. We have laminate, hardwood, and tile, and I love it. With potty training accidents galore, I would have lost my mind by now if I had had carpet. Plus vacuuming is sooo much easier with wood. And, you can use a swiffer sweeper to get under low furniture like sofas, beds and dressers very easily. With carpet, you have to vacuum, and that often requires you to move that furniture. Who wants to do that? Who even does that? Not me (back when I had carpet)!

    I know some people do worry about keeping their hardwoods nice (like they make you take your shoes off), but this is not really necessary. Modern finishes are very tough. My four kids do all sorts of terrible rough things and the floors still look great. My parents raised 10 kids on wood floors, and they just now refinished them for the first time after 35 years. Didn’t even need to do the whole house. Even if you do get some marks on a hardwood, it just adds character. Stains on carpet do not add character. Our wood laminate is super tough, and we didn’t even get a pricey one. Can install yourself.
    In the end, wood saves you money!

    • Beth says:

      Although I think hardwoods would look nice, I have to wonder about my heating bill. All the heat rises in our two story, and it’s already chilly in the winter with carpet. I would think hardwoods would make our home even cooler, meaning our heat bills would go up to compensate!

      • Heather says:

        @Beth, Hmmm. I don’t think it would make much difference, but I have a ranch so I can’t say. Find someone with a similar house to yours to ask. But things like the age of your furnace, old windows, and lack of insulation have the biggest effects on your heating costs.

  • carol says:

    My husband is a contracter and we found that by going to Dalton, Georgia and checking out all the carpet mills you can get pad and carpet for half the price. You do pay to have it shipped and you have to find an installer to put it in, but depending on how much you need its a lot cheaper. You can also call the mills if you pick something out at home and price it so you don’t have to make the trip. We used Carpet Express and had extremely good luck with them.

  • When our new dog chewed up our living room carpet we went back and forth over new carpet and decided to go with stained concrete instead. We did all the work ourselves and bought the stain online, it looks like marble and everyone that comes in our house is amazed, the best part is the easy clean-up. Everything just wipes right up with a rag. If anyone is interested in seeing the process and the result let me know and I will post the video and pictures on my blog. http://www.savingwithaplan.com

  • Becky says:

    Haven’t read all the comments so there may be some repeats here 🙂

    We just had carpet installed in our basement last month and I found this site to be very helpful: http://www.carpetguru.com/

    We bought from a local, family-owned store. We went with a mini-shag or frieze carpet in SmartStrand (this type was recommended by the above site and also by the carpet store). We went with a middle-of-the-road carpet, not the cheapest and not the most expensive.

    Now, I have always been a hardwood gal, but I do love this carpet. It’s so soft…love to walk on it in my socks 🙂 And I love the look of it so much better than plush or berber. I’m looking forward to replacing our plush carpet upstairs with this. We used to have an off-white/tan flecked berber in our living room (we replaced it with hardwood last month) and I HATED it. Showed stains like crazy and didn’t clean up very well.

    The store we bought from had a cash-n-carry section of remnants and we really wanted to go that route but we had to cover a huge room and none of the pieces were big enough. I also looked on craigslist but had the same problem there.

    One thing the carpetguru recommended was to avoid big-box stores because they tack on hidden fees and don’t stand behind their work like a small local store would.

  • Courtney M says:

    I agree with the advice to move your own furniture. Also if you can, pull out your old carpet & pad yourself and pull out all the carpet staples. It’s long, tiring work but saved us $1,000 when we replaced our carpet. Totally worth it!

  • Christine says:

    My advice, to save money in the long run is to not skimp on the padding beneath the carpeting! Quality carpet is important, but if you use the cheap underlay, it will wear out fast. My parents bought new carpeting a few years back from one of the big box stores and paid for the better underlay. They didn’t get what they paid for (literally – they installed the wrong thing) and within 2 years, the carpeting on the stairs looked like it was 10 years old. The store fixed it and replaced the carpet. But it was a good lesson to pay for quality where you don’t see it or your money, regardless of the quality of the carpet will be wasted.

  • Michelle says:

    We did all the work ourselves and it saved a lot of money. We went to Ollie’s–a store that buys overstock and found a Berber carpet remnant. It wasn’t exactly the color I wanted, but it was a great quality carpet and it was a large remnant–12x 25! It was about $150. We bought the padding at the store too which was quite inexpensive. I think it was about $75. We transported the items home in our friend’s truck. We needed some other suplies and all, but we were able to carpet our room for under $300 for great quality carpeting.

  • Lana says:

    Just a thought, be wary of bed bugs if you buy used cartpeting. A story on our local news recently featured a lady who had bought a piece of used carpet for $100 and it ended up costing her thousands because her house was infested by bed bugs.

    • Michelle M says:

      @Lana,
      I was thinking this exact same thing as I was reading some of the comments about people buying/getting used carpet being pulled out somewhere else (especially from hotels).
      That is NOT something you want to mess with in your home.

  • Jenny says:

    We just replaced the carpet in a house we are fixing up to resell so saving money was a real bonus for us too! Definitely pull up the old stuff yourself. We pulled up the living room and hallway carpet and found wood flooring in good condition but with a lot of pet stains on it. We decided to try staining it a dark color – we did it ourselves – and it turned out beautiful! You can’t even see the stains and the color is so rich (plus it matches our woodwork). We re-carpeted the rest of the rooms with carpet from Home Depot. They do really good, cheap installation. One bit of advice we got was to not buy the cheapest carpet there… because it really is CHEAP. Those are the rolls in the back that they don’t have displays for. We found basic plush inexpensive stuff among the regular carpet samples and got it on sale. Doing all the rooms at once was nice because there was only one installation fee. We are really happy with our carpet and still feel like we got good value without having to worry about low quality, smelly or otherwise undesirable options. Hope you enjoy your new flooring no matter what you decide – it really freshens things up!

  • Sarah says:

    Look for modular carpeting, like from Interface — the carpet is laid down in blocks, and they keep patterns for a long time. So when the pathway through the living room is worn out, but the edges look like new, you only need to replace the worn squares.

  • laurie says:

    I have been in my home for 10.5yrs. When I renovated it almost 9yrs ago I had original hard wood floors entire upper level of my home. I had them all refinished professionally and found large area rugs for all the rooms. I would never go back to carpet again. I will be redoing my basement over the next 1-2 yrs and I am tearing out all my carpet and laying bamboo flooring with large area rugs. Carpet has gotten so expensive it was cheaper in the long run to go with redoing floors. I most likely will never have to redo them again. Much cleaner and easier to clean.

  • Mandy says:

    I remember about 15 years ago when my aunt got new carpet, my dad (who knows how to do everything) helped her and took her “old” carpet that wasn’t more than a few years old and in great condition, and put it in the bedrooms in our house. We did something similar with our wood floor last year – my husband’s brother was taking it out of his basement because he wanted carpet instead. So my husband helped, and brought all of the pieces home (it was a snap & lock floor). I then found as close to a matching color as I could. We were able to get it from a carpet & flooring clearance center. Because we paid cash for all of our cartons, the guy threw in an extra carton, which turned out to be a huge blessing!

    So my advice is to put the word out to family and friends, and maybe even check Craig’s List. Another option is to check flooring clearance centers, or to wait for a great sale at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

  • Kimberly Wegleitner says:

    We purchased carpet this past summer and actually went through Costco. If you don’t have a membership (I think $50 a year), I’d consider getting one as we use Costco for all our “big ticket” items. The carpet representative came to our house, measured, brought samples, and gave us a quote. When we took our quote to Home Depot, they were much higher. Costco was great too because they took all the guess work out of purchasing the carpet For example, they only offer thier clients the best pad available because they figure if you’re going to get new carpet might as well get it done the right way. They use an independent installer and we were really pleased with everything. I believe Sam’s Club also offers similar services.

  • Melissa says:

    FREE Carpet! ok, well carpet for trade!
    We moved into our new (OLD!) house last year knowing the carpet would need to be replaced very soon. We are in graduate school and just couldn’t see any way to come up with the $1800+ it would cost to buy it. So we got creative. My husband had a few weeks off in the summer and decided several weeks before that to visit some carpet stores in town and offer to do some website work (he’s a writer) or handyman work (he likes to fix things) in exchange for carpet.

    One store thought it was a great idea and he was able to red0 their backroom office plus a few extra projects in exchange for the new carpet. We tore out the old stuff ourselves and the paid for the carpet and the installers.

    We were SOO grateful for new carpet and the arrangement worked out perfectly. They even liked my husband so much they told him he could pick out any tile he wanted to tile our kitchen counters for free.
    Sweet!
    It really paid off to think outside the box, and everyone involved was pleased with the exchange. My baby’s crawling knees love the new carpet and his mom is not grossed out by the thought of a baby crawling around on nasty, stinky old carpet. Good luck to you!

  • stacie says:

    We replace the entire upstairs and steps of our house last year. We did it for a fraction of the cost most people spend by getting online and ordering our carpet directly from the manufacturer. We then hired a handyman we knew to install it for us. We just went to a few stores (mostly places like Home Depot and Lowe’s and a few Carpet stores to see what we liked) and then came home and did research. It saved us so much money, worth the time we put into finding the manufacturer (who had no trouble selling to us direct) and the right person to install.

  • Angela says:

    a few things i learned-
    #1, always order a little bit more than you need. if you have a dog, or cat, or move furniture it makes reweaving much easier if it gets unraveled. and yes, there are people who come to your house to reweave.
    #2 from a former cleaning lady- get Berber. always looks bigger, cleaner, won’t look another funny color in the track and you’ll never have to make vacuum tracks again.
    #3 go to at least two local family owned stores. a friend of mine saved $1000 on the same exact carpet by getting it from a private store as opposed to Lowe’s. Plus, odds are the installers have been around longer.
    #4 get the good padding. you’re worth it.

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