Monday, January 12, 2009

Carpeting: A love-hate story.

Home Depot, Lowes, , Empire Flooring, McCalls Flooring. There were others, but this post is about these four.

At the time we hadn't had our lead clearance test yet, and the inspector told us to get carpeting. Basically, she said we wouldn't pass otherwise. We needed to pass, and we needed to pass to get the occupancy permit for the bank....which was on a timer at this point. A lot was hinging on this carpet and we needed it ASAP.

Home Depot: Nice, decent carpeting, but installation and quality were so-so. We kept looking.

We saw that Lowes was having a $150 installation sale, so we headed over there. We wanted the highest quality carpet for our living room, due to the use it would see, particularly as a through-way from the back yard to the kitchen. We figured we'd settle for mid-range carpet for the other two floors. We spoke with a very heads-on carpet associate and she helped us pick out some carpeting that we liked. (We were very definitely headed towards the sage-grey-green section of the colour palette, so that part was easy.) She quoted a general price, but said to get an exact price, we'd have to have the rooms professionally measured. It would cost $30 or so, but would come off of the price of the installation, so we scheduled a visit.

In the meantime, I also contacted Empire Flooring--- yeah, we all know the damned jingle. I set up an appointment for the following day and a fellow came with some carpet samples. A *few*. Like 72. In many different colors, not just the green side of the family. So when it came down to it, there were really only 3 to choose from.

The guy then began the high pressured sales pitch, completely ignoring me and trying to sell to the man of the house. "We can guarantee that we're cheaper than anyone else...." blah blah blah.

"Yes, I'm sure you can, but we're also looking at much higher quality carpets with more choices in color." I interrupted.

"What?! You're looking for what? We've got everything you could want... you want to pay more? Fine!"

"It's not that I want to pay more, it's that we want to decide on a value that's right, not just a price. A cheap carpet often isn't worth the price you pay for it, and sometimes an expensive one doen't have the quality of a cheaper priced one. We're just trying to get some price comparisons. We're not going to write you a check today, you know" I said.

At which point the man gruffed and bitched like we'd wasted HIS time, immediately packed up his samples and walked out. What an @sshole.

Back to Lowes: the sales rep called us back with the quote for the carpeting and installation. Somehow a $150 installation sale didn't include a LOT of things, like floor tack strips, delivery, and whatnot. Total cost for installation: just about $1600.

Bait and switch, plain and simple.

So while on the phone with the in-laws, they told us that they'd been getting carpeting for years from McCalls Flooring on Beechmont Ave. in Cincinnati. OH. So we drove by during lunch and looked around. They were great. A family run business, very helpful, very attentive.

They helped us pick out a great quality carpeting and installation was included in the price. I had brought a copy of our floor plans with us so we could get a better estimate of the cost right away. They came out and measured the next day and installed it the day after that.

The funny part was that we applied for store credit, but credit was denied. It was odd, but we figured that while floating 70 thousand dollars worth of expenses, there would be some credit weirdness going on. No problem, we paid cash.; everyone's happy. We got a letter in the mail a week later from the credit company stating why we were denied. Seems that the fellas at McCalls entered the carpet delivery address as our living/billing address by mistalke. The credit company didn't have the new house as our address on file. Duh.

So we prepared to say goodbye to the fallen man outline on the floor. And the carpet was installed by two fellas over the next two days and they did a great job.

Highly recommended flooring company as well as professional installers.

Now that the carpet's down, it's the cardboard box brigade !!!
Time to move those boxes in.

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