Negotiating Carpet Installation Prices

Negotiating Carpet Installation Prices

By Larry Ray Palmer

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When it comes time for new carpet in your home, the expense may be staggering. If your home building or remodeling project has left your budget in a bit of a crunch, it may seem that new carpeting is something that may have to wait. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to negotiate a better price on the installation of your carpet and make finishing your project possible.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Understand the type of carpet you need and the areas in which you need it as well as the amount of carpet you need. This will help you explore all of your carpeting options and thus help you get the best price for your project possible.
Getting the Best Price

Step 1:

Ask for a discount. Many carpet installers will negotiate if a lower price makes the difference between getting the job or not. In addition, carpet installers know that if you are happy with your carpet, your friends and family are going to hear about it. Word-of-mouth advertising is a very valuable commodity for service industries, such as carpet installation. If you let the carpet layer know that you are on a budget but your friends and family will bring in future business, you may walk away with a discount.

Step 2:

Offer free advertising. Many carpet installers are self-employed, small-business owners who subcontract work from carpet stores. Referrals from satisfied customers are their main form of advertising. Many of them supplement this by placing yard signs at their projects. Offer to let the installer put a sign in a window or the front yard of your home while they are working. Many installers will be happy to make give you a discount for the chance to advertise, especially if you will leave the sign in place for a few weeks or you live in a high traffic area.

Step 3:

Do your own tear out. It's a very simple thing to do but it can save you $100 or more on large projects. Pull up the carpet in one corner of the room with a pair of pliers, then follow the wall, pulling the carpet free. Once all the edges are free, roll up the carpet and remove it from the room. Take up the old pad and sweep the floor. For an average room, the complete tear-out process will take less than an hour.

Step 4:

Dispose of the old carpet yourself. Most carpet installers will charge $25 to $75 for the service. If the carpet is in fairly good condition, you may be able to resell or donate it. If the carpet is not in reusable condition, unroll it and cut it into 3-foot-wide strips to facilitate easy handling. Roll up the strips and wrap them with duct tape or twine. Many waste disposal companies will pick up the bundles with your regular trash at no extra charge. Others may charge a small fee for the service.

Step 5:

Sacrifice on comfort. When walking on a carpet feels like you are walking on air, it is a great thing. Unfortunately, the luxurious feeling of extra thick pad carries an extra price as well. In rooms where you don't need the extra padding, go for the thinner pad and save $15 to $20 per room.

Step 6:

Offer more work. Carpet installers work in a feast or famine industry. When consumer spending is up, they do very well, but when the economy slows, new carpeting is one of the first things people quit buying. If you are planning a new addition or remodeling another room, let the carpet installer know that the job is his when you are ready for floor covering. He will appreciate the guaranteed work, and you may get a better price on both jobs.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • If you are planning to carpet another room later or have a friend who also wants new carpet, purchase the carpet for all the jobs at the same time, if your budget allows, as roll price goods are often at least $1 cheaper per yard than cut price goods.
  • Make sure it's not going to cost you extra to dispose of your old carpet. Some municipal waste companies charge fees for hauling carpet, especially if it is not cut into manageable bundles. Compare the carpet installer's cost with the waste company's to see which will save you the most money.
  • For many independent flooring contractors, they gain new business from online referrals. When getting an estimate, make it clear that you are on a tight budget, but that you would happily write a glowing review of their work on major internet ratings sites.

About the Author

Larry Ray Palmer is a contributor to

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