So now that you know roughly how much carpet you need, all you have to do is multiply the carpet price by the area and presto, you know how much the project will cost, right? WRONG! There are a few additional costs to consider.
Your flooring retailer is your friend.
Yes, we said that already, but it’s worth repeating. Your retailer can help you make an educated guess regarding additional costs such as padding and installation labor and materials.
Talk openly with your retailer about any unforeseen costs your installation job may require so that you can create a more dependable estimate. Let your retailer know if you’ll expect your installer to install trim and transition pieces and touch-up paint. (Painting is less common, but some installers will offer the service.)
- Estimate padding and installation
Padding and installation may not be the beautiful, exciting part of the carpet buying process, but they are vital to a successful carpeting project. Padding can make a carpet feel completely different under foot, help it perform better, and make it last longer. And many carpet warranties require both padding and professional installation. Be sure to read the fine print before you make any final decisions!
Carpet padding typically ranges from $.30 to $.60 per square foot, and you can count on installation adding approximately another $.50 per square foot. Some retailers will discount padding and/or installation and may even offer one or both for free, but they are probably making up for it in product cost.
When comparing prices between retailers, figure the total cost of carpet for your estimated square footage, then add the cost of padding and installation so you can compare apples to apples.
- Inquire about additional fees
At each place where you shop, don’t forget to ask about additional fees. Even after accounting for carpet, padding and installation, there may be more costs before reaching the bottom line.
Installers commonly charge separately for carpet removal, dumping, product delivery, adhesives, transition strips and other materials. And some or all of your quarter round and base molding may need to be replaced in the process.
Be especially wary of deals that seem too good to be true. Companies that promise to carpet “any room” for an incredibly low price may charge far higher than average prices for additional rooms or for rooms larger than 10’ x 10’. Be sure to read all terms carefully and ask lots of questions!
- Subfloor issues
Another hidden cost may be lurking under your current flooring. Subflooring issues can occasionally add hefty costs to flooring projects. Although carpet is one of the most forgiving flooring types when it comes to subfloor condition, you don’t want to be caught off guard.
Walk around the areas to be carpeted. If you notice any spots that feel raised or that sag under foot, you should have them checked out before you plan your carpeting project. Water damage, failing joists and other issues can wreak havoc on your schedule and budget, especially if they’re discovered too late.
- $$ Helpful hint
Waking up on installation day to learn that you’ve completely blown your budget is a surefire way to take the fun out of any flooring project. Take the time to do your homework and piece together a best-guess estimate for the final cost of your entire flooring project before you make a purchase to help ensure that you don’t encounter unhappy surprises.
Once installation gets underway, it’s too late to switch gears, but if a thoughtfully estimated cost is out of reach, you will have plenty of time to halt the process and consider more affordable options.