It’s February, the month of cold weather, Valentine’s Day, my wife’s birthday, and now with new carpet. Our house is 40 years old, and I have no idea how old the living room carpet is. It’s in somewhat decent shape, but certainly looking its age. Beaten down, the padding no longer cushiony, and old stains that I can’t remove. We figured that we would should at least try to get some quotes on carpeting, laminates, or hardwood flooring for the living room and/or hallway. If we get some quotes now, we can either get it now or adequately plan for the future expense.

For years, I’ve seen Empire Carpet commercials on television, and it sounds good. Still, you never know. I called them in for an appt on a rainy Saturday morning. I thought we’ll get a few quotes, and see where the chips lay. After we reviewed samples of different types, we settled on specific carpet and laminate choices. Fearing the sticker shock, I was unpleasantly surprised for the actual sticker shock for carpeting the living room.

I was ready to send this guy packing, as that was way out of the budget. I’ve never purchased carpet, but I wasn’t going to spend that kind of money either. Our salesmen then stated he “mistakenly” quoted living and hallway, and “re-quoted” it $700 cheaper for carpeting just the living room. Better, but still way to much. Again, we said okay, but we’ll think about it.

Oddly enough, the Empire Today salesman started negotiating, and called his manager…. supposedly. They offered that if they could find a carpet style and color in their warehouse that we liked, they could offer a lower price. They “found” the carpet and color for 50% less than the original quote, and we filled out the contract. The final price was what we expected in our heads. The installation was scheduled for a few days later on Wednesday.

Needless to say, I was a bit weirded out. How did we drop more than 50% from the first quote? Was the first quote a sucker price? I went online that night, and there were plenty of people complaining about Empire Carpet — specifically the sales tactics and the quality of carpet. Understandably, I was very apprehensive at this point. We had time to cancel if necessary. We dropped by a local carpet and flooring store to check out pricing and materials, but they were significantly more expensive per foot. Yikes. What to do? Apprehensive, I spoke to a friend who had used Empire to carpet her condo, and she has been pretty happy, so we said what the hell, why not.

Wednesday morning, my wife and I moved the television and the aquarium. I took some time in the morning to finish moving breakables and other items from the living room. The carpet installers came around 11am, and took about three hours to remove the old carpet, install the new pad and carpet, and help me lay the home theater surround sound speaker wires under the new carpet. They were decent, but sadly, they took my Stanley tape measure. The photos are all below. The carpet is actually a slightly darker brown than what we had previously, so the pictures below may be deceiving. It’s not pink. 😉

After they left in the afternoon, I took a painting we’ve had sitting on our fireplace for years, to get a hanging wire installed on the back of it at an art & framing store in town. Doing my best without a tape measure, I centered it and hung up the painting on the back wall. Not bad, and the colors look nice against the wall.

What’s the verdict on the still-in-progress living room? Better! I don’t think visitors will notice the difference between the old and new carpet, but we certainly do. It’s plush and clean!