| I'm trying to choose a good carpet dealer. I recently got badly burned by
| drain service and am getting cautious about choosing various businesses. I
| Googled but couldn't find reviews of the carpet dealers I am considering.
| Maybe I should sign up for this Angie's List review list?
One note on drain services: We paid $270 awhile
back for a drain blockage that I couldn't reach. It
was out near the street. A root growing into the
drain. The man was not a plumber and only used an
industrial snake. He could have used a holesaw-type
fitting to clear the root, but he didn't. He just
cleared it "for now". Eventually the whole thing had
to be relined. I learned my lesson. Next time I want
to spend $270 I'll buy a highpower drain snake and do
it myself. (As with rubbish hauling, I'm repeatedly
amazed that some of the highest incomes are made
by the least skilled contractors.)
You didn't mention price. A lot of carpet layers
advertise great prices. You can't expect top quality
AND low price, so that's one thing to consider. With
that in mind, you might want to look for someone
local and independent who's been in business for
Just my opinion, as I've never used Angie's
List, but I am a contractor.... I wouldn't want to
be on Angie's List or on Yelp. The reviews can't
be trusted and one negative can cause problems.
Most people are not fully informed, fair and honest.
Many will either make a hero of their contractor or
demonize him, which has more to do with their
vanity than with the contractor. I've found that
I can sometimes glean something on Yelp about
a company with many reviews, but for the most
part I wouldn't put any stock in them.
I've had phone calls and emails from Home Advisor,
which advertises a lot on TV. When I looked into it
I found they're basically just an advertising company.
If I signed up they'd send me contacts, which I'd
have to pay for. Then I'd have to call the customer
quickly and try to get the job before all the other
contractors who had just bought the same lead!
After a lot of reading I found that some contractors,
in some businesses, liked the service. But most didn't.
The problem with all of these advice companies is
that their motive is to make money, not to help you
find a good carpet layer. And Yelp, AL, HA are all
recent developments taking advantage of recent
Internet developments. They may or may not be around
in 5 years.
All of my business has always come through references
and I'd suggest the same to anyone who asks: Ask your
friends. Find people you know who have actually hired
the contractor. With carpet that may be more difficult.
It's not the kind of thing that one buys very often. Still,
asking around is the best place to start.
We had Home Depot do our attic about 15 years ago.
It still looks good. An impeccable job. But it also doesn't
get much wear, so I can't be certain about the quality
of the carpet itself. I've also had Home Depot for several
of my kitchen jobs, to get granite counter tops. They all
worked out well. It's not actually Home Depot. Rather,
they subcontract someone local. If they do a good job then
you've got a name for the future. I only had one bad
experience with HD. I needed laminate countertops and
dislike making them myself. I decided to try HD. The order
was fine except that one piece had the laminate on the
wrong edge, leaving an exposed edge. I took it back. They
agreed it was wrong but said it would take 3 weeks to fix!
I'm in Boston. The laminate contractor was in S. NH. My
job was almost done. I asked if I could drive up to NH on
my own time to get the counter done quickly. No way.
3 weeks. I went and bought a sheet of laminate and
finished the counter myself, at my own expense. That was
the last time I called HD for something I can do myself.
But in general I've been happy with things I've ordered
from them. At the very least, you know that they're not
going to use a subcontractor who generates complaints.