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A couple of weeks ago, I arranged to have our flooring measured by Home Depot and get a quote on how much this part of our renovation was going to cost me. I scheduled the visit to my house using their online system and plunked down the $35 (which includes measuring, moisture testing, and leveling estimates and contributes to your flooring cost if you order the install through Home Depot) and happily welcomed the rep into my home. He was only around for about 30 minutes and told me I would need to come by good ol’ HD on the following Monday to pick out the flooring I wanted and receive my quote.
Knowing I can change the choices around at any time, I decided on a light fluffy carpet choice and a Brazilian Cumaru (real hardwood – not engineered) which was supposed to be extremely durable. I learned from the flooring rep that there is such a thing called the Janka hardness test, which is a measurement of the force necessary to embed a .444-inch steel ball to half its diameter in wood. It is the industry standard for gauging the ability of various species to tolerate denting and normal wear. As you can see, the Cumaru choice is up there in the ranks of wear-and-tear (so in other words, having my clumsy Colby running around won’t completely ruin my new investment).
The price difference really wasn’t that much per box compared to engineered wood, and I believed I was making an excellent choice for our needs. I gave my selections to the Home Depot rep and waited for the email which was to include both the layout measurements of the house and my accompanying flooring quote for the carpet and hardwood.
The quote arrived, but it was not a happy moment. Much to my disappointment, the quote was waaaay over my budget – more than $15,000! Considering that the materials themselves were only $6,000 of the quote total, I was quite unhappy with what Home Depot wanted to charge. When I spoke to the rep again, he went on and on about “special” this and “extra” that, which to a cheap-o like me sounds like a total rip-off. Not to discredit the Home Depot guys, who have a lot more knowledge of what flooring entails than I do, but my house isn’t exactly a $15,000 flooring kind of house! Unless these babies clean themselves, wash my car, and take out the trash, “it ain’t worth it.” It looks like I’ve got to find an alternative.
Another disappointing factor in this experience was that the measurements they gave me are coded specifically for Home Depot’s use. I can’t easily use the floorplan for future room planning decisions (such as furniture re-arranging) because most of the areas aren’t marked with measurements along each wall.
All in all, I don’t feel like the $35 was worth it. For anyone considering flooring replacement in the future, a free quote from companies like Simply Floored is probably all you need. That, and maybe a tape measure and graph paper for future room planning. I’m optimistic that there is a highly competitive flooring market out there, so I am hopeful that the cost will come down significantly if I shop around.
Has anyone else had a similar quote experience? What were you getting an estimate for, and what did you decide to do once you saw the bottom line?