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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?

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13 Comments

  1. I wish I would have found this 5 months ago. We did the Home Depot measure and I finally went in last week to get my estimate. My enitre house is only 2000 sf & the total for the carpet & laminate was over $10,000! I just about fell out. I told them to keep the quote. lol
    And actually, we wanted a quote for vinyl flooring through the entire house because we have dogs. The sales lady kept tellin me I didn't want vinyl so I said to do the LR and bedrooms in carpet, the rest in vinyl No vinyl, she instisted – use laminate. Ok, fine, use laminate. Then came the quote – just crazy. And like you said, there was no kind of “print out” for future use. If you don't use your estimate within 6 months, it's gone. :-(

  2. I work for the home depot measurement services, do not use them they are a pointless rip off. You have been warned.

  3. We have an older home in auburn calif and went to our new HD to select flooring and have it installed. We paid $50. for the measurement. The man came made the measurements and gave us no information telling us that we would be contacted by the service provider-the service is owned by HD-they called us a few day later to go over the bid. I said email it to me to review and I will call back with questions. After seeing the est. I called back and said that their were so many exceptions to the bid that I was not sure if they were going to install the floor. I went ahead and removed the existing floor down to the underlayment and called back the measurement service to tell them about the changes, they said ask for an installer to look at it. Back to HD to request this. Hours later, we were told that an installer would come by the next day to look at it. At the end of the next day 4pm, no installer, no call. Again, 3 calls to HD for help finally reaching a mgr at 4:30pm. He said he would followup. Three days later, on Monday I receive a call that the measuring service will come by again to measure, no installer. What if there are problems that I don’t know about? Well, you fix it and then let us know and we’ll see about installation.

    So folks my view of HD’s measurement and installation service today is that you will save yourself a lot of time and aggravation if you find a local company that will do all or some of the work, including prep and installation and that you will have someone to talk to locally who will come back and inspect where you are at- if you do some of the work, or not and adjust their bid and you will actually be able to talk to them about the job looking at it together. By the way I am having a local contractor come by today to review where I am at and review his previous bid. No problem, one call.

  4. I have been in the flooring business for about 9 years now. I lost my job due to the economy in 2010 working for a flooring retailer and installation company. Since then I have struggled to the point of near bankruptcy to survive as an installation company. Needless to say, I can’t compete with the box stores. I always provide my customers with a detailed drawing and estimate that they can take anywhere for other estimates and they probably do. I am considering trying start a measure only service for people like yourselves. The cost would run about $50.00 but I believe it much more extensive than what I see from your post. Do you believe this kind of service would have a place in this “Free Estimate” market place? I would appreciate any helpful advice.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Craig! To be honest, I’m not really sure. If I had searched a little more, I probably could have found a way to get the measurements I wanted for free. My main gripe is that it seemed like a bait & switch when my $35 got me nothing; I didn’t like spending the $ to begin with, but I was PISSED once I realized that it got me zip in return; no value for value. Plus, there are now phone apps (such as Magic Plan) that are well-reviewed and can be used in place of having someone come by your house (which is inconvenient in general, since you have to be home for the appointment). When it comes to a DIYer’s budget, $50 may be a little steep; I’d try free alternatives before deciding to pay someone. It may not be the answer you were looking for, but I hope that helps!

      1. I don’t know what you people are thinking someone has to pay the guy that’s burning up gas and time to do the measure your not paying for the diagram your paying for that, If you were the business owner would you like to just hand out diagrams for free all day so they can take them all over town and price shop on the money you paid the guy to measure, and what if the job is short materials you going to go back the store that did the measure and want them to make up the difference? Home Depot take the amount you paid for the measure off the total, they also Guarantee the over all lowest price, apples to apples. they give you a complete brake down of all the cost nothing is hidden, yet your right I work for HD and have been in flooring for 48 years there are a lot of ways a retailer can rip you off and HD does non of them, carpet samples have more info on the back then almost anyone, try this before you get sticker stock, Good Carpet between $ 5 to 7 sq ft installed, laminate $6 to 8, sqft installed, hardwood $ 10 to 14 sq ft, Tile $ 8 to 12 sq ft installed

      2. I work as a measure tech for HD. Vinyl is no longer available for installs. The 35 bucks is dirt cheap considering it cost them a lot more to have me go around measuring for the. They have treated me ok in the five years I’ve been there. You save a lot if you remove the old flooring etc, or pay somebody who needs a few extra bucks to do it.

    2. Sure wish I could locate a measurement firm in the Orlando area. I am SICK of these “hide the ball” games that the stores all play. I want to pay for the service of measuring my floors, so I know I can rely on an independent calculation of the flooring I need. I don’t want to second guess the store’s calculation. I would gladly pay for such service, but have not found anyone to do it.

  5. The estimators at Home Depot are idiots. They underestimated our baseboards by 225 linear feet. They never put our 60 rounded corners that we needed, nor the flex base board. We had to pay over $1200 in extra materials!! My 5th grader would have done a better job estimating.
    I WISH WE WENT WITH SOMEONE OTHER THAN HOME DEPOT.

  6. I’m adding my own story – pretty much the same. Got a quote from home depot for a rental property – I know that the area that needed carpeting was under 1000 square feet – I thought around 800 before the measurement. The measurement was done and they called me with the quote – I nearly fell over. I asked how many square feet did the guy measure needed carpeting – he said the area was 831 sq feet but you need 1177 square feet because of seams and the size of the carpeting – that is over 1/3 extra of the small area to be carpeted. When I told him sorry I would have to go elsewhere and get another quote because that was too much for a rental, he offered to rework the quote and move the seams around and see if he could get the price down!!!! Still waiting on that quote to appear, but wouldn’t you do that in the first place – from what I can glean from searching the internet overage would be between 2-20% based on seams, roll size etc. The estimate they gave meant that I needed overage of 41% – I just wonder how many people fall for this – you are right – nothing is free and the measurers probably work on the basis that you recoup HD money by increasing the amount of carpet needed – I may be blonde but not that blonde HD!!!

    1. You are completely wrong on how HDMS measuring techs are paid. The reason the first quotes comes with little to no seams is because most people do not want seams. The more seams you have in a cpt install the more likely you are to have a break down in the cpt. I understand this is a rental and you will likely replace the cpt more often than the average homeowner. The HD rep offered to rerun the layout and cut down on the amount needed by adding seams . For a landlord this makes sense. For a homeowner this does not. For the record the techs are paid either a salary or per job. They do not make commission and have NOTHING to do with the actual layout. They measure, do a quick sub floor check and they also do moisture and level checks when called for. A computer program decides the layout.

    2. They did the same exact thing to me here in Tacoma Washington. Paid the $50 plus tax for the measurement. The guy with no personality comes out and measures. I get the quote and it’s insane! I am having my stairs and upstairs hallway re-carpeted and after measuring myself got about 32 square yards/282 square feet.

      After they gave me the quote it just didn’t make sense. I asked how many sq ft were they calculating and she said 468!!! I told her that was insane. I asked why in the world would they have me buy 40% more carpet than I need and she said it was because I selected a ‘pattern’ carpet. I told her in no way did I need that much overage. She put me on hold to recalculate the schematic of how they would lay the carpet and I believe she came back with maybe 36% overage still. I said I would go back to the store and pick a carpet with no pattern.

      I go back to Home Depot and find a carpet with no pattern, just texture. I explain to the carpet guy at the desk that in no way am I paying for 36% more carpet than I need. He called HDMS and explains some things and then comes back with a new quote. Mind you, they first said I needed 52sq yd of carpet, then the lady “re-worked” things down to 49sq yd. In the store, after I selected different carpet they now say 41.5sq yd. The lady sitting next to the guy in HD comments that it looks efficient how they have it all laid out. I say, you still have me buy 25% extra carpet. The guy who was helping me said it only looked like my area to carpet was 33sq yd based off the measurements.

      I go to a local flooring company and they come out and measure for free. They tell me I need 38.64sq yd. So about 7% less than HD estimate. But no free installation so I will have to pay for that. But I feel like leaning towards them simply because I feel they aren’t trying to shaft me and force me to buy more product than I need.

      I feel like anyone else that doesn’t question what people tell them are being oversold product by HD to compensate for that “free installation”. Had I not challenged their measurements and measured myself, they would have sold me 40% extra carpet. As someone who measured and ordered and replaced carpet in her whole downstairs all by herself with LVP, and never once had a shortage, I’m pretty sure I know how to work a measuring tape. I don’t care what that digital device says, nor your software. HD is LYING to people to charge them more money.

  7. Like some others, I paid Home Depot $35 to measure my stairs & upper hallway for carpeting. I’m pretty good at this stuff so drew a floor plan, calculated the layout, number of yards and cost. My estimate was 32 yards and cost of $850-$900. HD Measure Service came by & used a TAPE MEASURE (website says they use digital). The quote was $1300 for 37+ yards. I questioned the layout; particularly that you come up 6 steps then do a 180 turn to go up 6 more steps. They had the landing carpet pattern perpendicular to everything else. I discussed all weekend plus other errors such as not including New Paint YES, Appliances NO, Furniture NO and the craziest thing a comment “Customer Acknowledged that they did not want following rooms measured: Stairs1”. Huh? The project is to CARPET THE STAIRS and hallway. Oh, and they had the first 6 steps being a different size than the 2nd set of 6 steps. NOPE. I requested they send a more senior (experienced) tech back to remeasure. They finally agreed and this guy at least used a digital measure device. The next quote came back at almost $2000 for 59 yards!!! That’s enough to do my master bedroom too. Really?!? Almost 60 yards for stairs and a hallway? I called back asking for a copy of this layout to see if I was being quoted for a staircase to heaven or something. They would never provide the info. Enough time wasted; I asked, no demanded a refund of my $35 immediately. Actually was shocked they did return it. Now to find out where I can complain to State of Michigan about CARPET MEASUREMENT FRAUD. One other thing to note, although my textiles, such as carpet, has a pattern carpet pad does not. When I questioned why I was being sold the same amount of carpet pad when it did not need to be laid out any particular way the response was ‘company policy’ we sell matching amount of pad as the amount of carpet. Wow! What crooks!!! And you can probably guess the extra pad (lots of it) stays with the installer and customers are scammed (skimmed).