Behind the Scenes of our Carpet Install Prep

carpet install BTS

You guys heard my lamenting on Friday about the flooring situation in our home, but it is still far from complete… in fact the house is more torn apart than what it was at this time last week.  To explain, I have to tell the entire story.  And it’s a long one.

We originally scheduled to have new carpet put in our room, the baby’s room, the upstairs hall, the 3rd floor bonus room, and the down stairs living room and dining room in late March.  We scheduled through a small company who had worked with dozens of our friends (and friends who are contractors) with rave reviews.  We realized that we should probably do any painting we had on the agenda before the carpet went in, so I took of a full week of work before the install to paint the entire third floor (walls, ceiling, casings and trim) as well as the baby’s room (walls, casings, and trim).  Matt busted his tail after work for a week to install a new paneled ceiling and built in cabinet (purposefully avoided in the photos below! You’ll see them soon enough).  I then painted the new panel ceilings, ceiling molding, and built-in.  It was a whirlwind.  We moved all big pieces of furniture (minus our bed) into the entryway or the office – the two rooms that aren’t carpeted.

entryway office

Then, we got a call from the carpet company a few days before installation (to be on a Wednesday) saying they needed to move it back to Saturday.  No biggie.  I could handle three days.  Then the day before the scheduled Saturday, he called again to say that they needed to reschedule.  Apparently, they had received the wrong color.  I was hugely disappointed.  We were getting ready to leave for our trip to Miami and I didn’t want to leave the house a disaster while I was 1200 miles away trying to relax.  Regardless, we didn’t want the wrong colored carpet, so we rescheduled for two weeks later (since our vacay fell on the following weekend). When it was time for the carpet install reschedule, I was totally ready.  Matt was out of town, but I had lined up my dad and father-in-law to help me move my bed (the only piece remaining) into the office (see the sliver of space above?  That’s where my bed goes).

And you guessed it, the carpet company called again the day before to cancel (this time stating that the carpet hadn’t arrived as scheduled).  I’m not sure if it was pregnancy hormones, or if it would have also been my normal response, but I lectured him for about an hour about commitment, responsibility, and the (now three weeks) of lost work due to my office being packed up awaiting their installation.  He seemed genuinely apologetic.  We rescheduled (again) for the following Wednesday.  This time, Matt was in town and we work up at the crack of dawn when he left for work, moved the bed, and I sat on the floor all morning with my laptop waiting for the installers to arrive.  Then, 30 minutes after they were supposed to arrive, they text – TEXT – to say that they wouldn’t be coming, and that they were going to refund us and cancel the project.

To say I was livid doesn’t begin to cover it. I wrote a scathing review anywhere humanly possible (, yelp, Facebook, etc, etc).  After stewing, Matt and I did what we do best, and sprung to action figuring out a solution.  I couldn’t live with my house torn apart for one second longer than absolutely necessary.  Although I had planned to be out of my office for 1-2 weeks (and planned blog posts accordingly), I was now going on a month without access.  So, I drove around town and hit up every establishment that sold carpet.  I got timelines and costs from each one. Matt worked his angle to contact some of our contractor friends who had connections in the industry.

We landed on the solution of ordering the carpet ourselves from the wholesaler in Georgia and hiring our own crew to install.  We ordered the carpet, ordered the pad, scheduled the installers, and still had one week to wait.  We also decided to tear up the old carpet ourselves to recoup some of the cost difference, but tearing up the 30+ year old carpet meant that we needed to find somewhere else to stay during the process.  Luckily, my in-laws were headed out of town on a cruise, so we’ve been squatting at their place during the wait.

At this point, since we’re just waiting, we also decided to just go ahead and re-paint all of the rooms (and casings, and trims).  If we have the ability to paint without carpet and do any touchups necessary, we should, right?  All week this week, I’ve been driving over to the house each morning, painting all day, then coming back to my in-laws to crash.  I have just a teeny more painting to do tomorrow then, I’m done.  Really done this time.

In the meantime. the rooms are all 100% ready for carpet.  Here is where we are currently:

The Dining Room (and future living room!):  Following the inspiration board I made a lifetime ago, I painted the walls Benjamin Moore White Dove in Matte (OC-17). I painted the window and door trim with a standard high gloss ultra white paint specifically designed for trim.  You can tell that the walls are just a touch more creamy than the trim, but still it’s all white.

dining room in progress

The Living Room (and future dining room):  Yes, we’re doing a room swap here.  Although I love the idea of a fireplace in the living room, it isn’t functional, and since every wall is taken up with something (fireplace, doorway, doorway, picture window) the living room furniture just doesn’t quite jive in there.  Anyway, this room was repainted with the same color it was previously, Behr’s Silver Tradition from The Home Dept. Although it’s temping to think, “let’s just refinish these original wood floors!” each room has multiple large holes the in the floor which have been filled in with plywood.  Plus, the original floors are so warped and uneven, that they’re a huge tripping hazard and carpet is really the only solution since the padding helps fill in gaps from those warps.


The Upstairs Hall:  Pretty straight forward.  I did not repaint this room since I just painted it two years ago, but Matt really wants to do the trim work and I’ve been resisting.  I can’t paint one more thing and also keep my sanity.  I just can’t.


Master Bedroom:  Please don’t judge the copious amounts of crap on the shelves.  We just did anything we could do to get things up off the floor.  Aside from tearing up the old carpet and hopefully a new light fixture at some point, nothing really needs done here.  We painted about two years ago when Matt built the shelving.


The Baby’s Room:  This is a terrible photo, but this room is ready!  It was painted Benjamin Moore Sheep’s Wool using their Aura Matte. I love the walls and how nicely they contrast with the bright white trim.  You can see in the lower right of the photo that their is a giant chunk of the floor missing and plywood in it’s place.  I want to know what in the world happened there that a four-foot piece of floor needed to be removed… old houses… Anyway, I am really excited to get the carpet done so that I can decorate for our new bundle. Here are the decor plans.


The Attic:  Our third floor is planned to be a bonus room/guest bedroom and I’m excited to decorate it!  I painted it Benjamin Moore White Dove in Matte (OC-17) and it’s crazy how much that changed it.  Here are the original ‘before’ photos and the decor plan.

Attic in progress

So, now for the carpet details:

I loved Martha Stewart’s Winterthur (very top photo) because it reminds me vaguely of a jute or sisal rug.  But it was also pricey at over $3/sq ft.  I sent a photo to my man at Georgia Carpet Industries and he matched it with a look-a-like that came in at $1.30/sq ft.  The quality was near identical.

The quotes from The Home Depot and from Rite Rug both came in at over $5,000 for the 1,450 square feet we needed installed.  Buying the carpet ourselves at $1.30/square foot (with pad at $0.35/square foot) plus shipping, we came in at just under $2400.  Installation is costing about $500, so we’re going to end up saving about $2,000. Let’s not even consider the original company who failed us four times, because an incomplete job is valueless.

Whew… if this isn’t the longest post on this blog, I don’t know what is.

Thanks for sticking around for the long and short (ok, just long) of what’s going on at the Earnest Home right now.  Let’s all cross our fingers that by this moment on Saturday, these photos will all be a distant memory.  With the exception of them being documented here.

Have a great week, friends!

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