I once had a carpet installer finish installing carpet in a customer’s home at 6:30 in the evening on Christmas Eve! Talk about cutting it close.
Then there was the time when I had a family come into my showroom at 3:30 on a Sunday afternoon right before Thanksgiving. I asked when they wanted the carpet installed. They said by Wednesday since they were having family over that Thursday. I told them that I would have to come to the house that evening and they would have to make a decision that night because if they decided to shop for quotes then no one in town would be able to install the carpet on time. I had some local stock and showed them the colors. I told them that I had no way of checking inventory on a Sunday afternoon and for them to make a first, second and third choice in color.
The store closed at 5 p.m. and I went straight to their house. I measured the bedrooms and closets on the second floor as well as the stairs. They wanted to take advantage of the 12-months, no-interest financing promotion that was going on at the time. They filled out the credit application and I was able to get their approval through the bank’s automated phone system. They signed the contract and credit authorization form. I left their house at 7:30 Sunday evening.
I placed the order on Monday morning with their first choice in color of carpet hoping to have it installed on Tuesday. The installers were booked that day, so I had to push the installation back to Wednesday. The installers were literally installing the carpet upstairs while the mom was cooking the Thanksgiving turkey downstairs. The installers left around 7 that evening and the family had a nice Thanksgiving gathering at their home.
These customers were lucky. You may not be as fortunate if you are planning a holiday get together at your home and want to renovate for the holidays.
Your best bet is to order your flooring at least two months before the holiday party. Most carpet comes from Dalton, Georgia which is considered the carpet mill capital of the world and shipment can take as much as seven to 10 business days to arrive in Houston. Keep in mind that adverse weather can cause delays in shipments. For example, the state of Georgia was hit particularly hard by a snowstorm in February 2011 that literally paralyzed the state. We could not get through on the phone to place orders; the mills shut down and trucks were unable to travel on the road due to icy conditions. I had to reschedule several jobs due to weather delays that month. The customers were upset but realized that the delays due to the snowstorms were beyond everyone’s control.
When planning the installation, you must give yourself an adequate amount of days for preparation and installation. Most carpet installers can install between 1,000 and 1,200 square feet of carpet in one day. Anything above that, especially if there are stairs involved, can take two and sometimes three days to complete.
When it comes to hard surfaces you should definitely plan ahead. Many of the hard surface vendors stop accepting inventory by the second week in December and do not accept new orders until the third week in January. The reason hard surface vendors do that is that they are trying to reduce their inventory in their warehouses to reduce the amount they must pay in end of the year taxes.
When planning your home renovations for the holidays be sure to visit the Buffloe Floors and Up showroom located at 4305 Richmond Avenue Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also call 713-626-9100 to schedule an appointment.