Renovation my house - Installing Carpet and Window

M&S Carpet Purchase and Install Review

Over the weekend I had Empire Today and M&S Carpet come in and give me quotes on mosaic carpeting for my basement. My fiancée read an article about mosaic art, so, I'm decided to get some mosaic carpet. Last year about this time I asked Empire to come out and they stood me up, this time they didn’t. (I called them only because I wanted to see their quote) They came in at a whopping $1,900 for the space whereas M&S cost only $1,000. The funny part was when the Empire salesman went through the whole ’special discount’ routine going from $3,200 all the way down to $1,900 because even he didn’t really believe in the $3,200 part. The moment he said $3,200 he immediately jumped in on himself and said “but wait, there’s a special discount of 50%” and somehow reached $1,900 (which is not 50% of $3,200, as my astute fiancée pointed out). Yeah okay buddy, nice try.

Rosemary at M&S quoted us $1050, no special one-time one-week only discount, just straight up $1050, no BS, we can come out in two days. (They’re coming on Saturday) I like working with people who don’t BS me and get to the point quickly. So, the final price was $1050 + tax for a basic berber with a 6 lb. padding for approximately 500 square feet, including moving furniture, clean up, etc. That works out to approximately $2.10 a square foot, a pretty good price for installed carpet. The carpet itself isn’t the nicest of nice stuff (it’s only $2.10/sq. ft. installed, you can’t expect the world!) but it’ll be going in the basement where I don’t think we really want super-nice carpet anyway. All it takes it one sump-pump disaster, and you can kiss that carpet good-bye.

Well, they came out two Saturdays ago, and it took about two and a half hours to install. The guys worked efficiently, which was a plus, and cleaned up the whole place afterwards - very professional and exactly what I expected. In fact, they even repaired a bit of carpet that I had messed up but wasn’t installed by them. There’s a little 4′ x 4′ carpeted area in front of the door to the basement that had been a bit damaged by some water. We had tossed the padding because it had gotten wet (the carpet itself was fine, thankfully) and those guys just installed some new padding underneath, no questions asked (Rose had said it wouldn’t be a problem, just let them know).

There was some carpet left over, and Rose told me to bring it in, tell them what sizes we wanted, and they’d make them into little rugs, no extra charge. Ultimately, I think that while we could’ve shaved a little more off the price if we kept looking and looking and looking, dealing with M&S was great, and I’d certainly go back if I wanted more carpet.

Castle Windows Install Review

I ordered nine windows and three sliding doors from Castle Windows about a month ago and, as promised, they were custom manufactured and delivered within a month. I spoke with their installation scheduler last week and scheduled the installation for yesterday, with the crew scheduled to appear between 7am and 9am (they were driving from Mechanicsburg, PA - 2 hours away). Yesterday, they appeared at 8am, windows and doors in hand, ready to get to work.

Just a brief word about the crew, there were two of them, they were Castle guys, and they were consummate professionals. I’ve seen a lot of construction or home improvement companies just subcontract out the work after they’ve secured the contract. In fact, you can make a very comfortable living selling construction work and then, after you’ve secured the contract, subcontract the work out to some other outfit. Castle didn’t. Why would I even care who performed the work? I care because I don’t want to overpay (which you certainly would if they subcontracted out the work) for the work by going through a middleman taking his/her cut.

What surprised me the most was that these two guys (only two!) installed all nine windows and three sliding doors in six hours. This includes removing the old metal windows and sliding doors, disassembling the security sensors, dismantling the molding, installing the new windows and sliding doors, pumped in the installation, caulked the trim, reinstalled the molding, and cleaned up the workspaces (vacuuming with a dry shopvac)… in six hours. Two guys. It was amazing and it was top quality work too.

After I inspected each of the windows and doors (opening each window, testing each latch, sliding open each door, testing each lock), one of the guys ran through the operation of the windows for completeness sake. After that, I signed some papers, shook each of their hands and they were on their way. Overall, I had a great experience throughout with Castle Windows and I’d recommend them.