My grandfather started this business back in 1959. He tells me all the time that when he ran this business (which is now run by his daughter and son), he only had a handful of carpet samples, and never needed a big showroom like we have today. Almost everytime I see him in our office he grumbles, “I just don’t really understand why they need all this stuff in here. Who needs all these choices?!”
So, here I am, my 3rd week into the family business. My mind is literally blown with all of these products. All of the carpet mills have different names for different products. They have high end, low end, polyester, nylon etc. Then we have all the ceramic tiles, the vinyl, the laminate, the engineered hardwood, the solid hardwood, the bamboo. And I realize, knee deep into my 3rd week, that when I laughed at my grandfather’s grumbling before I began working here, I was incredibly naive. I had absolutely NO CLUE that the world of flooring was SO in depth, and that they are making new products ALL the time. So, the next time I see my grandfather, I will have to tell him that he was right, and that my mind is officially blown.
I came from the world of insurance, and felt very strongly that purchasing insurance online was a BAD idea, especially if you don’t know anything about insurance. There are so many companies and so many coverages that even people in the insurance industry who have been living and breathing insurance for 30+ years, they often don’t know everything about a policy they are selling. And I’ll tell you what, messing around with insurance is a horrible idea, because when you need it the most, you better hope it is going to protect you.
My point: Always talk to an expert!
Now that I’ve been really digging into all of this information about floor and window coverings, I understand why people in this business don’t really think that people should be purchasing flooring or window coverings from places like Home Depot or Lowes, even if the prices are great. Now, I love both of these stores. As an adult, I think these stores are equivelant to candy shops for kiddos. (Now, whether or not I think it is fun to shop there with my husband is a very different story!) But with how many options we have in the flooring/window coverings industry now-a-days, I’m not sure I would trust myself to make a good decision on what the best product would be for me in my home for my situation.
My family’s business has been around since 1959 and was started by my grandfather. My mom, Pat Fear, has been working here for over 30 years. My uncle, Dale Bretz, has been here for 16 years. Most of our installers have been working with us for as long as my mom has been here. Speaking as someone who doesn’t have a whole lot of experience with this industry, but has a LOT of experience with insurance and contractors, I can promise you that it is very important that the people you buy product from trust their installers and trust their product.
And please remember that a lower price does not always mean you’re getting a great deal! Sometimes, it also means you’re getting a bad products and even worse service.
My best advice to any home owner out there looking to purchase floor/window coverings is: Go with someone you can trust, and someone who is educated on the product.