Reminder: Lazy = Lost $$$

October 30, 2009 · 5 comments

I realized today that I’m becoming a little too complacent when it comes to ensuring that I’m getting the best deals I can possibly get on my labor and materials. While I spent a year diligently shopping around to find a great crew of contractors and great deals on materials, I’ve forgotten that I need to keep on shopping and keep on working to reduce costs every step of the way.

This realization came this morning when I figured out a way to get my carpet and vinyl flooring for about 20% cheaper — and a HIGHER quality — than I previously could!

For the past 10 projects or so, my carpet and vinyl installation has been done by the carpet warehouse that’s been supplying the materials. This local store was willing to give us great carpet/vinyl prices as long as we used their installers — who were also reasonably priced, but not overly skilled. While the prices were good, it seemed like each job came with its own set of frustrations — on one job, the trim work was horrible; on another, the floor wasn’t leveled beneath the vinyl; and on another, the carpet wasn’t well stretched. But, because the materials prices were so good, we continued to use those contractors.

It took another investor that I met with yesterday to remind me that I live — LITERALLY — an hour and a half from the place where much of the country’s carpet is made. Dalton, GA is carpet and textiles manufacturing town about 90 miles north of Atlanta; they have dozens upon dozens of carpet manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers, all offering tremendous selection at ridiculously low prices.

The investor I was speaking with yesterday mentioned that he worked with a warehouse in Dalton that provided not only great selection and prices on carpet, but also great service (they would overnight samples, deliver any purchases for a small fee, etc). So, this morning, my wife and I drove up there. We were amazed!

We found the same carpet we had been using — a low- to mid-level plush — for $4.99 per square yard; we had been paying $6.99 per square yard for the same stuff! Additionally, for $4.99 per square yard, we were able to get top-quality vinyl sheeting; in fact, we likely would have been paying over $10 per square yard for that same vinyl from our previous supplier! While the prices I had been getting were very decent, these prices were just unbelievable.

The fact that this world of low-priced flooring was just 90 minutes from my house and I had completely overlooked it for the past year was just an indication that I had been getting lazy in my search for ever-better materials and contractors.

Now that I have a low-cost supplier of flooring material, I can go back to using the great installers I previously worked with. Given the cost of materials and their cost of labor, I expect to save about 20% on carpet/vinyl flooring moving forward. While this might only add up to about $300-500 per house, given that we’ll hopefully do 15 houses this year means we could end up saving more than $7000 a year on flooring…well worth not being lazy… 🙂

5 responses to “Reminder: Lazy = Lost $$$”

  1. jp moses says:

    A solid reminder – thanks. It’s so easy to just stick with what you’re used to and you’ve grown comfortable with over time. This is a great example of how it can really cost you. Like you said, not that much per rehab…but a decent chunk of change over time! And if you equate dollars per hour…well pretty clearly worth the time/energy it took you to save a few hundred buck per rehab deal. Good stuff, man.


  2. Jingle says:

    I wish I could find decent carpet at $7 a yard, $5 would be even better….

  3. Bilgefisher says:

    Great find. Makes you wonder how many little gems in a budget you can find like this. Those thousands all add up.

  4. Chris Ranney says:

    Your giving heart infected someone else. That person was only “returning the favor”. I suspect that at some point, you had went out of your way to help this fellow investor. You paid it forward.
    If you could do me a favor and read my question on is under “optimist”. Thanks.

  5. Jose says:

    Great post! Sometimes we get caught up in the fact that we know it all, we miss out on really good deals!

    Keep learning!

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