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need some carpet/paint advice

(5 Posts)
PickleFish Fri 11-Sep-15 21:25:21

Might be buying a very small flat soon. The one bedroom, plus a very small entrance bit, and the lounge are carpeted. I don't know what with; it's was built in 2005 and hasn't been changed since, so whatever new builds were likely to be done with at that time. I have only seen it briefly, but there were some stains on the carpet in the lounge, which might come out with cleaning, but not sure. It's painted in a sort of neutral/yellow tone (hard to tell from the photos).

I'm trying to price up what things might cost if it all goes through. I'm guessing that I might only be able to budget for either carpet or painting before moving in. Not really up to painting myself for various reasons. I expect there will be a small window of a week or so between getting keys and moving in.

Ideally, both of them would be done more easily before I get furniture in, as it's so small that there is little room to move anything elsewhere, and much of it will be full of books or other heavy things (very small space and lots of stuff!). I'm guessing that if I have to pick one, carpet would benefit more from being done in an empty room? Book cases would be hard to move for painting too, but I guess could be done, so that could be done at a later date.

I need to do it fairly cheaply though. There will be medium traffic in the lounge and hallway, but I'd probably want it all the same anyway even if the bedroom could have lighter-use stuff. I was looking at 100% polypropylene stuff online, cheapest stuff about £7 a square metre for some twist ones but I think they said that's for more light use. (this) I don't know how much underlay would be on top of that. I can't really afford much more. Does this sound way too cheap, poor quality, synthetic etc? Is something like wool better? Or is it better to just leave the stuff that was built-in, if I can get it reasonably clean? It's beige, so should be OK colour-wise. I kind of wanted to start out with it all looking really nice, and this might be the only time I could really do it, though. I was hoping for something even cheaper really, but that didn't look too bad; I've only really looked at places like Carpet Right that have prices online. Any other suggestions? Just need a neutral beige standard looking carpet. Oh and I have to pay underlay and fitting on top of the quoted prices I guess. In which case, the cheaper the better. The rooms together are probably about 28 or 30 sq m. though I know the price will depend a bit on the layout. I was hoping for less than £300 but that's probably impossible, so maybe a bit more. Any good ideas? What should I be looking for when I go to independent carpet places that don't list their prices online?! I don't know what to be asking for or what I really need, other than it has to be pretty cheap. And they have to be available to do it before the moving day, which might mean fairly short notice.

Or keep the carpet that comes with the place, and paint instead. Seems to be harder to get painters to come in with only short notice though and on a specific date. And I really don't know what colour to choose, other than I just need something neutral. There are skirting boards and those bits at the top that are currently whiter than whatever the colour on the walls is. And I think that probably looks best, to have them lighter, which means the walls can't be too white. I can get more particular once I've been in there for a bit but neutral to start with is good. Any thoughts? Everyone says Timeless is a good colour, but then what about the white bits at the top, would they still show up? No idea what quality/type of paint, either. All new to this!

Or I could live with what's there, spend more money on all the other things that will be needed, and try to do the decorating and recarpeting once the furniture is in, but I don't know how feasible that is.

any advice for a newbie to all this stuff appreciated!

wowfudge Fri 11-Sep-15 22:26:19

My advice is to arrange another viewing before you complete (have you exchanged yet?) to go and have a proper look with a more critical eye. Check the carpet for wear: is it flattened/worn by the door, where there is most traffic? What condition is the decor in? Is it marked, grubby, etc?

Then you can prioritise what you do in the flat. If the carpet is okay, for example, then start saving so you can replace it in a couple of years.

Decorating - paint, a couple of brushes and rollers and trays don't need to cost a huge amount. Try Wilkinsons for equipment and paint. Ask your friends to help you out.

PickleFish Fri 11-Sep-15 22:49:11

Haven't exchanged yet; still some potential problems that need sorting out so it's all a bit hypothetical, but I'm trying to be prepared, as it might all end up happening at fairly short notice.

Can probably live with carpet and paint in the lounge and bedroom if needed, but was more concerned with how difficult it would then be to do them, once furniture and books were in. It's such a small place, with so much furniture and bookcases and stuff going to be needed, that it will be hard to empty them (nowhere to put them, and also some physical difficulties that also mean not keen to do painting etc myself). But maybe they can still be moved into the middle of the room a bit, at least if I don't have to fix them to the wall (I don't know yet if I have to do this, or how!). And carpet maybe could be done with some stuff in the room, but I can't see how they could move it all into half the room really and then move it back, without a huge amount of work. Same with the bedroom - the bed will be pretty much the whole space!

But it just sounds very expensive to do now, especially now that I've seen the cost of underlay. And I'd be worried about choosing something that might be clean and new, but actually worse quality than what is in there already (though I doubt new build flats 10 years old have terribly high quality carpet, but I could be wrong, as I guess it would have been bought in bulk!!).

I'm a bit rubbish and choosing colours for both paint and carpet, and can imagine that it will look a bit of a mish mash! So maybe trying to do it later on is a better plan.

I will hopefully have another viewing though and will have a look. thanks.

wowfudge Sun 13-Sep-15 08:19:50

If there are still some issues then you have the perfect reason for another viewing before exchange - you just say you want to measure up, etc. and have a final look. Lots of people do this. You can always get a painter and decorator to meet you at the flat and give you a quote at this point. Book them in once you have exchanged if need be.

If things are liveable then furniture can be moved for decorating. Yes the place will be in uproar for a few days, but that's the reality of having any kind of work done in your own place. And things always look worse and you wonder what the hell you have started before they then look better and the result is all worth it.

Once you live in a place you get a proper feel for it you might decide you want to do things differently in terms of colour, etc.

Sounds exciting - fingers crossed for your move.

PickleFish Sun 13-Sep-15 09:04:26

thank you.

Yes I think trying to go in an measure up is a good idea regardless. not sure I'd be able to organise decorators fast enough, so I might try living with it for a while and see what I think needs doing then. I work at home (need to keep it looking quite smart as a result as people come by) but as long as it's possible to get things like carpets replaced even with loads of furniture (can find a few days in the holidays) then I could do carpets/painting then - I was just worried that I can't really move much stuff myself and have no-one to help, plus there just isn't anywhere to put things - it's going to be very full of furniture/books/stuff without room to move them to other rooms. But i guess carpeters and decorators must be used to that. I've got enough decisions to make with furniture etc (though I have to try to imagine colours etc that will work with whatever paint/carpets I eventually choose, rather than what is there now! Well, who am I kidding, it's going to be a mishmash of wood veneer flat packs in all the different fake wood available for a while, isn't it...!).

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