Most people who are in the carpet business are independent contractors. Many of these contractors feel like they are part of a bigger business, such as Home Depot or a big carpet store, when in fact they are vetted professionals that get this work through these bigger companies.
For the most part, people who lay carpet mainly come up through the ranks, getting hired on by older, more experienced carpet layers. Or at least this the carpet laying industry has mainly functioned. There are exceptions from before 1995, when there were bigger companies that laid carpet. However, those companies began to erode as contractors ventured out on their own.
Today, there are people getting into the carpet laying business that haven’t laid much carpet before, haven’t come up with a professional through some light-touch apprenticeship, and definitely not trained through a larger, carpet installation company.
As a consumer, this is something to be mindful of. We aren’t saying that this new crew doesn’t know what they are doing, but they will have less experience and will have seen fewer things. They are likely also cheaper, as they want business to be able to post their work on their website or instagram.
The lower barrier for entry is what allowed so many professionals to leave the big carpet installation companies to work for themselves. They saw where most of the business was coming from, and started cutting side deals with remodelers and home builders. As you may recall, there have been a ton of homes built from 1995-2020. Guys looking to move independent could keep their day jobs, work their side hustles in the evening and weekends until they have enough business to make it on their own.
Today, or rather over the last 10 years, the barrier for entry has been lowered even further by adding in lead referral sources such as HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List, where new people can get business right away without knowing any builders or remodelers.
YouTube offers tons of learning opportunities for people to get into the trade.
People can create a website for themselves for about $12, and it takes about an hour.
Social media accounts, like Facebook and Instagram, are as good as websites for some people, offering all of the perks of a website while having the ability to rate, review, share, and like.
Tons of online business tools such as 1099 software, receipt scanning apps, invoicing, you name it. Everything got so easy and digital that there is no barrier for entry. You can even rent a truck from Home Depot when you have to deliver carpet.
Things have been getting wild. It will be hard to truly make a living for the youngsters who sign up for all of these various services, that are fairly cheapr, but add up, if they are unable to work their way toward big jobs or high-paying jobs. They are responsible for cutting their own margins by being part of the class of contractors that is flooding the market and spreading a lot of work over too many contractors. We’ll see how this plays out, but for now, do your research. Know who you are hiring.