It is important that you get the correct carpet measurements for your project before going to the flooring store. Most flooring retailers will have overstock that they call “remnants”, these left over pieces can be purchased at greatly discounted prices and work great if you have individual room that need carpeting.
One option is to have a local flooring retailer professional come to your home and evaluate the amount of carpet you will need. This is the least desirable option as the retailer may not give you the measurements they used to arrive at the carpet square yards needed and may have financial incentives to over sell you.
A better option is to contact a local carpet installer to come to your house for the carpet measurements. This assures you that the carpet installer that performs the measuring will know how to optimize for installation.
You can do the carpet measuring yourself. You may need to draw a detailed diagram or use a floor plan for your home. This will help the flooring wholesaler to determine the square yards of carpet required for your installation. Do not be intimidated by measuring yourself. You will need a tape measure or electronic measuring device, notebook, calculator, and a pen/pencil. See the links below if you need to purchase these items.
You will need to draw a diagram of the area(s) to be carpeted in order to determine the amount of carpet needed. This diagram is used for estimation purposes plus carpet layout, to account for doorways, carpet seam placement, traffic patterns, hallways and closets. If you feel unsure about your diagram and layouts, ask the flooring retailer or installer to come to your home for a site inspection, and to confirm your calculations.
Keep in mind, carpet is manufactured in variety of widths, the most common is 12 foot wide rolls. This is important to note because just measuring the dimensions of a room may not provide an accurate representation for the amount of carpet needed. For example, an 11 foot by 10 foot room provides an area of 110 square feet, extra length should be added if you will be carpeting the door threshold and/or closet spaces. For carpet manufactured in 12 foot widths, 110 square feet equals 12 foot width by 10 foot length of carpet (add more as required for door openings). Purchasing only 110 square feet of carpet may result in having a piece that will not fit your room or a good deal of seaming. In this case, 120 square feet of carpet would be required to properly install an 110 square foot room. Keep in mind that the direction of the carpet pile or pattern must remain the same throughout the installation.
These rules should be considered in your calculations:
Seams should not fall in a doorway.
Measurements for rooms should start in the center of the door threshold, not the base of the wall.
Patterned carpet, such as Berber will require an additional 10% of carpet for pattern matching.
In closing, you can measure yourself or call in a professional. New carpet will make your home look and smell new again.