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Simple home upgrades can create a new look
March 28, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

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Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen - Jerry Clemens of Clemens Carpet and the Carpet Barn said there are any number of inexpensive ways to update the house for a completely new look.

Jerry Clemens, owner of Clemens Carpet and the Carpet Barn, admits his business was started because of a somewhat unusual incident.
“My father, my uncle and I were shopping for carpet back in 1976 and went to a competitor,” he said. “When we couldn’t get waited on, we thought this would be a good area to start a carpet store, so that’s what we did.”

Although he was only 14 when the poor customer service incident happened, Clemens said he’s been involved in his family business since then.

“We just opened our own carpet store,” Jerry said. “At that time we only sold carpeting. But today we sell everything. We sell carpet, vinyl, ceramic tile, hardwoods, cork, bamboo, laminate, just about anything in the way of floor covering, we have it.”

He added they install what they sell. “We’re really good at helping people find what they want. Basically, we’re a full service flooring store. This is one-stop shopping for wall tile for the shower, countertop tile or anything to do with the floors.”

Jerry said it takes a number of years to build up an inventory, and they’ve grown to the point that in 1994, the opened the Carpet Barn, across the street from Clemens Carpet.

“Between the two stores, we have a lot of floor covering,” he said. “We’re probably the exception to the rule. Most carpet stores in larger areas only carry samples and don’t stock anything. We stock a lot of inventory because we want people to be able to buy it and take it with them if they want.”

He said that because they buy full rolls of carpeting and full pallets of tile, they can pass the savings along to the customer.
“One thing I’m proud of in the carpet business is that 99 percent of carpet is still American made,” Jerry said. “There are not a lot of things you can say that about. It’s nice to be able to sell American products.”

Years ago, most carpeting was made from wool. But today, synthetic blends are the norm. DuPont has even developed a way to turn corn into a polymer that can be used in yarn for carpeting.

“I never would have thought of anything like that,” Jerry said. “This stuff is durable, the stains come out easily, it’s soft and people love it. It makes me feel good we live in an agricultural community where our commodities are coming back to us.”
With spring underway, homeowners might want to try something new to make an impact in their homes without breaking the bank.

“You might want to try something as simple as new carpeting,” Jerry said. “Carpet prices have stayed level for the past several years. It’s an economical way to change the whole look of a room.”

Jerry said the focal points in the home are kitchens and bathrooms, so people might want to start there. Inexpensive new flooring can update a kitchen or bath and there a lot of options on the market. And since the entryway is usually the first thing people see, new flooring in that area can make a big visual difference.

“People should be careful,” Jerry said. “It’s my experience that once people get started with a project, it snowballs to others.”
He added that more people are spending more on their homes in recent years, so Clemens has been doing a lot of remodeling work. With a flat housing market, people are staying in their homes for more years and remodeling to create a new look.
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