Do-It-Yourself Installation

So you've decided to install carpeting yourself. Good for you. Not too many people are brave enough to tackle home renovations on their own, but you obviously realize how much money can be saved (and how much can be learned) but installing carpeting on your own rather than hiring a contractor.

Be sure to keep in mind that some DIY carpet installation jobs are easier than others and are more suitable for the home handyman who's willing to tackle the job himself. How can you tell if your job will be easy or difficult? Here are a few things to consider:

  • Smaller rooms, such as bedrooms, can often be covered with a single roll-width. The lack of seams eliminates one of the biggest - and messiest - jobs in carpet installation.
  • Installation jobs with few odd angles or tricky cuts (such as in closets) are a good way to test your carpet-laying skills.
  • Laying indoor-outdoor carpeting on patios, porches or basements is often a simple task requiring little stretching or underlayment, and can be a fun DIY project.
  • Installing carpet can be very hard on your knees and back, so if you have had any major problems with either, you may want to think about hiring someone. Always be sure to stretch before you bend down!

Before you get started, you'll want to make sure that you have all the equipment you'll need on hand. There's nothing more frustrating that realizing that you don't have that one tool that you need. Here's a list of the stuff you'll want to gather up from around your home before you begin:

  • Safety gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Knee pads
  • Stapler
  • Hammer
  • Utility knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Tackless strips

You'll also have to rent some tools, since most people don't have carpeting equipment just lying around. You'll need:

  • Seam cutter
  • Seam roller
  • Seam tape
  • Seaming iron
  • Knee kicker
  • Carpet stretcher
  • Wall trimmer
  • Strip cutter

Once you've collected all the tools you'll need, you're ready to go. The first step is to prepare the floor for the new carpet. This means removing the old carpet (if there is one). Next, you will want to lay down the underpad. Finally, you will lay the new carpet on top of the underpad. Always overlap the edge of the floor by about five inches (the excess carpeting can be trimmed later).

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