I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am not a contractor, I’ve never claimed to be one, and I’d laugh if anyone ever somehow thought I was a contractor. However, I have had a bit of success renovating and remodeling parts of my house, and I’ve been able to do it all on a shoestring budget.
One of the very first things I ever did when my wife and I moved into our house was pull up some old, funky carpet and install our own, new carpet in our living room. Now, I probably wouldn’t have been too worried about installing carpet when my wife and I first got our new house, but we had some ugly, 1970s bright orange, nightmarish-looking carpet in the living room. When my wife and I bought the house, the first thing we agreed on was that the carpet had to go!
Overall, we were pretty successful in our carpet removal and installation journey. I was impressed, at least.
I’ll go ahead and map out everything we did, just so you folks at home can know the basic steps for pulling up old carpet and installing new carpet, too.
Measure everything, and I mean everything!
Before you buy anything, you first need to measure from wall to wall. If there are any funny nooks or crannies, measure them, too. My wife and I were pretty anal about this, and it paid off when we were placing the carpet. You have to be really exact so you can know the perfect sizes to cut the new carpet.
Move everything off of your floor
This should be a no-brainer, but some folks actually forget this step! If you want to pull up the old carpet and install new carpet, you can’t have stuff on the floor.
Wear some gloves and get to work
There may be some scary, sharp surprises you’ll find when pulling up your old carpet. Therefore, it would be wise to invest in a pair of gloves. After that, just start cutting the carpet with carpet knives and pulling it up. There really isn’t a trick to this. Just cut, pull, and repeat. Try to get big sections at once and roll them up. You may also have a layer of padding underneath the carpet. This needs to go, too. There is a tack strip along the wall, and my wife and I were able to reuse this strip for the new carpet. That saved us a lot of time and energy.
Buy your new carpet
My wife and I like to go to locally owned, small-time flooring shops. Our trick is that we get carpet and flooring that is being discontinued. All you have to do is explain to the flooring people that you’re on a tight budget, and they can usually find a way to cut you a deal. We got a really nice tan color of carpet.
Install the carpet
My wife and I had never laid carpet before doing it in our living room. It was kind of a mess, to be honest. We weren’t really sure to start, and were basically winging it, prepared only some advice from my father-in-law and a few library books that weren’t much help. Basically, all we did was lay out the carpet pad on the floor. After that, my wife and I, along with a few friends, all put the new carpet on the floor and stretched it out one side at a time to the tack so there weren’t any of those annoying creases. That was the last step we had in installing the new carpet.
It took us an entire weekend of working long and hard hours, but it was so worth it. In the end, we saved a bunch of cash and got rid of that disgusting, bright orange, Halloween-esque, poor excuse for carpet. We had a few hiccups along the way, but we survived in the end, and the carpet still looks awesome! If I had to give anyone some really quick advice about the entire process, I’d just tell them to be ready to work extremely hard, and realize that things may not go perfectly, but it should hopefully all work out in the end.