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Carpet: Pro or DIY Installation?

Carpet Installation toolsWhen it comes to installing carpet in your home, some people may think opting for a do-it-yourself installation is a great way to save money. The reality of the situation is, while you can install your own carpet, it is a difficult job for a novice. In most cases, it is easier to pay a professional to install the carpet for you because you will end up with less hassle, and a quality job in the end.

Specialty Tools

Carpet ToolsInstalling carpet requires the use of certain specialty tools: a knee kicker and a power stretcher. While a professional installer will have access to these tools and the knowledge to use them effectively, as a do-it-yourselfer, you may not. Many tool rental stores make it easy for a person to rent the carpet installation tools by the day for their own installations, but for those not familiar with the specific carpet tools in the first place, is it really worth the expense?

Knowledge and Expertise

Beyond the knowledge and expertise of using the specialty tools, professional carpet installers should be well versed in properly installing the carpet padding. The carpet padding will provide extra cushion on the feet when walked on, help guard against matting of the carpet fibers, and provide a certain degree of stain protection. If not installed correctly, there could be bumps in the padding, reflecting on the carpet when it is laid on top. The installer should also be able to properly cut the carpet to account for heating and cooling registers, and be prepared to remove baseboards. If you are purchasing a carpet that will need seams pushed together, this is an extra skill found in most professional installers.

Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Decide

•         Will I be able to lay the carpet and padding down to the manufacturer’s specifications? If not, you risk the chance of voiding the carpet’s warranty.

•         Am I able to stretch the carpet and padding? Do I know how to secure the carpet using glue or tack strips? If not, the final installation may be a waste of time, money, and effort.

•         Are there any odd shaped corners that I’ll have to work around? This complicates the job considerably, and attempting it on your own may ruin the final installation.

•         Will the carpet and padding need to be trimmed down to my width for installation? Carpet padding comes in 12 and 15 foot widths. If the room does not fit these measurements, it will need to be trimmed down. If you trim the carpet on your own and make a mistake, it could ruin the entire installation.

•         Are the tools I need available or easy to secure? You probably will not have access to the tools you need, without renting them. Is the cost of renting them going to save you any money compared to hiring a professional? Is the amount saved really worth the chance of botching the installation?

Overall Cost

A professional carpet installer will generally charge by the square yard of carpet installed, not including the cost of the carpet and padding material. Some installers may include the cost of installing padding in their fees, while others may charge additional for it. If they have to clear the room and remove the old carpet or flooring, look for even more charges. Ask the installer if you have the option to clear it yourself to save money. Remember, this cost is in addition to the amount of carpet and padding you purchase to cover the room. If you thinking skimping on the installation to save money is a good idea, you may find yourself with carpet you hate shortly after, costing you more in the long run. Consider your carpet and its installation as the same investment. If you buy the right carpet installation tools, will you ever use them again? Why purchase it in the first place if the cost of a DIY carpet installation is going to invalidate it? If the professional installation prohibits you from meeting budget, choose a less expensive carpet or wait until you can afford both.

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