Carpet is soft, luxurious and relatively easy to maintain. It absorbs sound and gives you a plush surface to walk on.
If you’re thinking of installing or replacing carpet, you might wonder if it’s worth it to do it yourself. While you can save money with DIY carpet installation, you might spend more time and experience more headaches than you would if you hired a professional. Consider your budget and level of expertise when you’re thinking about installing carpet on your own.
How Much Money Can You Save by Installing Your Carpet Yourself?
One of the biggest benefits of DIY carpet installation is the financial savings. In addition to the installation fee, professionals might charge you to remove and dispose of your old carpet or flooring. You’ll also pay labor fees on top of the price of the carpet.
According to Fixr, the average cost of 140 square feet of carpet installation is $980 to $1,680. Professionals charge about $115 to remove and dispose of carpets from flat areas. Carpet removal from stairs costs more. If you choose a professional installer, you can always ask if you can remove the old carpet yourself to save money.
When you install your carpet yourself, you only have to pay for the materials. These include the carpet, padding and any special tools that are necessary.
The average price of carpet is $2 to $7 per square foot. You can save extra money by purchasing in-stock materials or swatches.
Some of the accessories that you’ll need to install carpet are:
- Linoleum knife to cut carpet to size
- Seam roller to merge separate pieces of carpet together
- Heavy magnet to remove stray staples from flooring after removing old carpet and weigh down seams as you work
- Carpet tape for securing seams to the flooring; some require a bonding iron to fuse them
- Carpet trimmer for neatly cutting edges
- Power stretcher to fit the carpet properly
- Staple gun
You can often rent some of the more expensive equipment, such as the power stretcher. Consider checking with friends to borrow some tools that you don’t own.
Based on this information, you can save about $700 to $1,000 by installing carpet yourself. The price varies depending on the price of the materials.
Other Benefits of DIY Carpet Installation
Besides saving some money, you’ll get some more benefits by installing carpet yourself. You’ll be able to choose your own timeline instead of waiting for a professional to offer you a specific window. For example, it may be more convenient for you to work on the project over a weekend instead of taking time off to meet your installer during the week.
However, DIY carpet installation typically takes longer than professional installation. You probably need to do some research and spend time learning how to tackle the project. If you want the job accomplished as quickly as possible, you might prefer to hire someone to do it. If you don’t mind having your living space discombobulated for a little while, this might be a project that you can handle yourself.
Another benefit of installing the carpet yourself is that you’re responsible for the quality of the installation. If you’re confident in your skills, this means that you know that you’ll do a good job.
However, a DIY installation may void the carpet’s warranty. If you make a mistake, you’ll probably have to shell out more cash to fix it. Check with the manufacturer for details before making your decision.
Reputable installers should provide a guarantee for their services. If they make an error, they’re required to fix it at their expense.
Where to Start with a DIY Carpet Installation
If you’ve decided to install your carpet yourself, you’ll need to do some research before you begin. Bob Vila offers valuable information about all kinds of DIY home improvement projects, including carpet installation.
Before you begin, measure your space to determine how much carpet you’ll need. Get the square footage of each room by multiplying the width by the length. Add up to 20 percent to this calculation to ensure that you buy enough material to cover the entire area.
You might consider bringing a sketch of the space to the carpet store. The professionals there can let you know whether you’re ordering enough carpet to cover oddly shaped areas. They’ll make sure that you select the right type of carpet for your needs.
Some things to consider when choosing carpet include:
• What type of carpet padding should you use?
• Are you installing carpet in a high-traffic area?
• Is the carpet stain resistant?
• What type of maintenance does the carpet require?
• What color will set the right tone for the room?
Once you decide on the carpet that you want to buy, ask if you can bring home a swatch to make sure that it looks great in your room. You can also bring swatches of upholstery and paint from your home to the flooring retailer.
While you’re there, ask a flooring professional to give you tips on how to deal with obstacles, such as radiators or floor vents. YouTube videos can give you even more detailed instructions for specific skills, such as working around corners or dealing with obstructions. You should watch several videos to become comfortable with the process before you move forward with it. Videos can also help you determine the exact accessories that you’ll need to proceed.
Once you have decided to go ahead with the DIY carpet installation, remove the old carpet and padding. Inspect the subflooring for damage. Moisture is the biggest threat to subflooring. Warped, water-damaged or loose boards should be replaced. When a professional takes care of this step, they should examine the floor. They know exactly what to look for when it comes to damage.
If everything looks great, you can continue with the project. While a professional installation usually takes about a day or two, a DIY carpet installation can take longer. Make sure that you’re ready to avoid using the rooms in which you’re working during the process.
Do you need help with your research or carpet installation? Ask the pros at Austin’s Floor Store. Use our simple contact form to get in touch with us, and ask us all the questions that you’d like.