How To – Preparing for New Carpet

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    Installing new carpet in your home is often a task that is left to professionals but sometimes you can improve the experience and lower your cost by taking some easy steps.

    First you should measure your room and make a floor layout of where you want the carpet. Most companies will charge you a $50 or more measure fee even if they do offer free estimates.  Make sure that any measure or estimate fee is always applied to the final job as a discount.

    You will then have to work with your installer to get ready for the install.

    Will they move furniture? Most contractors do not like to move furniture because of liability.

    Will they charge you extra to remove the old carpet? If they do you may want to remove the carpet yourself.

    Does the install price include the cost of a carpet pad and what type of carpet pad will be used? Carpet Pads are placed between the rug and the bare floor or underlayment. Without a good Carpet pad you will have quicker wear and the feel of the carpet will be different.

    If your installer wants to charge you extra for moving furniture, removing old carpet or laying down a new heavy duty carpet pad you should do the work yourself if you can.

    Installing carpet is often best done before you move in. This can be either when the home is purchased or built.

    Another large cost is the modification of base board moldings.  This is the 3 inch high molding that sits at floor level. If you have hardwood floors now and want to install carpet you will have to raise this molding from a half to 3/4 ‘s of an inch higher to allow for the thickness of the carpet.

    Removing and resetting baseboard moldings is pretty easy but often you can end up cracking a molding or damaging the wallboard.

    You can use both a painters metal putty knife and a small pry bar to remove the molding but if you run into nails that are too hard to get out you may want to use a center punch or another nail to drive the nails through the molding. This will leave a hole in the molding but caulk or filler can be use to make a quick to hide them.

    Again you have to watch out for all the little extras because when you get your job estimate it will probably not include them at the same price as you were quoted by the carpet sales person at the store.

    While the job is being performed you will want to collect all the larger remnants of carpet. They can be used to make repairs or at the least they can be used for making doormats.

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