Reason to never do a walk-through alone: you will inevitably miss a huge flaw. Walking out of the house the first time we saw it, I was falling all over myself. Ooohing and Aaahing the whole walk back. Thankfully, the Mister was more perceptive than myself. While I’m oggling at the Breakfast of Tiffany’s artwork hanging in the bedroom and cooing over the dog running around at our feet – neither of which were going to come with the house, I completely missed two very big eye sores of the new place. 1) The vent in the upstairs study seems to be a portal to another land. Or just a giant hole down into the air duct that you can see into the dining room through and 2) The carpet upstairs is pretty dull. And loose. Unfortunately until we can get ahold of my mother’s Bissel carpet cleaner, we’re going to have to put up with the grunge. It’s just old… and I’ve definitely seen worse, so maybe I’m not being fair. But it does kind of make me cringe a little every time I walk on it barefoot.
Luckily, we could at least take care of the fact that the carpet is loose. This is a really common problem with old carpeting. It just needs to be re-stretched. Not wanting to spend the money to have a professional do this – it’s really not that difficult of a process if you have the right tools – we decided to take it on ourselves. We decided to go ahead and tackle this one first before the furniture arrives this next weekend. Conveniently there was a place about 20 minutes away that rents equipment for this type of project. If you’re in the Baltimore area and looking for an equipment rental place, definitely check these guys out. My only complaint was that the estimated price online for one of the items was about $30 less than the actual rental cost making this project a little more expensive than I’d been planning on. Luckily that was our only snafu.
The process or re-stretching carpet is really simple thankfully.
1) Pull up the carpet from the tacks against the wall where you’ll be stretching towards.
2) Place the carpet stretcher on the floor with the lever end at the edge you’ve just pulled up and the other end against the opposite wall to brace it against something.
3) SLOWLY press down on the lever until it locks. The reason you have to do this slowly is that sometimes the carpet doesn’t have as much slack as you think it does, so you want to avoid ripping it. Fiddle with the lever (starting it at various points) until the lump in the carpet is gone when the lever is in the locked position and the carpet is nice and flat as it should be.
4) With the stretcher still in place and locked, cut away any excess carpet from the edge (leave an inch or so overhang because you’ll be tucking that down).
5) Take the knee kicker and jam the carpet down onto the tacks using a tool to tuck the carpet down – I happened to use my pastry cutter. haha The knee kicker didn’t really work the way we’d seen it was supposed to which was unfortunate, but we managed to beat the carpet down onto the tacks somehow and the pastry cutter was the PERFECT tool to jam the carpet back down under the baseboards.
Check out a video of this process below:
We did this in both of the carpeted rooms upstairs as they both had big loose lumps. The carpet may still have a dingy appearance and an obvious dirty line where the lumps once were, but at least they’re flat now. They definitely look better than before. And once we have them cleaned, I’m sure they’ll look great.
DIY (equipment rental): $83
Professional Re-stretching: online estimates ranged from about $140-180
So we saved at least $60 doing this ourselves and to be honest – the places I could easily get the estimates from weren’t the most reputable, so I’m assuming $180 is closer to how much we’d have had to have forked over to have a crew come and do this project.