You can save some money on carpet installation by pulling up the old one yourself! Why pay more to have someone do something you can do yourself for free? Pulling up carpet can be very satisfying, but also a little bit tricky if you’ve never done it before.

However, learning to pull up carpet does more than just save you money. It can make you some spare cash too! Once you’ve mastered the technique, you’ve got a skill that people will pay for. Homeowners might pay a professional as much as $200 or more to remove 250 square feet of carpet. Imagine if you listed your services on craigslist for half that price. Even if you only landed one job a week, that’s an extra $400 bucks a month in your pocket for a few hours of work on the weekend. Sure, you won’t be retiring on your carpet pulling income, but it’s a good source of spare change while you are looking for long term work.

So read this post to learn the basics of pulling up a carpet. Do your own, and then get out there and start selling your services.

Before we get started, you should have the following tools at the ready if you’re going to be pulling up a carpet:black-carpet

  • Locking pliers
  • Dust mask
  • Knee pads
  • Pry bar
  • Safety glasses
  • Utility knife
  • Duct tape

Before pulling up the carpet, do the following things:

  • Check with your installer to learn just how much you’ll save
  • See if they have any advice for you about how to do it and what to do with the carpet once it’s pulled up
  • Remove any doors that open into the room
  • Remove all furniture and anything else in the room
  • Put on your gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask

Now you’re ready to get started!

Start by removing the carpet from the tack strip along the walls. Pick a corner, grab onto the carpet firmly with your pliers and give it a good strong pull. With your hands, pull it up along the length of the wall. Fold the carpet back toward the center of the room to about 3 feet. Now, you’ll want to cut the folded piece of carpet away from the rest. Having smaller easy to carry pieces is much better than dealing with a full rooms worth of carpet at once.

Do this continuously – pulling and cutting – until you come to a “transition”. This is where the carpet meets another section of carpet or other type of flooring material. A transition may sometimes be a metal strip. Cut the carpet off and leave the transition area there for the installer.

green-carpetRemoving Carpet from Stairs

If you have carpet on your staircase, the process is a little bit different. You’ll want to start at the top of the stairs as opposed to at the bottom. Remove the metal nosing or cut the carpet near the top of the riser. Just like with the full floor carpet, grab the end and pull the carpet but by hand. Slice off carpet at regular intervals so you aren’t pulling up one super long piece. Once you’ve gotten the carpet off, use the pliers to pry out all the staples.

Here’s a handy checklist to take you from the start to finish of the carpet removal process:

  • Put on your gloves, mask and safety goggles
  • Clear the room
  • Pull the carpet from the tack stripes
  • Fold the carpet and cut along the fold
  • Roll the carpet up and duct tape it together
  • Pull up the remaining padding
  • Roll the padding up and duct tape it together
  • Use pliers or floor scraper to remove staples

Disposing of Carpet

You’ll need to dispose of the carpet according to local regulations. Most trash companies have special charges when it comes to carpet, and you’ll probably need to provide them with an approximate square footage in order to get an estimate. If you are tearing up several rooms worth of carpet, it may be worthwhile investing in short term dumpster rental for easy disposal. In the Nashville area, you can go with http://dumpsterrentalnashvillego.com/ or even contact your own trash service, as they likely rent out dumpsters too.

There you have all the basics of pulling up carpet. Be sure you practice a few times before selling your services. Consider helping friends and family with their own carpets to build your confidence and expertise. And remember, before engaging in any sort of freelance business enterprise, be sure to talk to a lawyer or other qualified professional about any necessary licensure or certifications for your business and region.