Reattaching the Carpet

This is somewhat of a side post to the built-in bookshelves series. It all started with a few fateful words yesterday morning when Jim called to say he was leaving work early. I casually said, "Why don't you swing by Rental Works on the way home and pick-up a carpet knee kicker so we can reinstall the carpet?" Of course, he did. One of the many reasons why I love him.

You  may remember that we had to pull back the carpet (and removed the baseboard) in our playroom to properly install the built-in bookshelves. We had originally planned to have the carpet reinstalled by the same company that installed the carpet last year, but when the price quote came in at $250 to reinstall 10 feet of carpet edge, we started to explore other options. In the end, we decided to give the installation a try. How hard could it be?

Jim said he may need a knee replacement, or at least a handful of ibuprofen every night for the next week!

When we installed the bookshelves, we pulled back only the minimum amount of carpet so we would not have to reinstall the whole room. You can see the carpet pulled back in this picture.

First, we watched a couple of videos online. We liked the This Old House video particularly. The kicker is an absolute necessity about $11.00 for a 24 hour rental. We probably should have rented a trimmer as well because that might have made it a bit easier. Live and learn.

First, Jim reinstalled the tack strip to within an inch or so of the baseboard. Fortunately we were able to reuse the original tack strips saving us a little more money. The carpet padding was then trimmed up against the edge of the tack strip. 

Then we started by trimming back the carpet to within 2-3 inches of where we thought the carpet would lay down flat. Then we started trimming it back further, little by little so we wouldn't over trim which is the biggest risk here.

But, the carpet wouldn't catch the tacks. Jim quickly figured out that the carpet backing was hitting the baseboard, thus stopping it from catching the tacks. So, we trimmed a little more. At this point, we started using our Cutco kitchen sheers instead of a sheetrock knife to cut tiny strips of carpet. Those scissors are amazing and can cut ANYTHING. (They also have free sharpening for life which we may need to take advantage of soon.) Worked like a charm but if we did it again, we would rent the trimmer tool.

A little more knee-kicking, a wee bit of swearing, and more trimming and we were in business.

Jim requested that I put in a picture of him using the knee kicker since he may be maimed for life.

The result is worth it though!

Way better than $250 for professional installation, although we both agreed we would NEVER do a whole room since this took about 3 hours.

Have you ever saved a bunch of moolah by taking a risk and doing something new instead of hiring a professional? Did it pay off?