Installing carpet is already a relatively affordable floor remodel. Compared to tile or hardwood, replacing carpet is low cost and minimum labor. You can still make the project even cheaper for yourself if you do part of the work on your own. For instance, if you remove your existing carpet form the floor, you can substantially reduce the cost of your labor bill. This article explains how to remove carpet from floors.
Removing the Carpet
Getting the carpet up and off the floor is usually easy because it is only secured at the edges, where the tack strips are. However, finding an edge from where you can lift up the carpet can be tricky. The edge is usually buried under the baseboard. With a flathead screwdriver you can usually find the edge and pull it out from under the baseboard. Once you have a big enough edge that you can grab with both hands, you need to forcefully rip it away. You definitely need to wear protective work gloves when pulling the carpet up. The carpet base is usually made of fiberglass and it can be quite sharp and rough on your hands.
You also need a utility knife so you can cut the carpet into smaller strips that are more easy to lift up. That is, if your carpet strips are less than 6' wide, you should be able to pick them up and carry them out of your room over the shoulder.
Remove the Tack Strips
Once the carpet (and pads, if you have them) are removed from the floor, you need to remove the tack strips. Removing the tack strips is usually harder than removing the actual carpet. You need a hammer and chisel to remove it. Hammer the chisel underneath the tack strips and then pry it up, away from the floor. However, this technique doesn't work if you have concrete subfloors. To get the tack strip off of a concrete subfloors, you need to just hit the side of the strip with a hammer. This basically knocks that nail right out the concrete.
The final step is to sweep and vacuum your floor and it should be ready for your new carpet. When you are shopping around for carpet installers, make sure you include the fact that your subfloor is clear and ready for the installation of the new product. You will definitely secure a better bid for your job.