Installing new carpet in your home is one of the most cost effective home remodels. If you consider the cost of carpet by the square foot, along with the minimal labor bill, carpet installation is a cheap project. However, there is a great way to make the project even cheaper. If you remove your existing carpet on your own, before the contractor comes to install your new product, you can save a little bit of money on the final bill. This article explains the best tools and techniques to remove carpet from concrete and wooden subfloors. 

Getting the Carpet Up

First of all, you need to find an edge of the carpet so you can peel it up from the floor. You can often dig an edge out from underneath the baseboard. Otherwise, you can use a utility knife to cut a slit in the middle of the carpet. If you have a small prybar or hammer, you can wedge it into the slot and pry it away from the floor. This part of the job is simple enough, but it can be quite tiring. Use a utility knife to cut the carpet into smaller strips that are easier to lift and carry out of the house.

Removing the Tack Strips

Once the carpet is off of the floor, you need to remove the tack strips. The strips are just nailed to the subfloor, whether it is concrete or wood. Since most homes have both wooden and concrete subfloors, it is useful to know how to remove the strips from each. To remove the strips from a concrete floor, all you need is a hammer. The trick is to hit the side of the strip, right next to where there is a nail securing it to the concrete. This will cause the nail to explode out of the concrete. It will slightly chunk up the floor, but this won't have any impact. Removing the tack strips from a wooden subfloor is a little harder. You need to use flat head screwdrivers or chisels to get underneath the strips so you can try them up. Use a hammer to knock a couple of screwdrivers underneath and then pry them both up at the same time. This prevents the wood from breaking into tiny pieces that are difficult to clean up.

Now that the tack strips are removed, all you need to do is vacuum your floor. At this point it will be fully ready for the new installation.