DIY vs Professional carpet installation: which is best for you?

It’s a great time for investing money in your home, and a carpet is a great way to revamp a room. It can be tempting to try and save some money and opt for a DIY carpet fit instead of hiring a professional.

But, is this a good idea, or will it end up costing you more in the long run?

In this blog we’ll look at the differences between DIY and professional carpet installation, to help you understand which option is best for you.

What’s the difference between DIY and professional carpet fitting?

There are a few differences between DIY and professional carpet installation:

  1. The cost of installation
  2. Quality of installation
  3. Time it takes to install?
Cost of installLess expensiveMore expensive
QualityDepends on your skillsGenerally a much higher standard
TimeDepends on your skills (but longer than a professional)Around 4 – 8 hours. 
1. DIY vs Professional: cost of installation…

As you might have guessed, the main reason many people consider DIY carpet installation is due to cost savings.

Depending on how many rooms you are looking to carpet, the costs can add up, and it can be tempting to give it a go yourself. 

So, what is the cost difference?

If you go down the road of DIY carpet installation then you only have to pay for materials. 

Firstly, we always recommend that you install underlay before fitting a carpet to protect the longevity of your carpet, and providing a more luxurious feeling underfoot. Underlay will cost between £3 and £15 per square metre. 

Then you’ll have to buy the carpet. The cost of the carpet can vary greatly depending on the type and quality of carpet you choose, but it will be between £5 – £50/square metre on average.

But it’s not just the cost of the carpet you need to think about. You want to make it look as professional as possible and if you are DIY-ing, this means getting the correct tools. Here are some of the specialist tools you will require to install a carpet yourself:

  • Carpet knife
  • Knee kicker
  • Power stretcher
  • Seam roller
  • Stair tool
  • Staplers

If you don’t already have them, or have someone you can borrow them from, then you’ll need to factor in the costs of these tools.

If you decide fitting your carpet is something you want to get done professionally, then you’ll need to factor in the cost of the underlay and carpet plus installation costs. The cost of labour will depend on a few factors including:

  • Who installs the carpet
  • Size of the area being carpeted
  • Complexities of installation

Carpet fitting can vary from £3 – £40 square metre. At Millers, we charge £4 per square metre (with a minimum of £40).

As an example, let’s look at the cost to install carpet in a standard sized UK living room (approx. 17 metres squared). Let’s assume that this room has:

  • A standard shape (ie no stairs, odd shapes)
  • Is installing underlay (@ an average cost of £10/square metre)
  • Is installing man-made carpet (@ an average cost of £20/square metre)

If you decided to DIY the installation then you would be looking at a cost of £510 for one 17 metre squared room (assuming that you already own the tools or can borrow them).

If you have to add in the cost of professional installation, then you are looking at a total cost of £578 or a room of approximately 17 metre squared. 

Therefore you are looking at a cost difference of around £68 for this particular example. 

So, maybe not as much of a difference in cost as you thought, but it can add up if it’s more than one room.

However, remember this is for one room, and assumes you have the tools (and skills) to carry out the work. If you have to buy lots of tools that you will never use again, then it may not be worth it and hiring a professional will be more cost effective.

Related content:

How much does carpet installation cost?

2. DIY vs Professional: quality of installation…

While cost might be the first thing that springs to mind when comparing DIY and professional carpet installation, the quality of install is a close second (and arguably more important).

As we mentioned, fitting your carpet yourself will save you money, but maybe not quite as much as you thought it would save you. But the quality of installation will liley be a huge differentiating factor.

You want a high standard of installation to not only ensure that it looks good, but this will also affect the longevity of the carpet life. 

Professional installation is in the name it’s….professional.

When you hire a professional to install your carpet you know that the job is going to be done correctly and efficiently. They should know how to install carpet, underlay, and use all the specialty tools.  

Of course, this depends on you hiring a reliable professional. But overall, a professional will install the carpet to a much higher standard than you will be able to do yourself. 

You should also get a warranty from a professional installation, which will give you peace of mind over the longevity of the carpet installation. 

If you decide that you want to install your carpet yourself, there are a couple of things that may go wrong that you should be aware of:

  • The carpet is loose or wavy
  • Visible seams 

A couple of questions you should ask yourself to help you decide if you want to install your carpet yourself:

  • How complicated is the design of the room?
  • Do you have any trade or carpet fitting experience?

Carpeting a room or multiple rooms can be a big investment, so you want to make sure you get it right and install it well to ensure that it lasts. 

If it’s a simple room and you have experience, or help from someone experienced then you might be able install your carpet to a high standard. Otherwise it might be best to leave it to the professionals. 

3. DIY vs Professional: time of installation…

Of course, this really depends on how big and complicated the installation is. 

A professional will usually take up to a day to install a room, however it could be less if the room is small or straightforward. 

Generally speaking if you want to DIY your carpet installation it will take a little longer than the professionals. It’s a bit of a learning curve, and you need to factor in more time that you would expect it to take a professional. 

The good news is that if you DIY your carpet installation you can do it on your own timescale – no need to wait until your carpet installation team is ready to go. 

If you’ve got time (and skills) then installing your own carpet might be a good option. 

When is it a good idea to DIY your carpet installation

Carpet installation is an investment, so it’s not something you want to attempt to do yourself unless you are confident and competent. Here are some questions that you should ask yourself before deciding whether to DIY your carpet or hire a professional:

  • Are you only fitting carpet in one room?
  • Is the floor under the carpet undamaged and even?
  • Do you know how to use the specialist tools and equipment?
  • Is the room straightforward (ie. no stairs, odd angles etc)

If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then you might be capable of installing your own carpet. If not, then you might want to call in the professionals. 

In conclusion: should you DIY your carpet installation or get a professional?

The answer really depends. 

If you’re handy and have some experience with installing carpet then it might work out more cost effective to install your own carpet.

However, if you aren’t sure how to do it, then it may end up costing you more in materials, tools and time, and you would be better calling in the professionals to do it for you. 
If you are looking for a professional carpet installation then get in touch, our team can help.

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