First of all, what is carpet stretching? This is a procedure that is used in two different cases: when you first install your carpet and when you need to repair it. During the installation, the stretching basically makes sure that you are left with a very secure and smooth carpet that covers your floor. Basically it will allow it to sit flat against the flooring.
When you need to do carpet stretching, you have to work with a couple of DIY tools, such as a carpet stretcher, a knife, a staple gun, a stair tool, an awl and a hammer. The most important tool to be used is the carpet stretcher.
Before you do the repair or stretching job, you need to first make your due diligence. For example not every stretching method is good for all carpets. Some required a different method than others. Learn what works best for your type. If you still have the installation instructions, read through them as it might be mentioned. If you use the wrong method, you might end up damaging the carpet in the process.
First make sure that all furniture from the room is placed someplace else, as the room needs to be empty. Then find out the direction that you need to stretch the carpet towards. Usually it needs to only be done in one direction, as you can easily get away with it.
Next remove metal strips that might be on the floor. Pay attention as some have nails that need to be removed as well. If the strip is clamped down, all you need is lift it with a stair tool or even a flat chisel. Then use an awl to lift one edge of your carpet and poke the awl through it at around 6 inches away from the wall. You could also use some pliers instead of an awl.
To set up the actual carpet stretcher, place it so that the foot end is tight against the baseboard while the head is actually resting just a few inches away from the wall towards which you will be stretching your carpet. Avoid pulling too tight as the machine is quite strong and it can easily rip and damage your carpet during the project. Next use the kicker as you might need to do a couple of little adjustments here and there.
To actually use the stretcher you need to start in the room center and while pushing the handle of the stretcher, you will basically pull the carpet to one side. Finally you need to cut the carpet with the blade knife so you can easily tuck it away into the little space that is between the wall and the tack strip. Also don’t forget to stick back the carpet into the nails that are sticking out before turning your attention to the next spot to pull.