Carpet Stretching Gear

Bryce C

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I have been wanting to practice carpet stretching in safe places and eventually offer it to some of our clients. I've been doing some research and thought that one of the innovative Tri-Force stretchers would be good being compact to carry around in my truck and useful even in tight quarters.

However somebody with more experience recommended I just go with a power stretcher as they are tried and true. Not sure which direction to go, but there is a Crain 500 Single Case Stretcher in good shape available locally about $300 less than retail. Do you guys think that is a versatile and sufficient tool to grab that will serve me in most spaces aside from narrow hallways?

This is the product

Any tips are appreciated, thanks!
 
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Evets
Re-stretching & Repairs are the most profitable services that we offer. I say that because our total investment in equipment is less than $2000 and we can make that much on one job. Roberts Power Stretcher Jr is what we use. You will also need a knee kicker. Don't waste money on the Bear claw or any of the other gimmicky tools out there.
I will tell you that every job is different and present different challenges. It's definitely a 2-man job because of the furniture moving involved. An IICRC course for repairs and reinstallation is worthless, I have the certification. Can't remember a single word Barry Costa (?) said. The only reason that we can do it is because I started as an installer's helper at 15 years old, and have installed carpet, tile, and whatever else many times. I have no fear of any situation that we run into. That includes repairs, which we do a lot.
For repairs you need a Koolglide and a pretty big set of B*lls. We do this mostly in high end homes. They're the only ones that can afford it.
 

Willy P

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There's a lot to learn before you are anywhere close to doing surgery on a carpet. Like the above post, I started from an installation background, but there's a lot of pitfalls in repair work. Start off with buying a few basic things, like a kicker, seaming iron, a straight edge,etc. Try craigslist. Get some dumpster diving in grabbing some old used carpet and practice your seaming. Look out for taking the stretch too far around door thresholds and heat registers as you can't weave carpet to fill in bare floor. You'll have to learn how to open seams up and close them up so they don't look like crap. You really need to be on your game to do repair and restretching. I only touched on a tiny bit.
 

FredC

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I'd focus on becoming a good carpet cleaner first. Network with folks that can complete the other tasks.


Edit: Having said that I learned on the fly. I helped my brother in law (installer) once and added it to my resume....I figure if he, being a dumbass, could do it I wouldn't have an issue...I was mostly right :lol:...and that was pre-youtube
 

FredC

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An IICRC course for repairs and reinstallation is worthless, I have the certification. Can't remember a single word Barry Costa (?) said.


I took Barry's RRT class and found it worth taking. It certainly isn't going to qualify you as an installer but is good for basic stretching, small repairs, and introducing folks to the tools.
 

Bryce C

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It all makes sense. Thanks y'all. For now I'm not considering doing any kind of carpet repair work aside from stretching in what appears to be simple scenarios, and only after I study for many hours on Youtube and get some practice in friends and family homes. I just picked up a kicker and a Crain power stretcher with 3 extension tubes and an adjustable tail block from a pawn shop for $300. It all works well, I spent a while fiddling around with it. I will network with others I can refer people to who do ace repair work outside of simple stretching as well as everything else I need to slow down and learn properly.

Yea, well... I am going to start doing hard surface cleaning sometime soon. But I swear that's it!
 

Bryce C

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I took Barry's RRT class and found it worth taking. It certainly isn't going to qualify you as an installer but is good for basic stretching, small repairs, and introducing folks to the tools.
I'm taking a WRT course with Barry in person about 45 minutes from where I live in another several weeks. I'll check in at the same facility and see if they offer any carpet repair courses too. They'll both just be primers and I'm not rushing into either. The carpet stretching and hard surface cleaning just seem almost foolish for me to pass up as I've been missing out on a ton of seemingly simple work in the homes I'm already servicing without even advertising it. I'll be careful to learn how to not cause harm asap and do only the very basics in each of those new categories I'm expanding into.
 
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I took Barry's RRT class and found it worth taking. It certainly isn't going to qualify you as an installer but is good for basic stretching, small repairs, and introducing folks to the tools.
Fred, it's good for doing a repair on a small piece of carpet on a table in the classroom, or if you are re-stretching a perfectly square or rectangle shaped room that's empty and doesn't have doors.
Really?
The only thing it's good for is getting your MTC certification.
Installing is a completely different thing.
 

FredC

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Fred, it's good for doing a repair on a small piece of carpet on a table in the classroom, or if you are re-stretching a perfectly square or rectangle shaped room that's empty and doesn't have doors.
Really?
The only thing it's good for is getting your MTC certification.
Installing is a completely different thing.


I was required to take it by a restoration company I worked for.......I'm saying I can see the value in it for people unfamiliar with any of these things.
 
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We have a local competitor that hired an IICRC instructor to come to their facility and train their guys for 2 days. I won't say his name because my son thinks a lot of this instructor and rightly so.
They thought they could offer this service after 2 days of training. No, It's not for Rookies. They dropped it right away. Probably cost them a chunk to learn that lesson.
 
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I'm surprised you don't have a Rotovac Starter pack.. There is much to learn in this business and I'm a second generation cleaner.. I literally was born into this business.. From Cleaning, installing, repairs, rug washing, carpet dyeing and spot dyeing, WDR, Fire damage cleanup, flooring inspection, the list can go on..

Each aspect of the business has it's ups and downs.. I'd sub-contract/network with qualified installers who actually use a power stretcher and not a re-stretcher, bear claw, knee kicker, pig's tail, kneeless stretcher.. One could make a good living going behind new sub-divisions and big box stores that offer free installation with carpet purchase.. 1-3 years down the line they need it to be restretched as it was only knee kicked.. What the installers get paid, you won't get a proper power stretched job.. Hell, even Mikey's boy Robert Atlas is making a killing on his network he created repairing and stretching carpets..

You couldn't pay me enough to be on my knee's all day.. It takes a toll on your body.. Become good at 1 thing, then another.. I swear reading your posts it seems like you have the grit but also ADHD in one form.. I have a form of it as well so I speak from experience..
 

Bryce C

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I'm surprised you don't have a Rotovac Starter pack.. There is much to learn in this business and I'm a second generation cleaner.. I literally was born into this business.. From Cleaning, installing, repairs, rug washing, carpet dyeing and spot dyeing, WDR, Fire damage cleanup, flooring inspection, the list can go on..

Each aspect of the business has it's ups and downs.. I'd sub-contract/network with qualified installers who actually use a power stretcher and not a re-stretcher, bear claw, knee kicker, pig's tail, kneeless stretcher.. One could make a good living going behind new sub-divisions and big box stores that offer free installation with carpet purchase.. 1-3 years down the line they need it to be restretched as it was only knee kicked.. What the installers get paid, you won't get a proper power stretched job.. Hell, even Mikey's boy Robert Atlas is making a killing on his network he created repairing and stretching carpets..

You couldn't pay me enough to be on my knee's all day.. It takes a toll on your body.. Become good at 1 thing, then another.. I swear reading your posts it seems like you have the grit but also ADHD in one form.. I have a form of it as well so I speak from experience..
For the most part I don't buy that we have disorders but rather character qualities, some good, some bad, all can be developed. DSM classifications, well I won't go there. Anyways I've been cleaning carpets, rugs, and upholstery, and while there is much to learn it seems I have gotten pretty good at it in the short time I have been doing it. Not mastery, I'm not boasting, I've skated through some close calls that an older mentor has guided me through but what's a guy supposed to do? I'm an unhireable entrepreneur that's trying his best and simply doesn't know what he doesn't know.

I'm not approaching this stuff arrogantly. I made a big mistake helping an old lady out with her basement and yet if you read through that thread I humbly accepted everyone's advice and recognized the egregious error of my ways and learned some valuable lessons. Got it.

Everything else I've been slightly terrified to touch anything but I read for a few hundred hours, got the necessary gear, and tried my best to know my limits, do no harm, and yet have the courage to go out there and give it a shot. Then I went to Mikeys Fest with barely a few nickels to scratch together because when Mikey messaged me about it I knew he was a great guy and he was right about the value of it. It was all that and loads more, really a miracle in my life.

Is it ok for Mikey P to just "figure out" how to clean hard surfaces and do grout work as he attests to in his videos but that makes me have some psychological disorder? Sure he had decades of prior experience in other aspects of cleaning but still.. I have youtube, forums, friends in the biz giving me tips and setting me up with the right chems and gear, a kickass manual written by the best guys in the hard surface biz, future trainings scheduled, I'm only going to do basic cleaning work and will do various tests to make sure I know what I'm working on and have the capacity to do it or else I will say no. And again, starting slowly with obviously easy jobs.

Not sure how learning basic carpet stretching in safe places or wanting to use the gear I already own that is perfectly adequate for hard surface cleaning and slowly and carefully giving that a shot makes me have a disorder of sorts. Sure I could stick to upholstery, carpet, and rug cleaning but my schedule isn't quite full and it seems like slowly adding basic versions of those two services might not be a bad idea. Besides I truly want to learn them and also be a one stop shop for my clients. It would be quite lovely if I grew up in the biz, or if my parents didn't condition me to play endless sports and work towards sitting behind a desk in some white collar work, whatever... I'm going to do my best and figure this out. I don't have the luxury of waiting a year or two to get fully trained. But I am getting properly trained as soon as I can. While I love this work it isn't just some fun game to me in case that's the impression I have left. It's a lifeline and the first time I've felt hope in years.
 
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Bryce C

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Advertising basic hard surface cleaning (sometime in the next month or two once I learn more) publicly will be a gateway into more new homes through the lead generation platforms I am currently using. Basic carpet stretching (without advertising any repair work) will be a simple add on that has real value to the client once I practice and feel confident I can do it without causing damage.

A market was taken over and completely collapsed over the last year that bankrupted my family all while having fairly high expenses, and with my last gasp of financial wind I setup this business on a shoestring budget. I want to do this right and truly serve people. I've made some mistakes, I'm learning as I go, I don't think highly of myself in any way actually quite the opposite. God willing I'll make it to a better place where I can slow down, relax, and have more peace inside. For now it is a trial by fire and redemption through blood, sweat, and tears. Most folks here probably have no idea how much this work really means to me.
 
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Willy P

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Bryce, don't think for one second that I want to discourage you. If there's anything I can do to help you out, feel free to ask. I'm cheering for you. I just don't want to see you make an expensive mistake. Connecticut is a little far from Salmon Arm, but pick my brain by all means.
 
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For the most part I don't buy that we have disorders but rather character qualities, some good, some bad, all can be developed. DSM classifications, well I won't go there. Anyways I've been cleaning carpets, rugs, and upholstery, and while there is much to learn it seems I have gotten pretty good at it in the short time I have been doing it. Not mastery, I'm not boasting, I've skated through some close calls that an older mentor has guided me through but what's a guy supposed to do? I'm an unhireable entrepreneur that's trying his best and simply doesn't know what he doesn't know.

I'm not approaching this stuff arrogantly. I made a big mistake helping an old lady out with her basement and yet if you read through that thread I humbly accepted everyone's advice and recognized the egregious error of my ways and learned some valuable lessons. Got it.

Everything else I've been slightly terrified to touch anything but I read for a few hundred hours, got the necessary gear, and tried my best to know my limits, do no harm, and yet have the courage to go out there and give it a shot. Then I went to Mikeys Fest with barely a few nickels to scratch together because when Mikey messaged me about it I knew he was a great guy and he was right about the value of it. It was all that and loads more, really a miracle in my life.

Is it ok for Mikey P to just "figure out" how to clean hard surfaces and do grout work as he attests to in his videos but that makes me have some psychological disorder? Sure he had decades of prior experience in other aspects of cleaning but still.. I have youtube, forums, friends in the biz giving me tips and setting me up with the right chems and gear, a kickass manual written by the best guys in the hard surface biz, future trainings scheduled, I'm only going to do basic cleaning work and will do various tests to make sure I know what I'm working on and have the capacity to do it or else I will say no. And again, starting slowly with obviously easy jobs.

Not sure how learning basic carpet stretching in safe places or wanting to use the gear I already own that is perfectly adequate for hard surface cleaning and slowly and carefully giving that a shot makes me have a disorder of sorts. Sure I could stick to upholstery, carpet, and rug cleaning but my schedule isn't quite full and it seems like slowly adding basic versions of those two services might not be a bad idea. Besides I truly want to learn them and also be a one stop shop for my clients. It would be quite lovely if I grew up in the biz, or if my parents didn't condition me to play endless sports and work towards sitting behind a desk in some white collar work, whatever... I'm going to do my best and figure this out. I don't have the luxury of waiting a year or two to get fully trained. But I am getting properly trained as soon as I can. While I love this work it isn't just some fun game to me in case that's the impression I have left. It's a lifeline and the first time I've felt hope in years.

It was a tongue and cheek comment.. You'll learn to read between the lines.. It wasn't meant to be a dig at you, but rather point you in the right direction to be more profitable.. I'm sorry if you felt otherwise..

I'm one to try many things, what may work for others sometimes doesn't work for me..

More power to you my guy.. In this day and age, you really need to CYA.. Too many people are self-entitled and sue happy these days.. I look at the exposed liability and process from there.. Pictures, and documentations, are the bare minimum..

And I don't like to label people.. Everyone can teach you something, either for better or worse.. Lesson or a blessing..
 

Cleanworks

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We have a local competitor that hired an IICRC instructor to come to their facility and train their guys for 2 days. I won't say his name because my son thinks a lot of this instructor and rightly so.
They thought they could offer this service after 2 days of training. No, It's not for Rookies. They dropped it right away. Probably cost them a chunk to learn that lesson.
skill at repairs takes practice. not something you can learn in 2 days. those courses are really for people who are already doing some and want to learn how to do it better. teaches you better ways to cut, basics of stretching, tips on seaming, etc. for repairs, good to get some old carpet, cut it up and try to reseam it.
 

Nomad74

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I used to be like you. Tried to do a bit of everything. Mikey loves guys like you; New blood to sell things too. I'm all tired and bitter now. I hate stretching carpet. I hate working on my knees and lugging out that power stretcher. I hate cleaning upholstery, I hate cleaning tile and hardwood, I hate dying and repairs. I can do it all an I'm good at it, I just dislike it. I just want to clean carpet, that's all.

That being said, I got a call this evening from a potential customer. He immediately started ranting about how he needed his couches and recliners cleaned. He started describing all the furniture in his house. After he got the words "Wing Back Chairs" out of his mouth I decided to hang up on him and turn off my cell phone. I'm taking tomorrow off to trade options all day.

Let me know if you want any other business tips. I have a ton.
 
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Cleanworks

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I used to be like you. Tried to do a bit of everything. Mikey loves guys like you; New blood to sell things too. I'm all tired and bitter now. I hate stretching carpet. I hate working on my knees and lugging out that power stretcher. I hate cleaning upholstery, I hate cleaning tile and hardwood, I hate dying and repairs. I can do it all an I'm good at it, I just dislike it. I just want to clean carpet, that's all.

That being said, I got a call this evening from a potential customer. He immediately started ranting about how he needed his couches and recliners cleaned. He started describing all the furniture in his house. After he got the words "Wing Back Chairs" out of his mouth I decided to hang up on him and turn off my cell phone. I'm taking tomorrow off to trade options all day.

Let me know if you want any other business tips. I have a ton.
Lazy ass cleaners. Having said that, I'm pretty much a carpet and upholstery specialist. I hate tiles and hard surfaces. Upholstery is back breaking work so I charge a fortune to do it. I love doing commercial work with my Trinity or Sprayborg.
 
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Bryce C

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I don't know many of you yet, but I can tell you are each wonderful folks. Thanks a million for the genuine, kind, and encouraging words you all offered me in your own way. I had to take a break for a bit for several reasons. All of the advise, encouragement, and offers to help are very much appreciated.

Man I'm learning a lot quickly.. Some about cleaning, even more about the extent of what I don't know regarding cleaning and restoration, and aspects of my own character along the way. This is trying, but also a great adventure. Thank you ⚔️🌱
 

Bryce C

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So slim pickings else where I see........... :eekk:
Not at all, poor assessment. Fair to assume that though I suppose. I've always been an observer at ***, never felt a desire to participate on those boards since I began viewing them several months ago before we launched our business. Seems like the Phish concert of the cleaning industry. Maybe that isn't the right analogy, can't quite put a finger on it..

I've been slammed busy with work. We just had our best week yet and next week is already scheduled to be more profitable. I also needed to take a break from the boards here after getting it wrong with the emergency call I received. Despite the good folks who were trying to help me out, I simply found it easier to persevere and make it right without unpleasant negativity from a few others.
 

SamIam

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I have been wanting to practice carpet stretching in safe places and eventually offer it to some of our clients. I've been doing some research and thought that one of the innovative Tri-Force stretchers would be good being compact to carry around in my truck and useful even in tight quarters.

However somebody with more experience recommended I just go with a power stretcher as they are tried and true. Not sure which direction to go, but there is a Crain 500 Single Case Stretcher in good shape available locally about $300 less than retail. Do you guys think that is a versatile and sufficient tool to grab that will serve me in most spaces aside from narrow hallways?

This is the product

Any tips are appreciated, thanks!
I won the y piece for stretching here years ago, only used it a couple times.

A junior power stretcher is great

I bought a Roberts staple gun crap, crane is way better.


They do the same thing the crane lasted.
 
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SamIam

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It's always easier to remove bumps in the carpet with no furniture in the room.

I generally pull up 3 sides and stretch away from the last wall hooked to the wall, and I. The direction that pulls the buckles out.

Stretch it right it up the wall tuck it into the crease, and trim.
 
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Bryce C

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I won the y piece for stretching here years ago, only used it a couple times.

A junior power stretcher is great

I bought a Roberts staple gun crap, crane is way better.


They do the same thing the crane lasted.
Really great tips Sam thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great score.

I went for it on a fairly simple stretching job shortly after my initial post and it went very well. Made enough money to cover the gear I bought and got a feel for some basics without making any mistakes. Hard and rewarding work like so much else in this industry.

In considering which direction to branch out from what I've been doing I think I'm going to get into hard surface cleaning first and keep carpet repair on the backburner for now. So much to learn (:
 
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Bryce C

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Bryce, don't think for one second that I want to discourage you. If there's anything I can do to help you out, feel free to ask. I'm cheering for you. I just don't want to see you make an expensive mistake. Connecticut is a little far from Salmon Arm, but pick my brain by all means.
I didn't get that impression from you Willy. I really appreciate the encouragement and offer to help! I'll take you up on it sometime for sure.

I can imagine screwing up stretching and other repair work would be very costly 😬, I'd feel horrible about it for the customer too. Stoked I got a chance to put my hands on some gear and get a feel for the work without getting into trouble.
 

icleancarpetz

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Re-stretching & Repairs are the most profitable services that we offer. I say that because our total investment in equipment is less than $2000 and we can make that much on one job. Roberts Power Stretcher Jr is what we use. You will also need a knee kicker. Don't waste money on the Bear claw or any of the other gimmicky tools out there.
I will tell you that every job is different and present different challenges. It's definitely a 2-man job because of the furniture moving involved. An IICRC course for repairs and reinstallation is worthless, I have the certification. Can't remember a single word Barry Costa (?) said. The only reason that we can do it is because I started as an installer's helper at 15 years old, and have installed carpet, tile, and whatever else many times. I have no fear of any situation that we run into. That includes repairs, which we do a lot.
For repairs you need a Koolglide and a pretty big set of B*lls. We do this mostly in high end homes. They're the only ones that can afford it.
Bawr claw is a good tool to have and use though every job is a bit different yet the same. Bawr has been an excellent tool for me and never a call back.

With that said everyone has their favorite and not so favorite tool.
 
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FredC

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Behr claw sucked imo....ymmv I guess


do they still make it?
 

icleancarpetz

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Really great tips Sam thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great score.

I went for it on a fairly simple stretching job shortly after my initial post and it went very well. Made enough money to cover the gear I bought and got a feel for some basics without making any mistakes. Hard and rewarding work like so much else in this industry.

In considering which direction to branch out from what I've been doing I think I'm going to get into hard surface cleaning first and keep carpet repair on the backburner for now. So much to learn (:
Barry Costa is the way to go for learning. Look up costagroup. Talk to him.
I was fortunate enough to had taken his classes three times.
So yes learn the proper way from the pros.
One thing though, i would not put on the back burner. You are losing money.

Also look up Thomas Cermack. He’s a master that learned from Barry and he teaches carpet repair.
 
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