Thursday, 28 January 2010


The new flooring in the office is now in situ.

In situ but not fitted.

This is because PP balked at having to pay £45 to have a £50 piece of carpet professionally fitted.

I wasn't exactly keen myself, but I know my limitations. Also in the final analysis it is almost always cheaper and quicker to have a professional do the job.

The carpet in question is a utilitarian silver/grey office quality gel-backed carpet which will not be affected by two office chairs rolling over it on a daily basis. Being gel-backed it had to be stuck onto the floor, so the pre-existing underlay and gripper rods were redundant.

The office in question is small and rectangular. No alcoves, or radiator pipes coming up from the floor, and no obstructions, other than the door, to give us pause for thought at the advisability of tackling the job ourselves.

We picked up the carpet from the supplier this morning, along with a can of spray adhesive, with which to fix the carpet to the floor. Having assembled the necessary tools (Stanley knife with blade of uncertain vintage, old length of skirting board to act as a (hopefully) straight edge, marker pen and tape measure, we set about the job with muted resignation.

First off, we had to cut the 4m width of carpet down to a handleable size, while still retaining a comfortable excess which could be trimmed. As we don't have a room big enough to lay the roll out flat we had to manoeuvre it into the kitchen and lap the ends up against the kitchen cupboards.

At this point, Small Dog, who shows a keen interest in DIY, wandered into the room to check on progress, then decided that she really, REALLY needed to go out into the garden. Which meant that we had to hoik the carpet off the floor to get the door open for her. While she was attending to her ablutions (which can take some time as she always has to check every inch of the garden perimeter for possible alien/squirrel incursions) we repositioned the carpet to begin the process of measuring and marking, prior to cutting. Of course as soon as the delicate task of cutting along a black line on the black back of the carpet, Small Dog decided that she really, REALLY needed to get back in again, just in case we needed her expertise.

Up came the carpet again, in strolled Small Dog, who gave us a "good job, keep it up" sort of look and disappeared off for a nap on the sofa.

Having measured, re-measured, and measured yet again (just for good measure) the carpet was finally bisected and the larger of the two pieces hefted into the office. Knowing that there was one perfectly straight, square, factory finished edge was useful as it provided incontrovertible evidence that the room was most certainly not.

Square that is.

With the carpet perfectly lined along one edge of the room, there was a definite discrepancy along two other walls.


This meant that instead of having to trim along just two edges, it was necessary to trim along three. One of which was the long axis.

Buggrit some more.


As I said, the carpet is in situ but not yet stuck down as we have run out of daylight, energy, patience and mutual goodwill.

It looks fine.

Better than fine.


  • It took more than half a day, so I have lost half a day's work during which time I could have undoubtedly have made enough stock to cover three times the cost of having the carpet fitted by someone who had the skill, confidence and proper tools and who would have done it all (included sticking it down) in less than half an hour.
  • PP has probably done something dreadful either to her back, or knees, or both.
  • We've ruined three perfectly good pairs of scissors and one casting board.
  • We're not talking to each other and Small Dog isn't talking to either of us.
When I was little, my mother used to get tradespeople in 'secretly' to do jobs in the house. For some reason, (probably related to being a man), my father used to think he could do just about anything, from plumbing to bricklaying, despite the fact that most things he attempted turned into a fiasco requiring extensive (and usually expensive) remedial works to put right what he had bodged. Throughout my childhood I was witness to various DIY disasters, ranging from him putting a pickaxe through a water main to falling off the roof trying to sweep the chimney, so my views on DIY are somewhat jaundiced. Aside from easy stuff like painting or wallpapering, I am always predisposed to leave jobs to people who know more about them than I do.

Referring back to my earlier post about books, I was introduced to Jerome K Jerome as a child by my mother. I still vividly remember her reading this excerpt to me, which had us both crying with laughter. When we had recovered our composure, she whispered conspiratorially to me:

"Who does Uncle Podger remind you of?"

Through a veil of tears and snot, I whispered "Daddy."

1 comment:

Irene said...

Having fitted carpet ourselves in the past (taking off the shoes and doing the necessary shuffle into corners!) I certainly sympathise with today's post. Maybe a good idea to leave it overnight to "settle". I can just picture the scene you described in my mind's eye! Good luck with the final fitting.