After our home was built we discovered the contractor pocketed a lot of the money, didn't pay the contractors so when we had problems they wouldn't come back and fix them. The guys that laid the carpet put down too much and created "rolls" or "little hills" in the carpet. Is there a way to fix this myself?
Misty W. ~ Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Although a carpet stretcher is the right tool for your job, Misty, I'm not convinced that you are the one who should be completing the work. Regardless of your general contractor's malfeasance, the carpet installers should be the ones to make the job look right. The reason that those little "hills" are forming in the middle of your carpeting is that the carpet installation was not done correctly to begin with, and in my opinion, the installers should be more than willing to return to the job and make it right. This is especially true, because it would probably only take a few hours for an experienced installer to make the carpet look right, and, more importantly, make the customer happy.
In the future when you are working with a general contractor, I recommend that you require him to submit lien waivers with every pay request, as this can help insure that the money, which your are paying to the contractor, is actually getting paid to the subs who completed the work. Lien release waivers document that a sub contractor has been paid, and prevent a sub contractor from filing a future mechanic's lien against your property due to lack of payment from the general contractor. All too often, general contractors rob Peter to pay Paul, which inevitably ends up with some unlucky homeowner, like yourself, who gets screwed. If you have not already, I think that you should file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau that details your contractor's misdeeds.
If it doesn't appear that the original carpet installer will ever come back to your house, and you just want to solve the problem, then you should rent a carpet stretcher at any tool rental store in the Tuscaloosa area and try to tackle the job yourself. Of course, another option for you would be to hire a different carpet installer who can come out to your house and fix the problem for you. Although using a carpet stretcher is pretty straight forward, it can be difficult for the inexperienced, and often hiring a pro is the best way to go.