Flooring Installation - Get the Magnifying Glass
Nearly everyone is apprehensive about taking his or her automobile to the mechanic. Partly this is due to the common understanding that a garage or dealership is only as good as the mechanics they employ. And yet, everyday people drive their cars into shops hoping for the best, while knowing very little about the actual employees to be doing the repair. This trepidation naturally results from a general lack of knowledge about the auto repair industry as well as car maintenance. Perception and knowledge wise, much the same can be said about home construction. For example, countless numbers of primetime television programs have detailed consumer horror stories ranging from the contractor that leaves the job-site unfinished to the contractor that steals valuables from the homeowner.
But in reality, the above-mentioned nightmares are not reason enough to be discouraged, or to avoid making home improvements entirely. Rather, they should be acknowledged, which then allows the necessary steps to be taken to avoid, at all cost, any unfortunate circumstance that might produce disappointment in the services you receive. Even more so, poor installation jobs can be especially upsetting when you have independently invested in the building materials prior to the job commencing. This type of situation is much more common in our digital and global retail environment. For example, the Internet has made it very affordable and convenient to order building supplies online, without ever leaving the comfort of your home. Of course, with this comes the choice of either self-installation or the task of locating a qualified floor installer, which now must occur without the assistance of a local store. To really understand this predicament, let's take a micro view and examine one particular industry.
One of the greatest and most dashing ways to spice up the home is to replace your flooring. This may entail simply replacing the current carpet with new carpeting, or you may choose to switch materials and reinvent your home décor with environmentally friendly bamboo or cork surfacing. Once committing to the idea of a home improvement flooring project, you would be wise to examine your online options for purchasing the materials independently and then locating a local installer to complete the job. Many times this will save you money, but some homeowners have encountered problems with the install component.
Nevertheless, your experience can still be a positive one if you have taken the appropriate proactive steps to select an installer in which you can instill trust. The easiest and most reliable manner for finding and selecting a company or individual to install your recently ordered flooring is to confer with others. Ask around your neighborhood, extended family, workplace, coffee shop, et cetera and see if anyone you know is able to share his or her experience with a particular install company. Of course, eliminate any installer that receives even a slightly negative review. There are plenty of additional fish in the sea to consider before consenting to hire someone with whom you do not have the utmost confidence.
If you have exhausted your options through your acquaintances, your next action will be a bit more laborious. At this point you are forced to consult the old phone book or Internet and start interviewing companies on your own. Now before losing all hope, understand that there are some basic questions you can ask that will enable you to pair down your options. Do keep in mind though that even after passing all your requirements, you cannot guarantee that the company you select will be free of all problems. Nevertheless, this should increase your odds of avoiding any undue trauma.
The first condition is easy and objective – make sure the installer has liability insurance, just in case. Require that the insurance be proven with the appropriate documentation and move on if no proof of insurance can be supplied. Secondly, you should discuss the installer's warranty policy. The industry standard is to guarantee the work for one year. Now this is always negotiable and you are more than welcome to ask for a longer warranty on the workmanship – although you are not guaranteed to get your way, but it never hurts to ask. Regardless of the term limit, you should obtain the agreed upon warranty in writing. Do not accept a verbal warranty, as you will not have a leg to stand on should things go array. Any simple document stating the terms will suffice. The last piece of the puzzle is by far the most important, and unfortunately subjective. You should obtain references from the installer and do make sure you actually contact the previous clients, otherwise you have wasted your time. Keep in mind that you cannot guarantee the installer did not just give you his sister's phone number, but make the best judgment and follow your intuition. If you are turned off by the installer in any way, keep looking. Remember, this person will be in your home, so precaution is warranted.
At the end of the day though, do not take the aforementioned advice to mean that your experience is going to be traumatic, or that all the installers out there are deficient. Rather, just know that a little extra floor installer research up front can go a long way in avoiding conflict down the road. Keep the prize in sight - beautiful new flooring to enjoy.