With carpet installation being one of the last trades to step onto a site, there’s plenty of time beforehand for things to go pear-shaped. It’s a knock-on effect as one delay heaps on another.
It happens all too frequently. You get to the site on carpet delivery day, and you and your team are ready for action. Only to find that the carpet has arrived but the subfloor isn’t ready and there are painters, electricians and other trades still swarming over the site. Or that the plans you have are not the final plans as promised and that additional walls have been removed or doors added. Or, perhaps worst of all, you weren’t made aware of the logistics and the carpet won’t fit in the goods lift. You’re out of pocket on wages and need to reschedule.
And that’s just at the end point of a job. You may have been working with a salesperson from your carpet supplier for three months to three years before the specifications and costs are finalised and the carpet is ordered. If, like many installers, you are paying for the carpet, your financial exposure and risk can be huge.
Communication is key
As one owner of a successful carpet installation business advises:
It’s vital to have a good connection and great communication with the client, the architect and your carpet supplier and to have the right guys on the ground to put things in place.
Here again, a checklist for each project can avoid a lot of woes and save your profit margin.
- Check that the architect’s carpet measurements provide adequate extra leeway for wastage. Often they don’t. Your carpet supplier should help you check this and calculate accurate measurements. If the architect’s plan proves to be horrendously wasteful, you and your carpet supplier need to approach him or her with potential solutions. Any other issues with the specifications that could blow out costs should be clarified as early as possible.
- Ensure the salesperson you are dealing with from your carpet supplier updates you regularly as plans change with costing updates.
- Prior to installation, establish good communications with the site manager to establish just how realistic the timeline is for the project and keep tabs on progress. A rush job could result in defects that cost you later down the track. So don’t be pressured, wait until the site is completely ready for carpet installation.
- Several days before the delivery date, check that you have an up-to-the-minute roll plan, seam plan and flooring plan, that all the logistics are in place and that the site will be vacant and ready for you.
- Also check with the subfloor contractor that the subfloor will be completed and that there are no moisture issues that might require mitigation.
- In colder months, check with the site manager that heating will be available and turned on. Any underfloor heating, however, must be turned off and cooled down and should remain off for at least two days after carpet installation.
Here are some further tips to ensure you produce a quality job each and every time:
- Carpets should be fitted when the indoor climate in the room matches that recommended for the adhesive. The temperature of the room and underlay should be 17-25C and relative humidity 35-75%
- The subfloor must be level, solid and firm, with no cracks or edges. This is especially important when fitting woven products and carpets with short, even pile, as the structure of the subfloor could otherwise be clearly visible on the carpet surface.
- As much as possible, the carpet and the subfloor should be protected from direct sunlight during installation and for two days afterwards.
- Place the carpet and all materials on site a minimum 24 hours prior to fitting in order for the carpet and adhesive to acclimatise. Lay wall to wall carpet out flat.
- Thoroughly inspect all carpet prior to cutting and report any defects found to your carpet supplier immediately.
Taking the extra time and trouble to ensure the site is ready and all conditions are ideal may seem like extra bother but, ultimately, will save mistakes and defects that could have you turning around and doing all or part of the job again and losing money, rather than moving right along to the next profitable job. If you are at the stage in your business growth that it’s becoming impossible for you to attend to all the details personally, and costly mistakes are occurring, now could be the time to engage your own project manager.
Are you interested in having a chat with ege carpets about your next carpet project? Reach out to us here.