With sales people on one side and installers on the other side, it's time to play "Why didn't you tell me?" versus "Why didn't you ask?" There is never a winner, and the end-user (customer) is generally the loser. Commercial or residential, hourly or sub-contract, doesn't alter the need for information. An accurate work order goes a long way towards sharing information with the installation crew. The key word is accurate. When project managers or sales people leave it up to the installer to sort out the details, it leads to problems. As installers, it is our nature to do one thing, install the floor. Remember, more than likely this morning is the first time the installation crew has seen the site or looked at the flooring material to be installed.

The installer's focus tends to be whether they have adequate supplies, and if they are the flooring manufacturer's specified ones. One grade of seam tape, adhesive or size of trowel notch doesn't fit the needs, considering all the backing types on the market today. Checking the material, a stop at the supply house and finding the site takes some of our production time, however it is often part of our pre-planning responsibilities The Carpet and Rug Institute's Publication 104 Section 7.1 (see sidebar) does a good job of describing a proper shop drawing, but add to that the type of removal, disposal, furniture, gaining entrance to the job site and some driving directions from a main road. When the job site is new construction, there must be access to drive a vehicle to the site without traversing 300 feet of mud.

Any custom details also need to be worked out. About the most any installer really wants to do is say hello to the customer, not help them figure out how much wood should show on each side of the stair runner. When an end-user has responsibilities, such as moving appliances, or removing the existing flooring or the pace of new construction, it needs to be followed up on a few days prior to the installation start time. Without a doubt, for residential replacement, lock up the pets and the children too. Well, you know what I mean; either one just doesn't belong where flooring work is taking place.

Quality installation doesn't just happen. It is a coordinated effort. When an installation crew knows the details, it makes the entire process flow smoothly, which makes the end user a happy customer.

Sidebar:

C.R.I. 104-96, Section 7

7. Planning and Layout

All facets of the installation are to be coordinated. A scale drawing of the area to be carpeted is required to determine quantities, quantity per dye lot, edge treatments, cushions, adhesives, moldings, and other accessories and to identify proper location of seams.

On new construction, architectural drawings shall be provided that define the entire carpet area with space names or numbers and a finish schedule of style, patterns, colors, and installation methods. On existing structures, new measurements and shop drawings shall be made.

7.1 Show Drawings and Layout

The carpet shop drawing shall contain the following information:

7.1.1 Name of the job, owner, and installation company.

On new construction, the name of the general contractor and architectural firm shall be listed.

7.1.2 Building address

7.1.3 Date of drawing

7.1.4 Scale

7.1.5 Floor number and location in building

7.1.6 Compass direction on each sheet

7.1.7 Drawing for each area to be carpeted

7.1.8 Type of floor for each area

7.1.9 Type of installation for each area

7.1.10 Quantities of carpet needed for each area, including roll length requirements

7.1.11 Notations where dye lot changes will occur

7.1.12 Excess material in each area and how it will be used

7.1.13 Seam layout of each area

7.1.14 Carpet pile direction for each area

7.1.15 Name of manufacturer, quality, and color of carpet for each area

7.1.16 Large-scale drawings showing treatment of step areas or other detail work

7.1.17 Location and type of all edge moldings

7.1.18 Type of base in each area