Re-Education: Retraining Installers to Function Effectively
I’d like to give you two examples. A few weeks ago at church, a man sat down next to me and said, “Is the Berber carpet you put in six years ago still looking good?” I tried to remember who he was, and it came to me. He was the helper on the installation that had been made. I told him it still looked good, and he said the reason it did was because the installer he worked for always used two rows of tackless when he installed Berber carpet, and he never had to go back and re-stretch.
The people in a house across the street from mine bought a partial roll of carpet from a dealer who sells overruns, partial rolls and factory drops. He also provides a list of installers who the purchaser can hire to do the installation. I told him to make sure that the installer used a stretcher when he installed the carpet. We were out of town when the carpet was installed, and when I saw him, I asked how the job went and if a stretcher was used. He said that the installer told him that with the new hard backs on carpet, you don’t have to use a stretcher any more.
Where does education come from these days? Some manufacturers offer courses at their factories. Some distributors have open houses or manufacturer nights where installers can question factory representatives on new products or installation techniques. Two major national conventions, Surfaces and Coverings, as well as regional and local shows, are held during the year, and allow installers to update their product and installation knowledge. Also, if you are a member of CFI, you can attend their annual convention and send installers to their testing locations to become Certified Installers. And, don’t forget the training programs of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. Also, review the Installation Training Clinics and Schools section that appears in every issue of FCI.
Over the past few years, I have written about the notebooks or files you should keep on products you have installed that require special techniques or had product features that make them easy to work with. A ten-minute review can time and assure that you won’t make the mistakes that you did the first time you installed the product.
Following are a couple more installation tips. When a large commercial job will require several rolls, always open up all rolls and mark their nap direction. Never finish a glue-down job with a partial bucket of adhesive that is a couple of months old. If it wasn’t properly closed or is a different brand, you might have to re-lay the job.
Re-education can also be a return to the way you used to do it. If you dropped a procedure for a faster way to do a job and have had a series of callbacks, it might be worth your time. On the other hand, a new way might be less time consuming and could add more quality to a job. Be open to new tools and techniques; a combination of the old way with a new way could mean more profit for you.