By the time you open this magazine, summer will already be in full swing. It’s the perfect time to enjoy a little vacation time with your friends and family, attend a cookout or two, splash around in a pool or at your local beach, and catch a fireworks display. There’s another thing we’d like you to consider as part of your summer plans—and that’s entering our fourth annual FCI Installation Awards, sponsored by Schönox HPS North America.

The deadline for entries is 1 p.m. EST July 31, after which entries will abruptly close and the voting process will begin. If you’ve worked on an installation that makes you extremely proud to discuss, taught you something new or came together expertly despite unforeseen obstacles, we’d love to hear from you. This is your chance to put your best projects forward in categories including carpet, ceramic tile/stone, hardwood, bamboo/cork and resilient, in both residential and commercial settings.

The only people who vote on these awards are those who read this magazine—which is mainly installers, contractors, distributors, trade groups and technical service representatives. In other words, these are the people you work with every day and know by name. We’re always looking to elevate the top installers for their unique skills and craftsmanship, and who better to decide that than other installers? Anyone who votes is also entered into a random drawing for Amex gift cards—another way to say thank you to our readership for their interest and passion.

Let’s face it, the installation side of the industry catches a lot of flak. Some of this criticism is valid, such as when an installation is slapped together quickly without any thought of its long-term performance. But a lot of the outrage feels like customers and retailers ganging up on installers to take turns ripping money out of their pockets at the first sign that something going wrong. I’ve heard many installers describe themselves as punching bags and scapegoats, and there is definitely truth to those feelings.

While this contest is definitely not an antidote to these very real problems in the industry, our hope is at least it is a reminder of the good aspects of the business. We hope that it reminds some of you why you got into this trade to begin with, and how satisfied it makes you when you can put your personal stamp on someone else’s home or business. For more information and to enter, visit www.fcimag.com/enter-fci-installation-awards.