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Estimators Leave Installers To Carry The Can

I have been training installers in wood flooring for many years. Once most installers were employed, but now virtually all are self-employed. This has created communication problems between estimators and installers andmanagement.

I remember when I was installing and employed by a company. I would often get asked questions regarding site visits and what to look out for. The communication back then was great. Now things are different with very little
effective contact taking place.

On the majority of courses I do, during the breaks over a cup of tea, the conversation always turns to the estimators and how many are not carrying out site surveys correctly. When the installer arrives on-site he often finds the subfloor is not flat or itmay be wet, and so on.

I don’t condone installers starting the job when there are problems like these, but I understand that they need to earn a living. If they were to walk away froma job every time there was a problem, they would hardly earn any money.

They may want to take the risk and go ahead, but I always remind them that when things go wrong it will always be the installer who gets the flack, not the estimator. That much I guarantee.

Installers say they come on courses to learn, but what about estimators? They should also be attending courses, but most are generally unwilling, or think they know it all. Estimators think why should they bother to attend courses in wood flooring, because if the job goes wrong the installer will always get the blame, not them.

My role as an independent inspector of failed flooring brings me into contact with many installers who have been left to carry the can, because the floor has failed. I can usually spot things within minutes that the estimator
should have picked up immediately. And it’s the same problems that crop up time and again.

You have to remember the installer’s role is to turn up on site to carry out his job. He would expect to find a property in a liveable condition with heating if needed and the flooring on-site waiting to be installed. It’s not his
job to conduct a full survey of the property inside and outside. That, at least inmy opinion, is the role of the estimator.

I had one job when the retailer told me he would send someone to meet me on site. It happened to be the guy who had measured the rooms and carried out a site survey. I pointed out several things out to him that he should have noticed. Had these things been pointed out previously, it would have helped the consumer making
the correct flooring selection. This had not happened and the floor had failed.

The estimator admitted to me that he was ‘not an expert in wood’. His company mainly sold carpets. He said he had asked his boss to send him on a wood flooring course. But the response was: ‘You are only measuring
rooms. Why do you need to go on a course and waste my money?’ This is a typical response which I come
across every day.

I had no alternative but to state in my report that the retailer was at fault. He, of course, called me all the names under the sun. He wasn’t even prepared to even discuss how I could help him. Unless he changes his attitude he can expect to be involved in more complaints in the future.

The British Wood Flooring Association (BWFA) runs intensive one-day courses on wood flooring for estimators and sales people. These courses give a thorough grounding and enable you to advise on the correct selection of wood flooring, how to correctly survey a property, and also gives you confidence in selling wood floors.

The course costs only £85 per person and I guarantee it is well worth the money. It will certainly open up the eyes of wood flooring estimators. Everyone who attends this course is offered a technical back-up and a problem solving manual, included in the price.

Installation and survey techniques are demonstrated. We want to help the industry and I strongly urge suppliers of wood flooring and retailers to consider this BWFA course. Formore details on the course, please give me a
call on m ymobile on 07841 500 940 and I will explain exactly what you get for your money.

T: 07841 500940

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them online at