So you’ve got a garage full of blinds or maybe your dining room table is covered with the drapery panels waiting to be hung and you’ve decided to call a professional to help you on this project. Just like hiring anyone else to work for you, there needs to be at least a short interview process to determine if the installer you have found can fit your requirements.
Here are 7 questions you should ask before hiring an installer:
Am I in an area where you work? Since most installers are self-employed, they tend to have the mindset that if the project is big enough or profitable enough they will go just about anywhere you want them to. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that but if you can find a quality installer that is closer to your area you are less likely to have to pay for travel time or trip charges. That being said, sometimes you will not be able to find a good installer in your neighborhood so you may have to bring in some “outside talent” in order to get the job done correctly.
Is my project the kind you do regularly? Some installers have a favorite type of product they like to work with. Some installers are good with any type of treatment. Some installers are fine with any sort of “hard treatment” (such as blinds or shutters) but struggle with “soft treatments” (such as draperies and swags).
Can you get it done by my deadline? Especially around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays most installers will be very busy. Some installers are busy year round. If you have a specific deadline you are trying to meet, let the installer know. They may be able to move something that does not have such a firm deadline or they may need to refer you to someone else that may be able to meet your needs.
What services do you offer? Not all installation companies are created equally. Some installation companies do audio/video projects, some do complete home automation projects, even down to having an electrician on call to handle the wiring. At South East Installation Solutions, we have a running joke that goes “we can install anything that makes a hole in your wall, as long as it’s not electrical.” Basically it means we install all types of window treatments as well as pictures, mirrors, and oil paintings but don’t ask us to hang a ceiling fan or a chandelier.
Do you do the work yourself or do you have employees or sub-contractors do the work? This can be an important question to ask. Sometimes when you hire an installer, it is a “one man show” and you get the owner of the business. Sometimes the company has a staff of several installers who do the work while the owner of the company is more of a project manager that goes into the field as necessary. Sometimes the company uses sub-contractors to assist on projects. All of these have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages but knowing who is coming to your house is vital.
Do you provide an estimate before beginning work on the project? Unless you need an installer to come to the house to measure the windows for your blinds or to tell you what size drapery rods to purchase, it is unlikely that they will send someone out to “look at” the project beforehand. But if you can provide the installer with accurate information over the phone or via email, they should be able to provide you with an approximate installation cost before you even schedule the appointment.
What do you mean “accurate information”?
- Total number of blinds, shades, or shutters to be installed…
- Total number of drapery rods to be installed…
- Approximate width of the curtains to be installed…
- Are these “high windows” that will require an extension ladder….
- Will anything have to be installed into concrete or plaster…
Do you charge by the item or by the hour? There is not a hard and fast rule about this but most professional installers tend to charge by the item. If they charge by the hour, can they tell you approximately how long the job will take in advance? If not, that can get expensive fairly quickly.
Hopefully this list will help you get started finding a quality and qualified installer that can assist you with your project.
Have a project you need help with? Give us a call or send us a message. We’d love to discuss it with you.
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