7 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring An Installer

7 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring An Installer | Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

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. You’ve asked your friends and family if they can help, but no one has volunteered to take on that project and so you have decided to call a professional to help you out. 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:

1) What services do you offer?

Not all installation companies are created equally. Some companies do audio/video projects. Some do complete home automation projects and have an electrician on call to handle any wiring. Some only do window treatments and even those that only do window treatments, not all of them do all types of window treatments.

2) 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.

3) Am I in an area where you work?

Since we are talking about installers that are self-employed, many 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. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. However, 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.

4) 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).

5) Do you do the work yourself or do you have employees or sub-contractors do the work for you?

This can be an important question to ask.

When you hire an installer, sometimes, it is a “one-man show” and you get the owner of the business. Sometimes you will find a company that 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. Other times the installation 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.

6) 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 we mean by “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…

7) 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.

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