Many times during the installation, the installer or crew may be in a hurry to get the job completed and to get to the next one so they can get a jump on tomorrow. We have all been there and done that at one point or another during our careers. However, we must keep in mind the little things that may end up having us pull our tools and go back to the job site to take care of a callback.

In the case at right, you can see that when the installer cut in the heat vent, the space was oversized, allowing the vent to slide from one end of the opening to the other and exposing the subfloor below. Not surprisingly, the homeowner in this case wanted it fixed correctly, not a band-aid approach like using end shims or gluing it down. The correct fix would require plank replacement. (Note that the customer had no complaints about the face splits.)

Plank replacement is pretty straightforward for a wood flooring pro, but in most cases, the heat vents are in a window area, so fading can be an issue. The second concern is whether there is any leftover material. During inspections, I have seen situations many times where the installer had removed every stick of extra flooring material, so new material had to be ordered. If the flooring is discontinued, one relatively minor mistake like this can result in total flooring replacement. Or there is replacement material available, but it comes in a different color, gloss, width, etc., making plank replacement difficult for the installer.

The question is: How much did it cost the installer by not taking the time on the little things? Getting pulled off a job to complete the service call is bad enough, but when the replacement goes into extra costs, it can cost six to eight jobs’ worth of labor costs … just because of the little things. Are you paying attention and slowing down enough to notice those details? Not doing so threatens consistent profits in your installations. 

Roy Reichow

Roy Reichow has 50 years of experience in the wood flooring industry as a wood flooring expert. He was the first of three people to acquire all NWFA education credits and all five certifications including Inspector and Commercial Inspector. Roy has served on the NWFACP board of directors as well as past chairman. Roy founded National Wood Floor Consultants Inc. (NWFC) in 2001, a wood floor inspection/consultation firm. NWFC services include mediation, arbitration and litigation consulting and expert testimony for wood flooring design, flooring construction specifications, insurance and installation compliance claims. NWFC has extensive experience and expertise in performing wood floor evaluations/inspections including forensics, diagnostics, and investigations related to design, installation and construction defects.  Roy has authored many articles published in Wood Floor Business magazine as well as other trade publications. He is a national presenter at various conferences and leads educational seminars for wood floor professionals.