Contractor Tip: Check Your Finishes BEFORE You Install Them

Written by Andrew Morrison

Estimating with a ProfessionalHere’s some great advice: check your finishes BEFORE you install them. I had a very close call on a job I am working on this week. While I was in Maine on vacation, $10,000 worth of cork flooring was delivered to the job site and set for installation. My project manager noticed that there were blemishes on the cork and stopped the crew from installing it. He had the crew open a random number of boxes of the material and all of them had the same blemishes.

He contacted the flooring company and they routed the call to the distribution center where a representative open an entire pallet of the material and it ALL had the blemishes. It seemed this was just a part of the material and that the blemishes were simply areas that do not take stain, like a knot in wood. We had to clear this with the owners, who live in Alaska right now, before we could install the floor as the sample they originally viewed did not show any blemishes. Thank goodness we did because it turns out the flooring company had sent us the wrong floor! The blemishes quickly became a moot point as we were not looking at the right style of cork to begin with.

The obvious moral here is to pay attention to the materials that are delivered and insure they are in good condition and the right style before you install them. I am glad my project manager was on top of the blemishes; however, I now realize that as I was the one who helped choose the flooring with my clients, I should have given my project manager a sample of the material they chose before I left for Maine. In the future, I will keep samples or pictures of all finish materials on site so that no wrong materials can be installed.

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