A successful finished project first starts with a creative design and then becomes fully functional and inspired during the manufacturing, however, all it takes is a few hiccups during the installation process to turn success into failure and turn a happy customer into a disgruntled one who.

One of the best ways to ensure a successful project is through personnel: You must hire the best people and hiring a great installer is as important as hiring a great designer. An installer should not only be skilled in construction and assembly methods, but they also should be problem solvers, great at time management and skilled at customer service and communication, among other attributes.

Once you’ve hired that person, below are few tips on how to prepare your customer for the install, how to make the jobsite more efficient and how to deal with the common challenge of uneven flooring.

Homeowner preparation

Homeowners have a role to in ensuring a successful closet installation. In fact, how well they do their part is key to the process. Following are seven tips you can share with customers so they can make the proper preparations before installers arrive:

Clean Up: Make sure the room is completely empty and the walls are blank. Not only should all personal items be removed – clothing, shoes, purses, etc. – also remove any moveable item such as shelves, cleats, baseboards and clothing rod.

Paint: Closet walls should be painted at least two days prior to the installation giving the paint time to dry. Painting the walls helps to give the closet a fresh facelift especially if the customer ordered an open back closet system where the wall can be seen. Painting walls to contrast with the color of the closet system can also give the entire closet a
new look.

New Floors: All flooring should be cleaned or replaced prior to the installation of the closet system. Once the closet system is installed, it will be a challenge to remove it if the homeowner later decides they want new floors.

Clear the Area: Remind homeowners that closet installation is light construction, so they should remove all pictures, mirrors and knickknacks in the immediate area since the installers need a clear path to the closet and its surrounding area. If the walls that adjoin the closets have artwork or decorative items, those items should be removed as well so that any hammering won’t cause something to shake or fall.

Plan a Playdate: If the homeowner has small kids, suggest that plan a play date at someone else’s home since there will be construction materials lying around. Also, they should plan on where to keep their pets for the day since the workers have to carry materials in and out and you can’t constantly watch the door for a pet that’s not allowed outside.

Decorate:  Shop for finishing pieces such as rugs, chairs, footstools and other accents, before the installation begins will allow the homeowner a seamless transition to their new system. This is also the time to replace all old hangers with new ones to give the closet a showroom look.

Make Time: Homeowners should decide on how they want to organize the new closet – whether it’s color coordinating or sorting by seasons. Then schedule enough time to organize clothing and shoes before putting them back in the closet. This is a good time to clean your shoes and purses, get certain items dry cleaned or properly store your occasion clothes.

Source: Closet Factory - http://bit.ly/ClosetFactoryTips

Make the jobsite efficient

Dan Rush, a professional trim carpenter, specializing in cabinet installs, has the following tips on how to improve efficiency and productivity on the jobsite.

Evaluating Tool Usage: Take time to identify and separate your tools into these three categories:

Daily or weekly use – Keep these in your site kit.

Occasional use – Pack separately but keep in your truck.

Rarely/never used – Put these is your shop’s storage.

This helped reduce his truck cargo by 30 to 40 percent.

Site Tool Kit: Rush uses a Systainer system because it offers a unified approach to tool organization and transportation. Now, along with four Systainer boxes, a worktable, compound miter saw, vacuum and step ladder complete his site kit.

To minimize trips between the truck and jobsite, he decided on a 24 x 48-inch lightweight work cart with 8-inch pneumatic wheels. The large tires help negotiate curbs, gravel drives, cords, etc. on site. Using the Systainers and work cart, saves him 30 to 45 minutes daily.

Site Work Area and Clean Up: An MFT worktable is the center point of his site shop, with the work cart and Systainers set up next to it in the same order each day. A consistent loading plan ensures proper workflow, as well as the ability to immediately notice something out of place on a crowded jobsite.

Another time saver: Rush uses a dust extractor with a number of his tools. On average, it saves 15 to 30 minutes during clean-up time.

Source: Dan Rush, a custom carpenter from Festool’s Owners FestoolUSA.com. View the full article  at http://bit.ly/DanRushTips

Uneven flooring

Anothy Noel, a cabinetmaker and former contributor to Closets & Organized Storage has a few tips on how to deal with a common problem on jobsite - uneven floors. When the floor is uneven, you can typically get away with shimming a system up to ¼ to ½ inch. But what if the floor slopes up to 2 inches?

Tip 1: Panel Sizing

Cut the panels and scribe the toekick.

A.      Start with the panel at the lowest end (do not cut that panel)

B.      Place the panel in place

C.      Draw a level line from the top of the panel to the end of the system

D.     At the location of each panel, measure from the floor to line – that’s the height of your panel. Cut the panel on the bottom and continue to the last panel

E.      Scribe toekicks in to fit

Tip 2: Hardware Tricks

Mounting hardware can help correct problems in closet spaces that are out of plumb or out of square. Some closet installers, for wall-mounted systems, use brackets that provide an allowance of 1-1/4 inches of play in several directions.

Tip 3: Filling Gaps

Scribe tape, self-adhesive edgebanding, can be used for small gaps. For gaps larger than 3/8 inch, the entire closet organizing system is shrunk down in the design stage and fillers are included.

Tip 4: Scribe Moulding

Make a scribe moulding with the HPL and scribe it to fit the wall and then laminate it to the edge of the board. Fill in any tiny gaps with caulking.

Source: Anthony Noel owned and operated Noel Custom Woodworking for 15 years and was a contributor to CWB and Closets & Organized Storage magazines.

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