Mrs. Homeowner is on her way in. The contract is all ready for her to sign. Now you can finally get down to business, getting out into the shop and making that countertop.
Hold on! Do you really have all the information you need? How many times have you gone to the house only to find out there is no one home to let you in? How about finding out when you get there the cabinet installation wasn't finished, or that there were other tradesmen in the way?
This really affects the bottom line. The more upfront communication you have with your customer, the smoother the job will go. You may have been installing countertops for a long time, but for many of your customers this is the first time they are going through this process. You want to be sure you help the customer understand everything that will happen in advance, thus avoiding countertop catastrophes. To that end, consider using a form called a countertop checklist during the sale of the job. Below is a sample checklist that I constructed, with the help of Andy Graves' www.thefabricatornetwork.com and Shane Baker from Chico Custom Counters, www.chicocustomcounters.com, Chico, Calif.:
ANDY AND SHANE COUNTERS
62 Non-Porous Drive • Solid Surface U.S.A.
Phone (978) 123-4567 Fax (978) 456-1234
Countertop Replacement Checklist
Thank you for choosing Kitchen Associates for your recent countertop order. To ensure a proper installation, we are providing a checklist of items that require your follow-up before installers arrive.
- Will someone be at the house? Who?
- What contact number should we use?
- If the house will be empty, how do we gain access?
The following preparations must be made before template:
- All new cabinets/end panels must be completely installed.
- If it's a countertop replacement, all items must be cleared off counters.
- All countertop design elements must be chosen: edge, sink, radius corners and type of backsplash and tile thickness.
The following appliances MUST be on-site when the template is made:
- Top-mounted or undermount sink
- Cooktop or range
- Refrigerator (if it affects countertop sizes)
- Faucet and any hardware that requires a hole to be drilled
- If you're reusing the existing appliances, please inform the installer.
Our highly accurate digital photo template process requires:
- All other tradesmen leave the room (for about 45 minutes).
- Any doors and drawers are not to be touched during the photograpic process.
- All pets are confined during this process.
We recommend removing everything in the cabinets and drawers below the countertop. All of our removal crews do their best to keep dust to a minimum; however, we cannot guarantee a dust-free installation.
If you have updated shut-off valves, our crew will disconnect your existing sink, cooktop or range. Please be aware that if shut-off values have not been used or replaced recently, there is the possibility they do not work. If that occurs, the main water or gas source to your home may have to be shut off until you schedule a plumber or electrician.