Some contractors don’t use formal lists on job types they have done a hundred times before. But the habit of doing so on every job makes installations go more smoothly – a real payoff when installing low-margin stock cabinets.
The list review is also a good time to do some upselling for your cabinet installation. “You can ask the clients about custom tile backsplashes, overhead and under-cabinet lighting, and whether they want extra electrical outlets,” says Corbo. “If no architect or interior designer has been involved, those items will not have been addressed.” He notes that while cabinet installation alone isn’t a high-profit work, such extras can be.
Of course this approach will yield the best result when followed consistently. That’s not always the case. “The biggest challenge is complacency,” says Dennis Gehman, a Harleysville, Pennsylvania remodeler who serves as a trainer in the National Association for the Remodeling Industry’s Lead Carpenter Program. “Some installers have a ‘been there done that and I don’t need to check the list again’ attitude. This may work fine most of the time, there’s always that one time when it causes a problem.”
Gehman suggests having leads complete the list in writing, sign it, and turn it into the office. “For those of us in management, checking lists is our nature, but tradesman have a lot of other things to think about.”
What does he consider the most important items in the list review? While it’s a good time to sell extra work Gehman agrees with Corbo that the first order of business is to make sure the dimensions are correct. “Measure twice and cut once may be a cliche but it’s a very wise cliche. If you don’t do it, you’re going to end up needing a wood stretcher.”
The questions on this list are ones that most cabinet installers will want to review with the homeowners before placing the final cabinet order. Note that this list is only a sample to get you started. Think through it and add additional questions as needed.