Strange Tales from the Trenches
Every line of work has its share of occupational peculiarities, but the world of the custom installer can easily lay claim to more than its share. Once the power tools come out and the work begins, a secret, unseen world opens up. If it's a new construction, there may be non-stop surprises from other tradespeople and their schedules. If it's an existing construction, the infrastructure may have been assembled decades ago, or by people working well outside their trade expertise. In either situation, unforeseen problems can come from any direction, including the customer.
Like combat veterans, every CE installer has a tale of triumph over ordinary and extraordinary circumstances. In some cases the solution was perseverance, in others, diplomacy saved the day. In many cases, patience was not only a virtue but also the ounce of prevention and the pound of cure. Even a professional's best practices and time-tested solutions have little chance of staying unchanged through an evolving market. With so many things that can happen on any job, the installer's work week is never a dull one.
Custom Retailer asked several installers to share some of their stories and experiences, so that others might learn from them. In each issue of Custom Retailer, our "Tales from the Trenches" column will spotlight the situations, questions and answers that can come out of nowhere in the world of custom work. Whether these related experiences garner a snicker or chill down the spine, remember that all knowledge is useful knowledge!
Often times an installer will get hired for a job that basically fixes another installer's prior work. While there's no shortage of horror stories from either consumers and installers about botched installations, C-tailer Kevin Bergamasco of Automated Homes in Los Angeles found that poor work can often run more than skin deep.