Have you ever heard the term slippery slope? It means an idea or course of action, which will inevitably lead to something unacceptable, wrong or disastrous. At Woodland Windows and Doors, we think window and door installations done improperly are like a slippery slope – once they start heading downhill they keep going downhill. There are some things that as a business you just have to invest in to ensure the job is done right and we at Woodland think that installation is one of those things.
How hard can it be to install windows and doors? Tricky for a professional who’s learned the ins and outs – largely because of all the things that can go wrong. Woodland recognized years ago that the surest way to fail was to leave the fate of our customer’s job in the hands of others. We’ve experienced the slippery slope first hand such as, when a few windows arrive defective, but it goes unnoticed until they’re put into the window opening or a second story window requires special equipment to reach it, which wasn’t planned for. We know how quickly a job can go downhill and we know that the surest way to deliver an expert job is to control every aspect of it with trained people who are committed to a perfect outcome.
The stories about botched installations, and even worse service after the problem, are legion among families, friends, neighbors and strangers who post their stories on the Internet.
The Installers didn’t show up when they were scheduled. I called the store where I bought the windows and the job manager apologized for the delay, but said he couldn’t locate the sub-contracted installers and gave me their cell phone number to keep trying to reach them myself. They arrived six hours later and weren’t able to finish the job in the one day that had been quoted. I had to rearrange my plans to accommodate them to come back the next day. Yep, you guessed it; they arrived an hour and a half later than the scheduled time.
The installers didn’t clean up as promised. They clearly didn’t work for the company that we’d bought the windows from and it took two days, and my withholding the signed job completion form, before they returned to remove the old windows and trash – something that had been guaranteed by the salesperson. They didn’t cover the entire work area and it took me two days to clean up after them.
The installers didn’t carry extra tools and parts in their truck. Before applying the finishing touches to the last two of our replacement windows, the installer ran out of caulk and touch up paint to cover the nail holes in the frames. When I followed the guy back to his truck to check on his supplies, it was clear that installing windows was a side job and he wasn’t prepared for any contingencies.
The installers rushed through the job. It was as though they’d underpriced their bid that at one point, I joked, that they must have another job to go to after ours. Frankly, judging from the off brand, discount warehouse, house-wrap, tape and tubes of caulk they were responsible for supplying the materials as well.
The installers left without finishing the job to our satisfaction. Before the installers left I noticed on two windows the keepers (locks) were broken. It was a typical Chicago winter and cold air was leaking in and keep in mind, we couldn’t secure the sashes. They suggested that we call the store tomorrow for replacements and left. It was a week before the new parts arrived.
And so it goes, with some horrific customer service nightmares containing every possible combination of things that can go wrong. Did you hear about the house at the bottom of the hill, whose owners had to hire a qualified contractor to remove and re-install every window?
Installation, whether you are replacing your old windows or having new windows added to your home, requires careful planning, flawless execution, and superior response times to address those unforeseen problems. It’s a process that must be owned from the beginning to the end. Did the person who measured your job, check their measurements before the order was placed? Or did the person walk through the job with the installers? The best way, the only way to achieve a flawless level of performance is to build a professional team of skilled people who don’t just show up, but who own the work down to the last keeper – if it doesn’t lock the jobs’s not done.
We don’t use sub-contractors for window and door installation and we hope you won’t either.