Building owners and facilities managers are always concerned about making sure they get what they pay for. The contractors involved in installing quality wallcovering installations are no exception. Following are some key points provided by the Chicago-based Wallcoverings Association (www.wallcoverings.org).
Before attempting any wallcovering installation, take time to plan. Think your project through from start to finish. Focus on what your plan should accomplish.
Some questions to ask are:
- What are the uses of specific spaces/rooms?
- Who uses them?
- Who sees them?
- How does a particular decorating scheme add or detract from these basic needs?
Once you’ve determined needs and you have located a qualified professional wallcovering installer to help you accomplish your goals, make sure you get the following in writing:
- A professional paperhanger carefully prepares a comprehensive plan, estimating costs based on material, labor, and experience specifications. A reputable wallcovering installer will not give you a sketchy, hastily prepared proposal.
- You should detail exactly what you want from the installer. This can include protection of your office equipment and areas surrounding the jobsite, as well as daily clean-up or clean-up upon completion of the project. Clean-up is sometimes an additional labor cost for the installer, so it may slightly increase the cost of the job.
- Be certain that you or your decorator/designer specify all the materials to be used. Your installer will do the same so that these details (measurements, pattern names, brand names, quantity, and production information) will be part of the contract.
- Make sure both parties understand the financial terms, which should be spelled out in the contract. The total price, payment schedule, and a cancellation penalty (if there is one) should be clear to both parties.
- Any warranties should be in writing. Make sure warranties offered are written into the contract. A warranty must be identified as either "full" or "limited."
- A full warranty indicates that all faulty productions will be repaired or replaced, or your money will be refunded. A limited warranty indicates that the repair or replacement of damaged goods is limited in some way.
- The name and address of the person or company offering the warranty must be identified. Timeframes for all warranties should be clearly specified.
- All changes to the original contract must be made in writing. Any amendments should be agreed upon by both parties before work is begun or continued.
- If the contract upon which you and the installer agree is not complete in every meaningful area, do not sign it. Make sure you understand fully all terms and conditions. Confirm that you are getting exactly what you want, that you know the cost of each item and each service, and that you're paying a fair price. If an item you want is not in the contract, you probably won't receive it.
- Know all the facts before you sign on the dotted line and before you spend your money.
- Finally, don't hesitate to ask your professional paperhanger to provide certification of insurance covering workers’ compensation, property damage, and personal liability. Wallcovering installers are insured for the kind of work they do. This request should be easily met.