The 5 biggest mistakes with high-end commercial installations
Here, we share our insight, our experience and our knowledge to help ensure a successful installation. Why? Because we are problem solvers by nature and we want to help you prevent the big mistakes that will determine whether the finish is five star or a failure.
You need to get the quantity of the wallcovering right, and the best way to do this is to get the installation team involved early (more on that later). It’s always better to have excess left over after
the installation, rather than running short. There are a few reasons for this, but it’s mainly to do with long lead times and colour variations with different batch numbers. Or, worse than that, there might be none of that batch number left (it’s been discontinued or sold out etc). The correct amount gives you options of layout in the room, and allows you to get the best finish possible. Depending on how
large the project is, things happen on site and damage can happen. Especially with big hotel jobs; other trades accidentally damage the wallcovering, wall lights can get put in the wrong height, or there’s a change of mind on something.
#2 Not getting the installation team involved early
There’s a couple of reasons to do this. The number one being to get the whole package signed off with the wallpaper costs and the installation costs. It’s no good having really nice wallpaper specified and not having the right people to put it up – it lets the whole project down. You also get the best price if you get the installation team in early – you know they are real, that they are not fixing someone else’s mistakes, that they can make sure there is enough wallpaper there, they can pre-empt mistakes, they can give technical input like where the wallpaper will terminate, shadow gaps, advice on access panel doors and jib door clearances. For example, a metallic wallcovering will only highlight a wavy wall and they won’t be able to do anything with it. Get them in early! When you know the wallcovering and it’s been signed off, get the team involved.
#3 Cheaping out on the installation
Also known as, not getting the right people/company in for the job. It’s no good specifying a really beautiful wallcovering and then cutting corners on the installation costs – we cannot stress this enough. The wallcovering is only 50% of the equation, it’s all about getting it on the walls and getting it looking really nice. A messy wall will let the whole project down and it’s not a hidden finish – everyone will see it.
#4 Not scheduling the work correctly
What we mean here is working up to the finish date. If the finish date is to be on the 15th of the month, and you book the installers for the 14th and give them one day to do the installation, you haven’t necessarily given them the right amount of time to get the job done and the finish to a high enough standard. You need to allocate enough time for the installation. And you need certain site conditions to do a good job. At Wells, we aren’t prima donnas, and we do work to the commercial reality of being on site. But there are certain conditions that are required. There is no point getting the experts in to do a fantastic job if you can’t give them the conditions to do so. You may as well get someone cheaper. Be thorough, have pre-start meetings and remain in constant contact throughout. If there are delays, let the installer know asap. Commit to a pre-start meeting – especially on large hospitality projects – and constant comms are essential.
#5 Not giving all the information to the end client of what has been specified
An example of this is if you were going to specify a grasscloth. The end client needs to know that it will create a panelled effect and that there could be colour variation between panels. This is not a flaw, it’s part of the beauty of the wallcovering and the clients need to know that, well in advance.