Our trade needs certifications.

Discussion in 'Industry News, Training & Organizations' started by Dave Garden, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. Dave Garden

    Dave Garden CFI and Proud

    Our trade needs certifacations as much as any other trade does. Would you let an unliscensed electrician work on your house? How about a plumber without any insurance? I had a new roof put on my house last year and got several quotes. Did i go with the lowest? No, I went with the guy who showed me his insurance as part of his quote.

    The point is, we want to make as much as a plumber or an electrician but we do not want to do our homework! Do we need standards? You bet ya! If I were to change one thing it would mandate a certified installer. By demanding certifacation installers would be easier to track. If a customer chooses to hire someone for a reduced cash rate they would be nullifying their mill warrantee. If a certified installer becomes a hack he should lose his certifacation.

    I know this is idialistic, but it is the only way. There are still installers out there who do not seal seams or powerstretch their jobs. Is it fair that you should have to bid against these hacks? By having standards that have teeth and certifacations to back them up we can earn our fair dollar by doing things the correct way. LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD PLEASE!
     
  2. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    Who would do the certifying? There are many of us who don't like the current certifying organizations. And there are many installers in rural areas who cannot afford getting certified at the current unreasonable rates. It is not unusual for an installer to only work 2 or 3 days a week in these areas. They sure can't afford a week or two weeks wages to get certified, when they have families to feed.
     
  3. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    Rusty,
    I am not very financially fluid right now. But, if certifications became required, I would certainly have the mindset that I could not afford NOT to be certified.
    I think the certifying bodies should be the manufacturers, and the certs should not be gained by attendance only but by a genuine pass/fail criteria.

    Granted I realize this means maybe we would have to choose more of a specialty. Such as crapet, wovens, vinyl, lino, etc. but I think it would be in truly everyone's best interest to be specifically certified... the manufacturers, the installers (mechanics), the retailers, the GC's, and the consumer's.

    If a person wanted to diversify they would need to factor the time and expense of the certification/education.

    Which brings me to another matter. I do not think certifications should be truly trainings. I think that training programs need to be established to some sort of standards that would qualify a person for certification. Certifications should offer maybe some pointers, but the real basic knowledge should already have been aquired through the proper time and training.

    Other trades do this and it works. It is the flooring industries fault it is in the predicament it is in, and it is our responsibility to correct it even if it requires some discomfort or even a little pain of some sort.

    I will turn the soapbox over to another now.
     
  4. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    In my opinion,the current certifying organizations, only do certs to line the pockets of some of the people in the organizations. Some of the leaders of these organizations have become very wealthy doing this. I think you are right. At least the mills would stand to gain if installers were certified and could afford to do certs at low cost. The purpose of certs should be to make sure qualified installers are doing the work, not to make the certifiers rich.
     
  5. Jon Scanlan

    Jon Scanlan That Kiwi Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    Barry I don't think its really the flooring trades fault but the flooring trades could do a lot better at advertising their workmanship better as Rusty says. If things are much the same here about qualifications as it is over there. A lot of the building trades evolves Health issues, plumbing, life threating, electrical whereas flooring is "only" flooring and your don't need to be registered/qualified as no ones health and safety put at risk like plumbing/drainage/electrical. Here consumer groups advice customers to use a member of that association so that the relevant association can rule on a problem. Also their members should work to a code of ethics and standards. At one stage here the retailer I do work for had on their quotes that the work would be carried out to the NZ National Floorings Assoc standards. The consumers would ask me what that meant but went with that retailer anyway, as long as the prices were close, because it sounded like they had some recourse if things went strange.
    What the flooring trade needs is better customer education. The builders, plumbers, and electrical associations where each advertising on TV to use their members. Of coarse this advertising rubbed off to other associations. Don't take the cheapest price. Take the quote from the installer who is qualified to do this work, certified to an association etc. Customer education is needed to remove the cowboys
    My soap box :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  6. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    Jon
    How are you?

    I did not say it was/is the flooring trades fault. I said it is the flooring industry's fault. Granted, this includes the trades, but also the Manufacturer's, retailers, etc.

    I will totally agree that consumer education is very very important, but I also think that is the responsibility of the flooring industry, inclusively.

    I also know that what I have suggested really smacks of Union. And while I am not necessarily pro union, I do think that in most cases the education works well. There is the proper time allowed to actually teach and learn...leading to the skill and knowledge for certification.

    And I do appreciate your point about plumbers, electricians, etc. and the safety factors involved, but I also respect the training and regulating of organizations such as the masons and the automotive industry mechanics (ASE in America). And while some consumer safety is involved it is regulated by the automotive industry in order to maintain the warranties provided.

    In short, it can be done. Does our industry as a whole want it?
     
  7. Jon Scanlan

    Jon Scanlan That Kiwi Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    Probably a bit of wrong words. I know what I mean but the puter don't
    Try this way the public do not understand the difference between a layer that has all the certifications as compared to one that does not. The public just look at the bottom line price of the flooring installation. With the electrians plumbers etc work has to be done to a standard. Would you go to a doctor thats not qualifed? Flooring can just be thrown onto the floor by anybody and then the inspectors get involved. If the suppliers only sold their products to certified members or people with training departments in their organization, which would eliminate half the problems and also give a Dollar return for the layers that take the time to get qualified. As it stands now an installer with all the qualifications could only do reasonably well with the word of the mouth jobs as compared to the cowboys which just throw it down. The words get Barry to do my job, he's good as compared to I found this layer in the phone book. I hope he is good? It is not a level playing field in the eyes of the public. Just bottom Dollar
     
  8. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    That word of mouth over rides most certifications like you say Jon. Attitude, dress, being able to relate well with people all will get you work. That doens't mean that I won't get certifications but that you don't really need them to work. Other jobs are that way I feel. If an employer hires help he can train to do what he wants them to do. Thus most colleges aren't needed so costs are cheaper.
     
  9. Jon Scanlan

    Jon Scanlan That Kiwi Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    I am having trouble here

    What I am trying to get to is everybody should be registered/qualified to a certain standard before they can lay a floor. Or be an apprentice to a recognised authority. Maybe every couple of years one would have to be reassessed to see if they can still achieve the required standards. There has to be away for people to get recognized for their qualifications and be paid accordingly. The customer has to realize that the investment which goes into their flooring is very high and must be installed correctly and not laid at the lowest price. Back to the customer demanding that the person installing their floor being qualified
     
  10. Lo Down

    Lo Down Old as dirt member Charter Member Senior Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    .........and after certification they still won't ........ but they will have a shiny badge to brag about. :D
    I can count on 1/2 of one hand the jobs I have had to go back on................ since 1987 ....and I don't have a certification. If certified, I'd have my badge and retailers still wouldn't pay a nickle more. I however would have thousands less nickles.
     
  11. Jon Scanlan

    Jon Scanlan That Kiwi Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    I agree Lo with you. But you and other members of TFP have pride and ethics in what they do and could get their certifications unlike the hacks. But it has to be Dollar worth it


    PS Davegarden Sorry I missed your post. It sounds like I copied it but I only just saw it when Lo quoted it. We both think along the same lines
     
  12. DJ

    DJ Charter Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    there ain't very many people that even check if one is licensed:ohno:let alone check to see if their certified so whats the use? i have work at a great rate:yesss:
     
  13. Lo Down

    Lo Down Old as dirt member Charter Member Senior Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    Certifications cost money......... and I assume it isn't $39 like a Home Depot whole house carpet job.
    We are going to be required to have an asbestos certification pretty soon. I'm behind in my property taxes already and having a hard time with what few bills I have now. Van is parked because I need 4 or 5 hundred bucks for brakes and front tires are bald. ..........so what I really, really need now is one more mandated requirement. (sarcasm) .............add a certification requirement and this guy is going to be working at Wall Mart. I'm frustrated enough worrying about the bills I have now.

    I mentioned that I learned about seam sealing from the flyer in a roll of carpet. I read it, and it sounded like the right thing to do.
    How come carpets do not come with installation information anymore?
    Dealers (if they cared about the installations done by their stores) could keep detailed copies of installation procedures on the products they sell and pass them out as needed to installers that do work for them. (however that kind of nonsense would hit the pocketbook of certification organizations)
    There are usually sub par installation instructions on boxes of laminates, so the manufacturers PDF could be printed out and given to installers. Heck, they could even highlight in red lettering important parts of the installation such as "floors shall be flat to a tolerance of 3/16" in a 10 ft radius. Floors not within this tolerance will void any warranty issues"

    They couldn't highlight that kind of detailed information on the cartons tho because it would scare off the DIYers. The manufacturers loooove the DIYers, because they know the warranty will rarely hold up because the majority of homeowners do not understand how important the instructions are. All they know is that on TV installation is so easy that you and your 8 year old kid can whip out a whole house installation in a weekend using a measuring tape, a square and a jigsaw.
    Because of that I think the industry owes to everyone, more and better detailed information.
    Flyers would add a nickle to the cost of each roll of carpet sold, and I bet it would enlighten a few dim bulbs out there just like it did to me. Only place I ever see a flier anymore is in a roll of woven carpet.
    I think if the retailers and the manufacturers cared, a lot of installation issues would go away............... retailers to often go for the cheapest hacks they can get ahold of...................... and they get the headaches they deserve for it.
    Make it illegal to sell flooring "including installation" with the sale and let the market determine who works and who doesn't.
    Dealers could give out a list of installers and let the installation community determine the price for once. Retailers could recommend the best installers to the customer.
    Dealer labor pricing from my vantage point, has been the reason for the lousy installations. ......back on topic, lousy labor prices hamper the ability for earning enough for padding the pockets of certification schools.
    I ask myself:
    "Lo, how come certification schools are pressing for the "mandated" certification of installers?" Certainly they have nothing to gain by it. :rolleyes: (sarc)
     
  14. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    Lo, like you are saying, certs can be expensive. I tried to access the site of one of the orgs, but my puter tells me I don;'t have the software to look at their apps. But from what I have heard, and I want to be corrected if I am wrong, each of 4 steps is $300. The closest place to me to take the test is 200 miles round trip. It's 2 days, so I would need a one night motel room. Double everything because you can only do 2 steps at a time. The cost would be around $2000 to be certified. Plus $100 per year to keep my cert and 2 trips per year, again 200 miles round trip to 2 events, required to keep my certs. And my labor rate would not go up one nickel. Sorry, but those of us in poor, rural areas don't make the kind of money to do this. If I could do it all in one trip and the certs were no charge, only designed to get qualified installers, not to make a huge profit, I might be able to do it. And I forgot, the installer who works everyday would also be out some wages while they are off to do the certs and there again, they would not result in higher wages.
     
  15. Lo Down

    Lo Down Old as dirt member Charter Member Senior Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    You and me don't qualify Rusty, they want ones that flash money around........ that said, the push for certification is only about having better installers. ;)
     
  16. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    I think for some it is only about making money for those doing the certifications.
     
  17. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    Please explain to me how a non-profit group could administer tests, grade tests, issue certificatons, keep records, police complaints, and respond to inquiries with no operating income. Also who would do all that work for living income (another name profit).

    My thoughts are that this in no way would be a training group (that is a different matter). This would be for listing the certification of those that can pass a test and have the background training. This could come from training groups, or apprenticeship.
     
  18. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    The mills could afford to hold certification tests at little or no cost at their distrbutors warehouses. But I am not convinced that they care whether installers are certified. Would being certified make the installer more money? It wouldn't in my part of the world.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  19. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Re: What would you change about the carpet installation standards?

    Would it be necessary to travel somewhere to get certification? How about the installer submitting a request for certification listing all their qualifications. After this information is reviewed, verified, approved or rejected advise the installer if they are approved or rejected. If approved advise them the tests are being sent to their local liberary, vo-tech, or high school, and they can go there to take the closed book test. The testing charge would be paid directly to the agency administering the test. The test would then be mailed back to the authority graded, and if passed certification issued. If failed the test could be retaken up to 3 times in one year.

    Just some thoughts for consideration.

    Wouldn't there be a chance for bias if issued by someone with a vested interest?
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  20. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

    Re: Our trade needs certifacations.

    Tandy, lets compare this with auto mechanics, another trade with certified and non-certified. The dealers pay for their mechanics to be certified and in turn charge higher repair rates. The independent mechanics are generally not certified and charge less. In my area, the majority of auto repair is done at independent shops. The consumer, shops price first and doesn't care who is certified. They only go to the dealers for warranty work. Most of the indy shops would not profit a dime from being certified. And lets face it, we all work to make money. If certifications were offered at low cost here in my home town I would try it. But I can't see it happening. Isn't there a chance of bias now because the tests are issued by someone with a vested interest?
     
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