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Subbing, Not Snubbing Installers

(February 2014) posted on Wed Feb 05, 2014

A four-step process for subcontracting installers.


By Jared Smith

The second step in our process is qualifying the subcontractor we’d like a quote from. There are many ways to get an opinion about the quality of sub you’re considering. One starting point is to determine what associations or qualifications they have, via groups like United Application Standards Group (uasg.org) or the Professional Decal Application Alliance (pdaa.com). I should point out that I have used installers that have one or more certifications, but I’ve also come across installers who have more certifications than skill; and I’ve used many installers – some who have turned out to be among the best in the industry – who don’t belong to any associations or have any certifications whatsoever. So, again, this is just a good starting point.

We then like to look at the installer’s portfolio, their personal/company website, and consider their overall professionalism. We look at the format of the estimate; is it hand written or in the body of an e-mail, or do they use a pro system to generate and track their quotes? At the end of the day, don’t forget, you’re hiring a company not an installer. This company needs to have a good track record, be fully insured, and be professional. They should be prepared to send you a certificate of insurance (COI) naming you as the additional insured, as well as forward to you a signed W9 form so they can correctly be entered into your system as a vendor.

Another checkmark in the plus column for a subcontractor is a personal referral from someone you trust. We’ve had a select few subs that have been on our favorites list for a long time and I don’t see that changing any time soon. I gladly refer their names, and it’s not because we have never had an issue with them – it’s that they are pros. They do what they say they are going to do, they’re honest, and they take ownership of the challenge and any mistake they might make along the way. Stuff happens in the wrap game, and it’s how professionally you handle it that lets a client know who they’re dealing with.


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