1. Fein Oscillating Tool – This tool cuts notches that no other saw in the world can touch! And fast! We no longer gouge cabinets, split trim, or damage sheetrock. We use it for almost every job.
2. Gorilla Grips – the speed at which we can level, flatten, and hold seams until they are dry is incredible, we have 2 sets in every install trailer and a couple of back ups just in case.
3. Stone Pro Vacuum Rail – With so many more antiqued/leathered surfaces, our normal rails/cups don’t work, this rechargeable system is awesome for getting fragile counters in when normal cups will lose their seal and risk the piece.
4. Rolling Tool Boxes – Because we have ramps on our trailers and use Roll a Ramps into every house, we now use rolling toolboxes. So much faster, so much easier!
5. Cook Top Cut Out Catch Bags – When cooktops must be cut on site, a bag to catch the debris saves lots of clean up in the kitchen…and time! We use a hand tape dispenser with plastic film to quickly apply the “bag” around the inside of the cabinet opening. Then we unroll the plastic film into a bucket. Presto! No mess, no wasted time!
6. Quartz Renew Top Polishing System – Scratches on the face of granite are pretty easily fixed, but not with quartz. This system makes repairing surface scratches in quartz possible during the install, saving us return trips!
7. Cordless Nail Gun – Occasionally we have to remove a piece of trim – a sill, casing, or crown molding to get a piece in. Wow is it nice to have a little finish-nailer on hand to reinstall them. Keeps the customer happy, keeps us from damaging things, and keeps us from being called back!
8. Appliance Lifter – No installer should ever have to deal with a commercial range or fridge, but…once or twice a year there’s the customer who leaves one in our way. This device uses a cushion of air to move heavy appliances effortlessly, without scratching the floor!
Ok, these last 2 aren’t tools so much as they are techniques –
But they save HUGE amounts of time in the morning when we are loading the trailers, and more time at the job site!
9. Pre Install Staging – Our production staff is required to load the counters onto 1 or 2 sheetrock carts, with the finished surface of each counter facing out. Additionally, they are to load the smallest counters first and the largest last. This eliminates the need to shuffle (and unnecessarily lift) counters to load them on the A-Frames in the trailer. The cart can be rolled into the trailer, and each piece can be directly moved to the frame with minimal handling.
10. Loading “Face In” – This will shock you. We load all counters “Face-In” which is to say the largest piece on the job coming off the cart (first) goes on the A-frame with the finished surface against the rubber “Face-In”. Then the next piece(s) is loaded “Face-In” against the back of the first piece and so on and so forth. At the job site, every counter is already positioned to transfer directly from the A-Frame to the No Lift Install Cart without the normal shuffling that is required when counters are loaded Face to Face and Back to Back.
Are these the only tools in our install rigs? No, but they are the tools (and techniques) our installers would never leave behind at the shop!
Have you seen NASA’s Suspended Equipment Technology (SET) and how they’re using it to load 1,000-pound space components into the payload bays on their next-generation rockets? Prior to the development of this advanced technology, if you can believe it, NASA...