Volume 17, Issue - November/December 2013

Installer Perspective
By Hann Kim


Getting the Job Done

As film installers, we all love those projects in which the windows are all lined up 24 inches off the floor, 35-inches wide and 47-inches tall with no need for ladders. We can install film on those types of windows all day long and not have a care in the world.

But the real problem is that everybody is competing for those jobs. You will find that every Tom, Dick and Harry window tint company will start price dumping to close those jobs. That also translates into getting paid less per square foot of film for your installers.

There are a lot of projects that will require you to think outside the box and get creative as far as accessibility. Those are the type of jobs that will yield higher installation costs. My company has experienced its fair share of creative projects and getting the job done will require the right equipment and set up.

Get Creative
In our area, we have high-end retail stores that have huge, all-glass display windows that are 20 feet from floor to ceiling. You need more than just an A-frame ladder to complete those projects. We have rolling scaffold systems that are double stacked with 24-inch by 70-inch platforms. They will allow for a safe and stable surface for mobility. When one section of glass is completed, we can roll and position the scaffold system in front of the next section. The initial set up of the scaffold might take a little time, but the efficiency with which you will finish a project will be surprising.

Along with high-end retail stores, we also have high-end custom homes with vaulted windows on the second level of the home with a winding staircase below. A nice set up for this would be an extension ladder with a planking system. When you set up above the staircase, make sure you have a leg attachment to level the ladder on the staggered surfaces. You definitely need to feel secure when working in high places and if you are afraid of heights, dont go up; stick to the 35-inch by 47-inch on the ground level.

It Can Get Complex
The project at the Beverly Center was a collaboration with two other window film dealers (Clear View & Window Innovations). This is by far the most challenging installation project with which I have ever been involved. The scaffolding system was entirely suspended from an I beam that ran across the ceiling and the entire installation was performed after 9 p.m. We needed experienced film installers who worked on high-profile windows held together by spider-clamping systems that supported each lite along the entire glass curtainwall. The installation required the ability to trim around each piece of hardware without leaving a light gap greater than ?-inch. On top of that, they had to perform the installation from 15 to 80 feet above the ground, all at night. These installers were paid very well and the project took three weeks to complete.

No matter the simplicity or the complexity of a project that may come your way, make sure you have an action plan and can envision the process of getting the job done.

Hann Kim is the CEO of STM (Solar Transmission Management) in Los Angeles


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