Field Guide to Renovations: Installation

We’re back at it again with our guide to renovations. Today it’s time to talk about the installation process. And since I’m getting into a pattern of saying controversial things in this series, we’ll kick this post off with another one. 

You Should Probably Not Install The System Yourself

Sound familiar? It should. Again, a lot of churches try to “save money” by doing the installation by themselves. Now, it’s possible to save money by doing some of the install, and I’m for that. But things that fly over people’s heads need to be installed by professionals. Period. 

I’ve been doing this a long time and know how to install a lot of things. But when it comes to rigging, I hire a certified rigger every time. I simply don’t want the responsibility of hanging hundreds to thousands of pounds over peoples heads. That is something that needs to be done right the first time. 

There Are Some Things You Can Install

Putting gear in racks, hanging lights, pulling cable; those are all things that you and your team can do. In fact, it’s good sometimes when you do it because you know better how everything fits together. It’s best when done under the supervision of the company that designed it—especially the cable pulls, you want to get those right. Doing things like that can save you some money, but there is a downside.

The Service Has To Go On

The weekends keep coming, week after week after week. Even during an install. So depending on how much prep time you need during the week, installing a system can become really disruptive. You may be in a situation where the installation will take place over several weeks and the service has to happen in the middle. That can be tricky to pull off, and it’s where a good install company comes in handy. 

They can help set the schedule and throw more people at it to make sure things get done and the system is useable come service time. If you try to do it yourself and hit a snag, and you can’t pull off a service, who takes the fall? Again, having a third party to throw under the bus can be a good thing. The install company can take some of the heat and help set realistic expectations. 

I’ve seen installs completely burn out an entire tech team. I’ve been part of some of those, come to think of it! It seems like fun at first, but by the end of the third or sixth week when you’ve been working 12-14 hour days to get it done, it’s a lot less fun. Some guys don’t come back after that. 

This is an Expensive System, Treat it Well

After you spend tens or hundreds of thousands (or more) of dollars on your system, it only makes sense to have it installed professionally. That will ensure everything is done properly and works the way it should. It also sets you up to succeed going forward. 

I know the labor number on the contact can look big, but in the long run, it’s money well spent. Keep your staff healthy, make sure everything is done safely and to industry standards, and that it all works at the end. After the project is done, you have a team that is energized, excited and ready to rock the new system. Isn’t that what you really want? 

“Gear

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