The most important step to be Ready for your Delivery is . . . BE HOME!
The next important step is to MEASURE!
There is an old saying, “Measure twice and cut once”. What this means is simple; know your sizes before you do anything. In the retail furniture business there had been countless times when people came into the showroom and were not exactly clear on their sizes but went ahead anyway to purchase a piece of furniture. Weeks later when the product arrived for delivery it would not fit into their home. Sometimes it’s a door opening, a weird angle in the hallway, the turn in the staircase, a low ceiling; whatever the reason, nothing is more frustrating than trying to stuff furniture into your house that just won’t fit. Especially when the delivery men ask you the million dollar question, “where do you want us to put it”? Remember, once you buy most furniture, you own it. Most stores do not have a “we’ll take it back if it doesn’t fit” policy. So, always find out the policies of the store you are dealing with to know what their return and exchange procedure is. This is especially true for custom furniture, unfortunately it typically “means too bad, so sad”.
What I am really telling you is to take the time to measure everything. The furniture is one part of the equation but not the only part. Your space is just as critical. It would be wonderful to be able to draw out the entire building so that you had every little dimension to make certain that your furniture will fit in, however; most people don’t have the time to do that or even know what to take into consideration when it comes to getting product into the house. Many furniture reps have some skills when it comes to knowing what to look for; that turn on the landing of the staircase; the width of the hallway; or that last turn before you can get into a second bedroom. They deal with these issues all the time so they have developed a keen eye for these variables and if you are not certain then you can ask a sales rep to come to your home and confirm all the details.
Another killer is elevators. How wide is the door opening? How high is the ceiling in the elevator? Sometimes the newer buildings have elevators with a ceiling that can open to allow for larger pieces to fit inside; however, after that, you then need to be sure that the product can make the turn into the apartment. Even the ceiling height in your hallways can have an impact on whether or not the furniture can make that turn into your unit. I have seen stairwells that you couldn’t get a dining chair through let alone a sofa or curio cabinet. It should only take you a few minutes to walk through the building and look at all the little corners and trouble areas you may encounter when checking to see if your product will fit.
Be prepared on your delivery day. So many times I have been onsite with the delivery team ready to bring product into the home but there is a guy installing a light fixture in the entrance hall; someone is doing touch up painting in the hall; or there is a guy on a ladder in the master bedroom. Plan your furniture installation ahead of time so that the space is clean and free of debris, including the removal of art work off the entrance walls. If you want to vacuum the floor under the old buffet that you had already removed, then do so before the furniture arrives.
Prepare your walk path. How are the delivery & installation men supposed to come into the home? Through the front door? Up the back stairs? In through the basement door? Think about the best route for the team to enter your home. If you have floors that you want to protect from footprints, then cover these with a sheet ahead of time. Please be aware that the delivery men should not take off their shoes while doing their job because of the potential danger to their feet in case a piece of furniture slips and falls on them. This is the policy of most stores in order to protect their workers from possible injury.
Some customers take pictures of the interior of their homes on cell phones or cameras so they can show the sales rep exactly what you are speaking of. A picture tells a thousand words so having this extra resource can really be a benefit. It will help to see the area of concern beforehand and possibly come up with solutions.
Be home when the delivery team arrives. You cannot believe how many customers are out or away when the furniture team arrives. “I just had to pop out for a few minutes but I’ll be right back”. When a company creates the work schedule for the day they do not plan on the extra 20 minutes when you weren’t home. Many customers get very irate that they missed the delivery team but if the team waits for you at your home, then the next delivery customer will be just as mad. Once the delivery has been scheduled, you need to be present. I remember when we arrived at a home and a lady answered the door; we asked her, “where does the new sofa, loveseat and chair go”? She answered, “I don’t know. I’m just a neighbour letting you in the house”. Be sure to pass along key delivery information to whoever is receiving the goods for a smooth and efficient delivery. Being home really helps smooth out the delivery process.