It’s been said to become a master at any skill, one would need to practice that skill for about 10,000 hours. Right from the start, I was obsessed with perfecting glass restoration. I spent an average of 50 hours per week experimenting and practicing different aspects of restoring scratched glass. That includes actually working on projects as well. That means I didn’t attain to master yoda level of glass restoration until sometime in 2009! In the beginning, we did every glass restoration job ever called on. Every glass graffiti repair job, car glass restoration, coffee table scratches, dining room table glass restoration, everything!
Then something changed. But around the time you might say we became a master at glass restoration, based on the 10,000 hour rule, something happened. The type of projects we were getting calls for changed. We received a call from a contractor in Los Angeles who did quite a bit of work for Hollywood celebrities. They were building a custom home in Beverly Hills, CA. The oversize glass panels had become scratched while in storage. They wanted me to come perform a demo and see if this was a suitable glass restoration project and if we could unscratch the glass. I felt pretty confident about my abilities to restore glass but was still a little nervous. This was my first high profile scratched glass repair job! We finally went to the house was told not to look at or make eye contact with the celebrity that lived there! Fortunately, she wasn’t there that day. The glass scratch repair demo went fine and we did the entire project and saved 50 large tempered glass panels and glass sliders. From that project forward, we always seemed to get high profile scratched glass projects for very demanding clients. In case you’re curious, it was Jennifer Aniston’s house.
Larger glass restoration projects. Soon after that project, we got a call for a large, 56 panel commercial glass restoration project at the Denver Convention Center in Colorado. They wanted us to come do a demo for them first, since there were three other glass restoration companies bidding for the job. Up to that point, I had never had anyone bidding for the same glass restoration project as me! This was a first. Up until then, we hadn’t even run into anyone doing any kind of glass scratch removal. Plus, Denver C.C. said they weren’t going to pay us to come to Denver to do the demo! A 17 hour drive, plus I had to pay expenses, pay my guy and hotel, and meals?! And no guarantee I was going to make anything if I didn’t get the job? I was finally being tested.
Arrival at D.C.C. Upon arriving at the Convention Center, we walked around and examined the other three demo’s since they were already completed. Since this was a commercial glass restoration job, the glass was over-sized tempered panels with widespread scratch damage, a resurfacing job. It was extremely easy to find the other demo’s because the distortion was that bad! So now I knew the skill level of the competition. Needless to say, management was pleased with our demo and how quickly we completed it. However, I still needed to give them a fair price. After we delivered the proposal to them, they called and asked if we could come to the GM’s office. They said they liked to demo but our proposal was twice the price of the lowest bid. I said, Oh, I thought you wanted the glass to look good? They said, OK, point taken, when can you start? We got the job. What a relief! Feel free to look at the lovely letter we received from Tom Barnes, mgmt. upon completion of the project (link).
About Commercial Glass Restoration Consulting??? For approximately the next 5 years or so, it was mostly high-profile, high-volume glass resurfacing projects. About that time, I got a call about a scratched glass project in Toronto ON Canada. I went to Toronto and did a demo at the Shangri La Hotel. Then came time for the proposal. I asked them if they’d be interested in an idea I’d been wanting to try on the next large international project. I explained that it would be much less complicated for me and cost effective for them if I went to Canada as a consultant, ship all the equipment, and utilize local help from their construction project. I would train and oversee the project, making sure everything was completed to the same standards as the demo. When I crunched the numbers and compared the cost of bringing my own workers or using local Canadian helpers, the savings were enormous. The project was slated at roughly 50,000 sq. ft. of high end commercial glass restoration. The contractor absolutely loved the idea. They ended up providing me with two guys initially, eventually had three. Within one week, I had them all polishing, then pre-polishing. Within two weeks, they were all grinding as well. I oversaw everything and made sure we had everything we needed to keep production going. Everything went smoothly on that Toronto project and commercial glass restoration consulting was born! Since we primarily focus on large projects now, this is how we do it. We can’t see any reason to go back to the old way. The only reason we were able to accomplish this, is that, being the developer of this process and designer of all the tools, we were able to effectively train the guys in a very short amount of time. We were also able to work with their strengths right from the beginning.
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