Every once in a while I get a prospect who fights me every step of the way during the sales process and they feel compelled to try and control every aspect of the meeting. Although they pretty much never say it to my face, I know there have been many lost prospects who end up muttering something to the effect of "Why would anyone pay those crazy contractor prices?" or "He's not going to make any money on MY project". The truth is, if they had become my client I undoubtedly would have lost money with that attitude. Our best and happiest clients are the ones who allow me to do my job and utilize my 20 plus years of experience to help them make their project run smoothly and with the least amount of headaches. All projects are going to have something not work perfectly.
Two weeks ago I was starting demo on a bathroom project and on day two I did a quick survey of the existing conditions. My eye caught what looked like a toilet flange that was further away from the wall than normal. My Stanley 25 footer confirmed my suspicions because instead of it being 12" off the wall it was 14" off the wall. The clients had already ordered the plumbing fixtures so we had to intervene and swap out the Toto low flow toilet with a specially sized one. Because we were in charge of the scheduling and things had to be completed by a certain date there was no allowance for any delays. To make a long story short, we discovered the problem early enough, corrected the fixture order and proceeded to finish with no delays. Had the client been trusted to handle the project it would have messed up the plumbing which would have impacted the painting and then the electricians would have been bumped a few days. I am guessing it could have delayed the job by atleast 1 week if they were lucky enough to get all the subs back. This is one really small example of why it pays to have a progessional remodeler on your side running the project. Not to mention the free trip to the supply house because they gave us the wrong toilet seat. We like to think of this as "spoiling" our clients without them knowing it. Needless to say the young boys were able to take a bath on the night I promised them the week before.
One other issue with the toilet was that since the door was so close to hitting the toilet we had to plan it just right with the proper sized toilet to clear the door when it opens. With a little double checking I found just the right toilet and little did I know it would be so close. The plumber called me up to tell me we could barely fit a credit card between the edge of the toilet and the door. Good planning or too close for comfort?
When someone asks me why they should pay a contractor to manage a job I have dozens of similar examples to share with them. It doesn't always win me the job but I leave feeling comfortable knowing that I will sleep good that night.