Expert Awards

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Refusing Projects: Home Expert Awards

Working in the home improvement industry means you have to be aware of trends in homeowner taste, and work on a variety of different projects that might not always reflect your own taste in projects. Sometimes, though, a certain type of project or design will become popular, and you won’t feel comfortable doing it. This might be because the design element is impractical, or even downright dangerous. At the end of the day, your work reflects your company, and there are some projects that you just don’t want to be associated with. But how can you handle it when a client wants you to do one of these projects for them?

We asked our home experts, who have been in the industry and working with homeowners for years, how they handle a situation where they are asked to do a project that goes against their own standards for their company and its work. Handling this situation is delicate work. They had a lot of great advice. See below for some of our favorite comments!

What projects do you refuse to do?

Are there any popular trends that you think are a very bad idea when it comes to home improvement?

How do you handle the situation when what a customer wants is truly bad for them?

Have you ever walked away from a project because you thought it was an unsafe design?

Most Inspiring

The most persistent trend we see in the electrical field is customers wanting to bypass safety devices in their home that inconvenience them. ... Generally, a thorough diagnosis of the situation will revel the true problem and we can correct it for the homeowner. Also, once a person really understands the safety system, they appreciate the protection much more. Despite our best efforts, sometimes, either to save money or to eliminate any inconvenience, customers will ask us to remove safety features. We never do this. Our position can lead to some awkward conversations but we never compromise on safety. read more

TE's comment hits the nail right on the head when it comes to why customers not always being right about safety. Often, clients only want unsafe or impractical projects because they don't understand the consequences of circumventing safety features. When a homeowner's lack of experience leads them toward a project that isn't safe, it's up to the professional to steer them clear. Of course, if they still won't listen, you sometimes have to walk away, but safety is more important than any bottom line.

eLocal Expert Network

Most Creative

We just can’t do work that doesn’t meet codes or best practices in our industry; our warranty and reputation is on the line every time we work on a project. Sometimes the best service we can provide a client with is to decline to do the project. It wouldn’t be fair to either party. read more

Nancy helps give us another perspective on having to turn down projects. It's easy to get caught up thinking about how you weren't able to secure that project, or how you disappointed the client, but in the end, sometimes not doing a project that compromises safety is the best service you can offer. You might not be doing the work they wanted you to do, but you are doing what they needed you to do.

eLocal Expert Network

Most Insightful

Our industry is highly regulated by local and state requirements. Many of these regulations are not always followed by other pest control companies. One of the things we will not do is treating for a problem that doesn’t exist, which we call No-See-Ems, or Mystery Pest. Potential clients call for what they believe to be “bites” and wanted treatment. Unfortunately there are companies that are happy to take your money without inspecting or confirming a target pest. read more

Mark gives us a concrete example of one type of work that is unethical for his company to do, which nevertheless often gets done by other companies. Often, clients think they know what the situation is better than they actually do, and less ethical companies are happy to exploit them for that reason. Sometimes, walking away from a project can mean maintaining your integrity, as well as ensuring that your clients remain safe.

eLocal Expert Network