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What about clients who want more than the contract specifies?

Sooner or later, every builder or contractor encounter clients who want to play fast and loose with the agreed-upon contracted work. They may ask to add features to completed plans or decide to alter the dimensions of a couple of rooms.

While most contractors and builders try to accommodate their clients whenever possible, when the proposed changes cut into a company's bottom line, it's a good idea to have a response that can nip this sort of thing in the bud quickly.

There are three possible ways to deal with situations like this: acquiesce to the client's requests, refuse to deviate from the contractual agreement and negotiate with the client. Of the three options, the third may be the best. Here's why.

It's not inherently a bad idea to agree to make some small changes . . . but it does set a precedent. When demanding clients are given an inch, often they demand that mile as well. That being said, assuring client satisfaction should always be a goal. But that doesn't mean you should be a pushover.

Your work has value, and this may need to be stressed. Keep in mind that the average homeowner has little conception of the breadth and scope of most construction projects. They don't understand what adding a set of French doors along one wall or a Jacuzzi tub to the master bathroom actually entails. Share that with them in simple terms so they can grasp the difficulties you will encounter incorporating these changes.

If your negotiations are successful, make sure to amend the contract and get the client to sign off on any changes and compensation for same. Otherwise, you might find yourself embroiled in a contractual dispute with him or her in a Florida civil courtroom.

Source: The Workplace Stack Exchange, "Dealing with clients who want more than what's in the contract," accessed Oct. 13, 2017

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