Every contractor has a horror story about working with micromanaging clients who need almost daily reassurance that the project is chugging along seamlessly. Clients who need a lot of handholding and updating can actually slow a project down considerably. After all, for every call that you return, that’s minutes diverted from your supervision of the project — and those minutes add up.
The best way to protect yourself and your company from these types of clients is to include a clause in the contract that specifies how frequently and under what circumstances you will update the client on the progress. You may agree on an update every two weeks, but if a supplier backs out or fails to deliver, your client has a right to know this because it could significantly impact the deadline of the project.
Also, if you are doing a remodel where the client is living and/or working in the home, common courtesy may dictate that you communicate more frequently with them about the progress.
Sometimes, it’s not telephone calls that are the problem but unannounced visits to the site that create problems. While it might seem challenging to bar owners from their property, you can explain to them that their presence on a job site that’s under construction is a safety hazard and insurance liability.
In some cases, contractors may have an inkling that a client will be very high-maintenance and difficult to manage. If your profit margins allow, consider turning down the job if you anticipate problems. If you do decide to take on the client, insist that they sign off on the clause about the frequency of updates to reduce the likelihood of problems later.