- Handholding: Typically contractors can sense when a customer will need extra TLC and handholding. In some cases more sketches or mock-ups may be needed. Make the extra trips, return the extra phone calls, because in the end it will all be worthwhile.
- County permits: Always advise customers when county building permits are required. This can meet with resistance due to concerns about higher property taxes or nosy inspectors around their house. But the repercussions down the road can be far worse than the time spent and red tape worked through in the permit process.
- Electric requirements for lighting: Low-voltage lighting was designed into the project in Manassas from the beginning. What we didn’t realize was that the fixtures the customer picked out each had four bulbs instead of one, which pushed us over the limit for power requirements for the wire and transformer. In the end, they ended up getting an electrician to rewire some of the lights (at their cost) since this ended up as a surprise to us. But lesson learned: fixtures vs. number of bulbs.
- Spouse POC (point of contact): On many jobs, both spouses often don’t agree. It’s best to advise them up front to have one spouse as point of contact, if possible, and write this into the fine print on the contract. Consent from one spouse is like gold!
- Submit unique jobs for awards: The ASCC and other award programs are very valuable to contractors. An award gives you another line on your resume and another feather or two in your cap. The job may seem unorthodox, but submit it for award review. You never know!