As The World Turns


From original questioner:

Got a call from a contractor today. His job was scheduled to ship tomorrow but we haven't gotten an approved stain sample back yet. His client wants to know if she can change the wood species. The cases are complete, banded in Cherry. Cherry fronts are complete waiting for finishing. Laminate tops are complete. She wants to know if it would be a problem to change laminates. Stain samples were submitted over a month ago. This is a commercial job, not a kitchen.

Biting my tongue hasn't seemed to help with what I'd like to make for a reply! Any suggestions?

This is a prime example of why I won't do kitchens. But this isn't a kitchen. I feel for all of you guys that do kitchens.

From contributor Pa

Why not tell him to tell her "No, unless..." then put a price on a rebuild.

From contributor La

Pricing will come tomorrow. I find this entire thing hard to believe!

From contributor ri

How do kitchen cabinets have anything to do with your problem?

From contributor Ma

I understand the kitchens reference completely. Unless your on the wholesale side where you just feeding contractors/designers who has already dealt with the myriad of design and color changes, kitchens are a bear.

This one seems pretty straight forward. The answer is its way too late to make a color or species change unless they want it so bad they are going to eat the production to date and start over.

From contributor ri

Unless you are the general contractor on this commercial job, whatís the issue?Werenít you contracted by the general and not the customer? Donít you get paid by the general? Donít you have a work order system in place? Just have them submitt a work order for the change, and you bid it accordingly.

From contributor La

Up date: she approved one of the stain samples and as usual is in a big hurry to get the cases. BUT one room has to be changed with new fronts & tops made and just stain the existing cherry bands to match the new front color. We don't know what that is yet.
The contractor just wants to get clear of this job as quickly as he can. We have made a lot of stuff for him and try to keep everyone happy.
At least someone understood the kitchen reference.

From contributor ri

I understood it, but since this was a commercial job through a contractor, I canít figure out how it actually applied to you. Are you bring paid by the customer?

From contributor La

By the contractor. BUT we will provide what help we can to him to make his job easier.

From contributor ch

I have a name for this problem. I call it Monday, and if Monday doesn't suit I call it Tuesday, or Wednesday and so on...ÖÖ..

I get this crap all the time. I understand your trying to help this contractor get the hell out of hte job but this is a classic case of a Contractor making his responsibilities your problem.

If you always come to the rescue, he/she will always come to you with a problem!

You might be suprised how easily these guys fall into line when you put your foot down. For me it doesn't come naturally, but when enough is enough. I tell them how it is and to come to me with an instruction not an issue (politely of course) and well get it done.

I noticed a pattern of this with contractors asking if it's ok if the client comes to me for the designey side of things. I tell them to get an interior designer involved. A few haven't been happy about it up front and thanked me later.

From contributor La

"I tell them to get an interior designer involved."
A lot of risks with that also!

From contributor Ja

I would personally tell them itís not a problem and attach a price to make the change. Offer them the cabinets you already built at a discount if they would like them unfinished for something so they know you have to build new cabinets.

From contributor La

I was just venting my frustrations. Hard to believe how stupid some people can be. The contractor understands. He's been there before. He's dealing with it.
Long ago & far away I used to do kitchens. Even with detailed renderings, specs, long discussions about the variables and a signed contract, way too often there were last minute changes wanted.

From contributor ch

I cop this type of thing all the time. Dealing with 2 at the moment.
I do detailed drawings that I ask to be approved. People approve them, I tell them that means I AM MAKING WHAT THEY JUST APPROVED. All the time 2-3 days later, "actually can we have it this way" and then your the bad guy if you need to charge something to make it happen, or like in your case it's too late.
I usually like to sit on plans for 2-3 days like a cooling off period but most of the time these days the people have taken so long to make decisions and approve plans, by the time I get an approval they are "desperate to get the cabinets made" because their project is so far behind.

Sometimes the builder approves the plans and the customer hasn't even seen them!!