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Dan Bawden of Legal Eagle Contractors warned us to be wary of professional clients such as doctors, lawyers, etc. I could not disagree more.

October 01, 1999

Re: Keep an Eye Out for These Clients Competitor?

July/August, page 24 Dear Professional Remodeler:

Dan Bawden of Legal Eagle Contractors warned us to be wary of professional clients such as doctors, lawyers, etc. I could not disagree more.

Although I’ve heard many horror stories about dealing with the so-called professional trades, I’ve found just the opposite. My client base is almost 100 percent doctors and other professionals.

True, they like to be treated like professionals, but then, so do we. I in no way find their professions intimidating. We need them. They need us. And if we all address each other with professionalism, soon it becomes obvious that all in all, we’re just people. I’ve worked for movie and music stars, for industry CEOs, for some of the wealthiest people around. Taking the approach that they should be feared or shunned, or to take the "run [away] as fast as you can" theory is plain wrong.

I admit, I’ve met the jerks from hell. But with those types of people, it becomes obvious real fast that we won’t be having any business relationships soon. But I’ve also found as a whole, they just want to be treated with respect as a client and to trust in the person who will be living in their home for the next six months to a year from 8 to 5, Monday through Friday (and an occasional Saturday). When that trust is gained, mutual respect follows. So, with respect to Mr. Bawden, take another look.

Rick Hjelm, CR, CGR

Phase II General Contractors, Inc.

Remodeling Specialists

Tacoma, Washington


Dear Professional Remodeler:

I was very surprised when I came across the article, "Keep an Eye Out for These Clients."

It appears to me that Mr. Bawden and Professional Remodeler are warning your readers not to deal with engineers, lawyers, retirees, architects or doctors because "they simply tell you to sue them." This sage advice comes from a lawyer/remodeler who later in your magazine says the key to his success is good communication!

We’ve all had payment disagreements at one time or another. Rather than saying lawyers don’t pay, I’ve discovered that those disagreements nearly always stem from lack of communication or failure to set a proper up-front contract. The first rule of contracting should be to agree on the guidelines and each other’s expectations. When this agreement is made and followed through, there are no payment issues or unhappy clients.

—Mark Scott, CR


Mark IV

Cabin John, Md.

Dan Bawden of Legal Eagle Contractors responds:

I work with a wide variety of clients ranging from middle class workers to professionals such as lawyers, doctors and engineers. My comments are broad generalizations about doing remodeling work for people in different occupations. Certainly, I have done jobs for many professional clients over the last 23 years and had great experiences most of the time. If you do a vigilant job of managing expectations then you are likely to have fewer problems with any kind of client.


Re: Who’s Your Real Competitor?

July/August, page 11

Dear Professional Remodeler:

In the July/Aug Professional Remodeler, you stated that one remodeler was paying $.50/sq. ft. to hang tape, texture drywall, like that was a bad price. I’ve been paying an average of $.85/sq. ft. in the Phoenix area where prices are low because of south of the border labor. That price is for a room addition say 12’215’, and I pay more for smaller jobs--upwards of $1.00 to $1.25. I’ve used different drywall contractors, and they all charge that much for remodel work. New home construction is a diffferent story, but new home production crews won’t do remodel and remodel crews can’t compete on new homes.

The contractor that complained about $.50/ft must have been from a super cheap area.

—Bob Simmons

Robert B. Simmons, General Contractor

Glendale, Ariz.

Editor's Note Correction: The price quoted was for a 4X12 piece of drywall. In any event, the pricing has increased 20 percent over the past four months for this remodeler.

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