It’s a job that’s been started already
Sometimes, new projects aren’t really that new – they’ve either been abandoned by another painter or by a homeowner who found they didn’t have the time or skills to finish the job. This might not be a reason to decline a job, but it’s helpful to know exactly what has been done and why. If a client has been unreasonable with one painter, it could happen again.
Your client has DIY ideas
Even if they haven’t rolled up their sleeves yet, sometimes clients want to help – either because they enjoy DIY or want to cut costs. If a client is involved, be clear about the standards required and agree in writing that you aren’t responsible for the quality of their work. A detailed scope of work is important: see ‘Get a perfect scope of work’ for more.
You haven’t met ‘the boss’
You need to decide on the scope of any new project with the person who is paying, as your agreement is with them. Make sure it’s them that approves any agreements, rather than a friend or relative. If you’re working for a couple, make sure they both agree on decisions such as colour and what needs to be painted.
No one wants to take charge
Is your client a bit vague about what they want? Are they happy to leave decisions to ‘whatever you think is best’? If your client isn’t clear about what they want at the beginning, be helpful and advise them, but make it clear that it’s their decision to make. Then make sure it’s included in the client agreement and scope of work.
Your advice is ignored
Offering advice on the right finish is a good way to show your expertise. And while it’s important not to choose colours for a client (that’s a decision for them to make), be careful of those who don’t want to listen to your advice at all, or who insist on finishes that you know aren’t right for the surface. In the end, it may be you they blame if they’re unhappy with the result.