Fred Arzate recently asked in Contractors helping Contractors Facebook Group – “How do you guy politely tell your clients that the extra stuff they’re asking for is not on the quote ?
- This is my biggest problem.
- They start off by asking if I could do something small like hang blinds on a room I added to the house before I leave then that turns into a bunch of smaller items getting thrown in there.
- How do I stop this from happening while still serving your clients with a good experience?”
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5 Top Answers from Contractors on how to deal with Change Orders / Out of Scope Work
Here are some of the top answers / liked by the most people:
“That Will Cost Extra”
“Yea I definitely lay out initial contract and scope of work.
The second they start asking to add things I explain very bluntly “that WILL cost extra” when they respond with “how much extra”
That’s when I simply ask them to provide me details of any changes they want and we will then discuss further pricing for the extra work.
But like many have stated already, don’t let them get away with the first little addition.. they WILL keep going!!!
Must be firm and passively aggressive the first time they ask.” – Timothy Stanley
“Clearly not inclusions and exclusions in your bid”
“Homeowners rarely understand the contractor is in the industry to make money, no different than a clothing brand upselling their products. You need to level expectations before the job and clearly note inclusions and exclusions in your bid. You are not an interior designer, albeit you could be if someone is willing to pay you for it. When a homeowner asks us for extras. We gladly accept the task/ scope and instantly price the add scope and send to the homeowner for review. We also ask if there is anything else they would like us to handle. This immediately levels expectations that we do not work for free but are glad to do (almost) anything within reason to provide the services most do not. Good luck.” – Sean Marquez
“Have a form for change orders”
“Change Orders. I promise you as soon as you say “I’ve got the change-order forms in my bag let me get one..” they realize that you’re serious and that you aren’t giving away your labor free and they can’t punk you like that and they generally shut up because they don’t want to pay more for something that they could do themselves but are too lazy to.” – Scott Taylor
“Get confirmation before proceeding or it will bite you”
“I own a site work/underground excavation and this happens more often than not and was a big thing for me to learn but the best thing to do is just stop and get a confirmation before proceeding because it will bite you if you don’t” – Christian John
“Say ‘No problem!’ but be direct and clear or you’ll end up working for free”
“Telling someone they have to give you money is a fairly blunt exchange of words, dont dance around trying to tickle their pecker about it. Saying “no problem that will be $500 extra” is a lot easier than working for free for a day” – Vincent Pallemans
“Here is the price difference. I’ll leave the decision to you but if you want this, price will go up”
“I usually give a quote. Add a bit to the quote incase I run into anything and say this is where my price is at it may drop but l have it up here incase, I do not intend to have your jaw drop after my work. If l run into a problem l could have noticed and quoted before l stick to my price because that would be unfair to the client if l didn’t. If l run into something l could not see than my extra few bucks l added to the quote should cover it. If they want something else than that’s on them and l’ll tell them ,”Hey, if you want this, this is what you’ll need to know. Here is the price difference. I’ll leave the decision to you but if you want this, price will go up” – Jack Vincent Stewart
Charging for Extra’s and Change Orders as a Contractor / Home Service Business
We all love that word: “extra”. Extra fries, extra vacation days, extra hours of sleep. But when “extra” dances its way into your scope of work, things can get spicy! How to charge for out of scope items without feeling like the bad guy in a Hollywood movie? Let’s find out.
“Extra-ception”: Digging Deeper into the ‘Extra’ Requests
This isn’t your average restaurant where you order a burger and sneakily ask for some extra cheese without paying. This is your business, and it’s time to spice it up! 🌶️
The Polite Pushback: Instead of saying, “No”, try, “Absolutely! Let’s look at what that might add to our current project budget.” A dash of politeness, a sprinkle of clarity, and voilà! You’re gold.
Educate, Don’t Intimidate: Remember the time your grandma tried using a smartphone and it was like a cat trying to play piano? Sometimes, clients just don’t get it. Instead of getting frustrated, educate them. Explain why charging for extras is crucial for maintaining quality.
Set The Stage: Clear Boundaries = Happy Wallets & Happy Clients
Buckle up, buttercup. If you don’t draw a line in the sand, that “small request” can quickly turn into a sandcastle of work. 🏖️
Keep The Extras Menu Ready: Just like that ice cream parlor that charges extra for those fancy toppings, have a clear menu of additional services. This way, when they ask for that cherry on top, you can point to the price.
Magic Mirror Technique: Reflect their request back to them. “So, you’d like me to add this additional task which wasn’t in our initial agreement. Let’s discuss how we can accommodate that and what the additional charge will be.” A bit of mirroring can make things crystal clear!
Wrap Up: The “Extra” Mile Without The “Extra” Hassle
Charging for extras isn’t about being money-hungry or rigid. It’s about valuing your craft, your time, and setting proper expectations. With these tools in your utility belt, not only will you master the art of how to charge for out of scope items, but you’ll also ensure you and your client dance harmoniously together… all the way to project completion.