Thursday, 15 October 2009

To Restore or not to Restore? - that is the Question

It happens from time to time and this week was no exception. A lovely lady arrived with a very dilapidated chair to which she has a very strong sentimental family attachment. As normal, you look at the work that needs to be done to return it to good useable condition and then calculate the likely cost of restoration. The conclusion is that the chair is just not worth the cost of total repair, (it's almost a complete re-build!) it's too far gone, it's days or weeks of work, you can't justify spending so much of your clients money on this particular piece of furniture, you know that almost the same chair in perfect condition can be bought for much, much less. But equally you can see the love in her eyes, cost is not the issue, it is this chair that is special.

Now the problem - how do you explain this to your client without hurting their feelings?

So many times despite giving a gentle explanation, we have been persuaded to carry out the work needed because we haven't had the heart to say no. The regret comes later when there is inevitably a hidden problem that takes much longer to repair than expected - the job has to be done properly or not at all. On the other hand having done the work, when the owner comes to collect, the sheer delight on their face when they see their "facelifted" old friend is priceless.

So what to do for the best - any suggestions?

1 comment:

Weavin' Wicker Woman said...

I've been in that situation more times than you can count and I've always told the customer the cost and added that it might be a bit more if I run into problems.

Then "the ball is in their court," so to speak and they decide whether or not it's financially feasible for them to pursue the restoration costs, verses their sentimental attachment to the piece.

The Wicker Woman-Cathryn Peters