We don’t get siding replacement jobs very often because, unlike specialty companies, we charge for bids. Also, unlike most contractors in our area, we insist on removing the old siding and non-structural sheathing. This means that our price is usually quite a lot higher.

Recently a prospective client agreed to pay our bid fee for a siding replacement job. Things have been slow, but we bid with our normal attention to detail, prepared to lose to a lower bid. Instead, we got the job even though we were the highest bid because, as the client told us, we were the only company proposing to do the job right. She also asked us to price out replacement windows, making a relatively small job a good deal larger.

During the job, we replaced some rotting studs and added insulation to areas that had none. This may well have gone undetected and unrepaired if we’d left the old siding and sheathing in place. The client was thrilled with the improved comfort of her home.

We got top scores on the client’s GuildQuality survey and she wants us to remodel her master bathroom next year. Plus, she has referred two other prospective clients.

In tough economic times, it can be tempting to lower standards to compete on price. This client taught us the value of insisting on quality work at a fair price, even if that price is above that of the competition.

Hugh Stearns is president of Stearns Design Build, in College Station, Texas, which uses GuildQuality surveys to monitor customer satisfaction. To see a complete summary of the company’s customer feedback, check out Stearns Design Build’s GuildQuality profile. http://www.guildquality.com/cr/Stearns-Design-Build/5NZ40022773FBW/