When REMODELING asked Craig Durosko of Sun Design Remodeling Specialists, Burke, Va., what the employees at his company think about when eyeing a big job, they compiled this list:

  • Don't discount a job because it's large or has a big price tag. “If you're not used to selling at a certain price point, you might have a hard time selling a job at [a high price] and might discount it. Don't. The money earned doing a small job has the same value as money earned doing a big job.”
  • Make sure your estimator breaks out the job and checks to see if it's worth selling five little jobs instead of one big one in terms of gross profit.
  • Have a system in place for tracking change orders — of which there may be many more than you're used to — and get payment as you do them. “You don't want to [have] such a large sum at the end that a client will bicker over it.”
  • Never start a project until all selections have been made.
  • Be prepared for the “extreme emotional roller coaster” your clients will be on. “There are higher highs and lower lows” in a long project. Put extra money into the project to be used to send the client out to dinner or a movie, or to hire a house cleaner.
  • Think about back-up assistance for your carpenters. There's a good chance your carpenter will get burned out on the project before it's finished. Having someone assist him near the end of the project will “make the close-out period shorter and give him a bit of refreshing energy.”
  • Do a debrief halfway through a three- to five-month project and create a log that all the people in the project can put information in.
  • Don't slack off on marketing and selling or you won't have anything on deck when the large job is finished.