When considering a company to work with, clients often expect you to work for free as they window shop around for who to pick for their rennovation. Some prospective clients think it is your duty to do work for them without any pay as a way to "wow" them. Michael Stone says “that’s not the smart route to take.” Stone notes how prospective clients want you to “provide drawings, generate a detailed estimate, and help them with sections” before they’ll consider your services. Most homeowners recognize that the time you invest before a project is valuable. For those that don’t, Stone says clients will “resort to emotional manipulation to get what they want, expressing outrage or scorn for daring to protect your business and your time.”

To avoid this, Stone says that when speaking with a potential client be clear that they know you don’t do free drawings, free estimates, or anything else without a design agreement or confirmation letter. If you don’t protect your time or business, who will?

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