Have you ever had a customer express dissatisfaction with a hardwood floor finishing or installation job you completed for them, but in the end you realize it’s because their expectations were unrealistic?
Unfortunately, this situation can happen when you don’t properly set up expectations for your jobs, and you can be especially prone to this when working with higher-end projects. It’s up to you, the contractor, to make sure that your clients are thinking about the project realistically. Here are a few simple ways to set proper expectations for your high-end projects.
If your clients want custom colors, stain, and treatment, it’s a wise idea to create samples for them. If working with site-finished floors, you can craft multiple samples in inconspicuous areas like inside of closets using the same sanding techniques, stain, finish, and treatments you plan to use on the remainder of the floor to make sure you can create a look that matches up with the client’s expectations for the project. Creating multiple samples can also help your clients decide between different looks they may be conflicted over. If they’re looking for prefinished flooring, pull the samples from your local showroom that you will be working with.
Mind the lighting
Make sure your clients understand that putting a rug down over a floor may affect its color over time, The species itself can also experience changes in color over time, especially when dealing with a particularly photosensitive species like American Cherry.
The lighting fixtures in a space can also affect the appearance of the floors, as can the colors of the wall. For these reasons, it is important to make sure any interior designers on the project are also involved in the floor selection process.
Discuss proper care and maintenance
Cleaning upkeep will help to preserve the integrity of the finish and make sure it doesn’t get scratches. Educate them about placing door mats in areas of high traffic and about the consequences they can face if they don’t take proper care of the floors or use the correct cleaning products, so they don’t blame you if something goes wrong on their end that isn’t due to your installation. Set them up for success with something like a Bona wood floor care kit.
It’s especially important to educate your clients about expansion and contraction when dealing with wide plank floors since these effects are amplified when wood planks are wider.
With knowledge of what your clients expect from a project and a concerted effort on your part to reconcile them with your own expectations for the project, you’ll set yourself up for success on wood flooring projects of all kinds, including higher-end ones.