cost plus with a client who is a family friend

the hardest to work for are friends. there's a bit of tiptoeing, otherwise it's straightforward with stranger clients. a struck cord could jeopardize the relationship. and there's how much to charge. what percentage is just right?
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chang wrote:

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if you have other work you could be doing, that's what you should charge for x amount per hour, than that's what you should charge. It shouldn't cost you money to help the guy out. he gets piece of mind knowing you are doing it right. If you want to give him a break than you could work that part out after he sees what it would have cost if he wasn't your bestest friend
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Whenever freinds of mine do work at my house I tell them "you are a professional and don't do me a favour charge me what you would charge anyone else". Usually they don't and i just add a few hundred to the price and dont tell them when i give them the cash (makes for a great day when you see them at the bar next day haha).
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The best plan is to have the friend get other quotes. Then you can match the lowest if you like. At least that way he knows everyone else is more expensive.
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Back when I was doing a lot of remodeling, the cheapest cost to the client because of the unknowns you have to allow for in a bid, was cost +. Most of these were acquaintances of other previous clients and trusted me. I supplied copies of all invoices used on that job and a rundown of labor hours. I never cheated a client in the 40 years I contracted and everyone knew that. I was doing 1/4 m to 1/2 m jobs 20 to 30 years ago that way.
I had a clause in the contract that I could be fired at anytime there was dissatisfaction by bring current costs up to date. I never had that clause invoked. Know your contractor and you will be all right. (But have an out.)
A memory. I was doing a large remodel when this architect who knew my work brought his client out to the job, laid out a set of plans for a house out on his trunk lid and said can you build this for 200 k? Well hell, I had just seen the plans and he should know what it would cost to build it so I said yeah probably.
Got the plans and there was no way it could be built for less than 300 k. That scared the client off of me and they got another T & M contractor who ran the job up to over 450 k. He had a clause in it that if he started it that he couldn't be fired until the job was complete. Be careful out there.
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