Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Be careful what you ask for

Well, I cannot say that this is an easy client to work with. He does seem willing and able to pay, but at the rate he is going, he will probably have us (or at least Leroy, who does the base coat painting) on retainer! He has been out of town for most of the time. Met with us the weekend of June 15th for some definite color choices (or so we thought), then had to leave again. Now he is back, examining the results, and changing his mind once again. Fortunately, he has been forthcoming with money, so that does not seem to be a real problem. We have probably incurred at least $600 + in product charges so far. Lots of paint (I mean gallons and gallons) for the base coats in various rooms, plus the pricier products that we use (such as metallic waxes and marmo lustre). So it is adding up. Normally, we do not do ANY of this without a deposit, but we are kinda working without the proverbial net here. He's here, he's gone, he's here again.... and all the time, deciding that this is not quite what he wants in this room, or on that wall, or...

Drummer has had to do the tweaking on the metallic wall of the dining room by himself this week. Client wants a little less copper - no, make that a lot less copper - wants some more gold and bronze - no, make that much more bronze, 'cuz he thinks the gold has a green sheen to it (it does not, trust me!). So after more bronze is added, he now thinks the remaining walls in the dining room (painted by Leroy) don't mesh that well anymore. So, off to the color charts again. That was what Drummer and I were doing last night. Sent Drummer off today with some suggestions for the client for the dining room, plus an additional color for just one part of the ceiling in the master (I hope to have photos that will do all of this justice, but I am not too sure how those photos will all pan out).

At least I think he was a bit more aware of WHY the walls aren't panning out as well as he would like, since he does have some texture on those walls. I didn't think it would be too big a problem, but it has actually been a big-ass ol' problem. Never again will we attempt this crap on a wall with even a teensy bit of texture. Drummer took a trowel (or maybe it was a tool called a Japan scraper) and showed him how we moved the product across the wall (or at least tried to move it, in this home's case). If you have ever seen venetian plaster applied, this is the same method. You have the trowel at an angle and try to glide the tool smoothly across the walls surface, spreading the product as you do so. So the client knows what we are up against, anyway.

We have padded in some of the mileage costs and may have to add more. Just on mileage alone, it is a 50-mile roundtrip from our home to his and back again. Plus most of that is on toll roads, and that adds up, too.

Boy, we hope to finish up this weekend. I do not want to be out there the weekend of my birthday - July 7 - but want to selfishly have those days to sleep in or whatever.

Gonna end this one... let's just say that the tale continues (sob!).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Another client?

Well, hope springs eternal. Got another potential client on the line, so to speak. This one is, by coincidence, another sports guy - NFL. Who, thankfully, knows his way around the 'net well enough to stumble across our web site and give us a phone call. He bought a new home in Pearland, but not one of those palatial kinds (not like the NBA player's home, where we antiqued the kitchen cabinetry). He's not in that level of pay-bracket.

Funny thing is - he called us from our "home" state of Minnesota, having gone up there to (I surmise) sign the contract, as he'd recently been signed as a free agent (his former team had not renewed him). Drummer returned the call and that's why we are at this point of developing an idea to show him. Met with his fiancee at this new house, where she showed us the color charts, etc., that he had mailed to her. We brought Leroy with us - he is the guy who does our base coat painting and (bless him!) also the taping that we need (but he does NOT). So while we were discussing colors and showing her samples, Leroy was doing preliminary measurements and just looking at the construction of the house. Found all kinds of things, which he started to relate to this young woman. The client was on the cell phone with us at the same time, and she was passing some of that info on to him.

Long story short: because we are working up ideas, we will return to their new home on Friday (my day off) and show some work-ups and also to have Leroy tell this guy about the things he needs to have the builder correct. Drummer found some, too, and we are not sure if the water is on or off at this place. It had abysmal water pressure, which was discovered when Drummer used the restroom and flushed the toilet. Ooohwee, that was so-o-o-o noisy - the noise from the flushing, I mean - not poor ol' Drummer's use of the restroom! We proceeded to run water in the kitchen (extremely low pressure) and then I think she was panicking a bit.

This home has one of those "rotunda" entries which some builders are using to impress the clients. Unfortunately for us, that means LOTS of scaffolding, as it is a two-story deal. Leroy will need it for base coating, and I will need it for doing the faux effects, too. Fortunately, I am not really that weird about heights. Don't get me wrong - I would rather not work up that high, but if it will give us something good for our portfolio and also make a client happy (and this faux artist happy, too, with earning the money!), then go for it, I say!

The client likes the metallic effect shown on one of the photos on the website. He is the first one who has the guts (and maybe the money) to do this, so I am looking forward to having a larger room to photograph and put in our "show book" that other clients can review. We did one of our "no-no's" and actually purchased paint without much money from the client, so we can show him at least the dining room idea. We have the metallic ices on hand and can use that without an additional investment, so that will be okay, I guess. I want to work up some ideas for the rotunda, too - so maybe I can sweet-talk Drummer into buying just a quart of that base paint so that I can try an idea out.

Creative genius (up for debate, I know), signing off....