Sandy Sounds Off on Controlling Clients
It was very difficult having Damon as a client. He was scrutinizing everything we did because he worked in construction himself. He knows the right way and wrong way to do a project, and he also knows the way that he would like to do it. Just because he has a way of doing things, that doesn't mean that my way is the wrong way. Damon was adament about letting us know that he knew his stuff. He would prove it every five minutes! It was almost like we had to prove something to him. I had to make sure that we went above and beyond on this project.
There's no point in arguing with controlling clients. We just have to make sure we come up with great solutions and let the results do the talking for us. People tend to underestimate what we can do anyway because we're male models. We can't argue with evey client!
Aside from Damon constantly butting in, another challenge with this project was that the area that Damon and Courtnie lived in was like a swamp. We had to actually run a line all the way off the property so that the water didn't accumulate in his backyard as it had done before. It also rained a lot, so our job was delayed.
My advice to anyone who is thinking about renovating their backyard is to always assess the situation first. Get a bunch of estimates and recommendations because there are a lot heavy equipment moving around, and you don't want somebody banging that into your house. Renovating a massive outdoor area is not like changing a lightbulb or painting a wall. This is major, major construction. In fact, Damon and Courtnie's backyard was the biggest outdoor space we had every done.
When Damon asked Kim to consider his wife and kids' needs in the design of the "man-bana," it just melted my heart. It showed me that Damon wasn't just trying to prove something. He wants the best for his family. This was supposed to be a gift for him and yet he wanted to incorporate his family in some way. What's more beautiful than that? I was really touched by it.
Kim's overall design was fantastic. It was perfect because it incorporated the indoors with the outdoors. She tied in the deck. Not only did we build this amazing "man-bana"-turned-"fam-bana," but everything in the outdoor space could be used in any weather.
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