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We have a winner in our latest Contractor Dilemma Contest!

Eric Elford of Habidex Renovations in New Westminster, BC wins a DeWalt 20V LED Tripod Light


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March 5, 2018 by John Bleasby

In our last issue’s contest, renovator Chris Norton was partway through an expensive basement project for wealthy clients. All had gone well in terms of payments and change notices. Shortly before completion, the clients ask Norton to renovate the master bath on the third floor. A contract was drawn up, a $5000 deposit paid, and special-order tiles purchased to the wife’s specifications. But one week later, they cancelled and asked for their deposit back. What should Norton do?

Taking the high road was the advice suggested by almost every respondent. As annoying as it was to have a contract cancelled after custom material had been ordered, most pointed out that Norton’s relationship with the clients had been very professional to this point, and that they might be influential among their wealthy friends — important for repeat business. Smiling and moving on, trying to sell the tile on-line, storing it, or exploring the possibility of a restocking charge was the advice offered.

Our panel of experts also agreed with those who felt that that antagonizing the clients by attempting to convince them to pay for the tiles would only jeopardize the on-going and future relationship. The response that best captured all of the issues involved was submitted by Eric Elford of Habidex Renovations in New Westminster, BC

Congratulations Eric! You will receive a DeWalt 20V LED Tripod Light with a 6.0 Ah battery and charger kit. (Suggested retail $469)


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2 Comments » for We have a winner in our latest Contractor Dilemma Contest!
  1. Hugh Hughes says:

    The response that best captured all of the issues involved was submitted by Eric Elford of Habidex Renovations in New Westminster, BC

    I am new to this publication – however, I thought that Mr Elford’s response would be published in full.

    Otherwise it seems to say that he was just one of the contractors that wrote in (having the same approach to the to settle the matter as the majority respondents) and then his name being drawn out of the hat.

    I thought a contractor could find information both trade-smart and especially what would be legal to handle cases similar this.

    • In response to Hugh…. First of all, welcome to Canadian Contractor magazine. We appreciate your feedback and encourage you at all times to send us your thoughts on how we can best serve and inform the industry. Second, space constraints do not allow us to publish the contest winner’s proposal in full. What we do instead is take some consensus comments from the submissions — we receive several dozens each time — and try to congeal them into a concise overall outlook on the situation. Third, I can assure that the winner is not merely drawn out of a hat. We study each response carefully and note key elements of each proposal. And finally, in terms of trade-smart learning opportunities for readers, you will note as you become familiar with Canadian Contractor over time that we often do refer back to the responses received regarding a particular dilemma, or use the responses as the foundation for a post on a particular business issue. Thank you again, Hugh, for taking the time to write to us, and please enter one of our dilemma contest yourself!