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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I do occasional work for the owners of a nice, yet "dated" townhouse. Rent in the 3k and up range. Their new tenant (signed, but not moved in yet) has an eye for design, and wants some upgrades. She says she will pay for some and difference for other upgrades since she'll be in there for two years...worth it to her to be really nice...blah, blah...Here's how two meetings went:

Meeting #1 (with all parties present):

Wants new kitchen cabinetry (10x10 kitchen), carrara marble tops, limestone floor installed on the diagonal.

Closet organizers for 4 reach-in closets.

Three bathroom upgrades:
Recessed lighting added in two (over shower + a couple extra)
New flooring in three (again wants carrara)
New vanities & accessories, etc.
wants to add a nice enclosure.

We're challenging this (for a rental?), but she's on board and says it's worth it to her.

Meeting #2:
I met her at home depot to "pick out some things".
Since the owner says everything except the kitchen cabs and counter is on her, here we go:
Now she's focusing on the cheapest s.f. tile on display. "This one is only 1.89 s.f."...
Vanities: Now wants to repaint them and change the handles.
Closets: asks if I can just add some shelves....

....uh oh. We went to HD for all this?? BTW, we're going with maple cabinets, silestone tops (one that looks like carrara), and a ceramic or porcelain tile floor.
 

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Does the owner want final approval, or did they give carte blanche? Which ever is the case, make sure the owner and the new tenant are on the same page, then just do your part. Somebody has to be responsible by mutual agreement for telling you what to put in.

Personally, I'd stay out of design choices. I can't tell you how many people with "exquisite interior design taste" put together awful places.
 

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I would be sure to discuss, disclose and have written acceptance regarding the potential liability for inferior products.

What I mean is if you do this install and she moves out in two years, while she's bought and paid for materials with a two year shelf life...where does that leave the property owner in two years with (possibly) crumbling tile and cabinets that are falling apart.

I realize the above scenario is extreme but I do believe it needs to be visited.
 

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Beer budget champagne taste, designer, not her own property, three parties to the contract (two bosses). This project has a lot of check minuses against it.

I would not take the job with the designer. Do the work foe your client let the designer what she wants once she takes possession. If she damages the unit it comes out of the deposit at the end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would be sure to discuss, disclose and have written acceptance regarding the potential liability for inferior products.

What I mean is if you do this install and she moves out in two years, while she's bought and paid for materials with a two year shelf life...where does that leave the property owner in two years with (possibly) crumbling tile and cabinets that are falling apart.

I realize the above scenario is extreme but I do believe it needs to be visited.
You're right. On behalf of the owners, I've already had my say on marble tops (no), as well as a cheap vanity for the master bath (no). Then today got a text about doing a vanity top with marble tiles instead "since they are so much less expensive than a solid piece." (uh, no).

The trusted property manager/agent is out of country for a couple days. I can't wait to push these discussions back her way.
 

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Good move. I've seen some of this in rentals, and having to tear it out and redo into something marketable when they leave can be a ton of money.
 
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