When ArticlesA Story About Perceived Value in Projects

A Story About Perceived Value in Projects

A customer queried a contractor pal of mine regarding what would it cost to complete this particular project.

My friend proposed an amount: $4250

The customer then replied: That really seems like quite high.

My friend queried: What as per you is a proper cost for doing this particular job?

The customer replied: maximum $2250

My friend then said: Alright, then I would like you to do it by yourself.

The customer’s answer was: I lack the knowledge about how to.

My friend said: OK, so how about if for $2250 I will train about doing it besides saving $2000 you will also be learning important skills which will be better for you in future.

The customer reply was: Sounds about right! Let us start doing it!

My friend then said: Nice! For getting started, you will be needing a few tools. You shall require a hammer, tool belt, jigsaw, skill saw, router, bit set, cordless drill, table saw, a chop saw, etc.

The customer the replied: But I do not really have such tools and I cannot see any point in buying all of them for doing just one job.

My friend replied: Fine. Then after charging an extra $300, I will rent my working tools to you so that you can use them for completing this project.

The customer said: OK. That is quite fair.

My friend’s reply: Alright! We shall be starting this project on the coming Monday.

The customer then said: I am at work from Monday till Friday. I will only be able to work on this project on the weekends.

My friend replied: If you really want to learn something under me, then you shall have to work when I will be working. This particular project will require three days and hence, you need to take a leave of three days from work.

The customer then said: This implies that I will be required to sacrifice my three days’ pay or I will have to use my leaves!

My friend then said: That is absolutely true. Do note that when you perform a given job, you will be held accountable for the factors that are unproductive.

The customer queried: What exactly are you trying to imply by that?

My friend answered: Performing a task totally from the beginning to the end contains the time that is spent for the planning of the project, picking up the materials, time taken to travel, fuel, time taken for setting things up, cleaning, and disposal of waste besides other things. That is beside the project. And talking of the materials, that is exactly where we will be starting on the coming Monday and hence, I want you to be at the local lumberyard at 6 in the morning.

The customer replied: 6 O’clock! My work time is 8 AM!

My friend said: If that’s the case then you are quite lucky! The plan of action is to get started on building the deck by 8 O’clock. But in order to accomplish this, we need to begin at 6 O’clock to pick up the materials, load them and get them delivered to your place.

The customer then said: Well, I think I am starting to realize that a lot of effort does go into a job than what an end-user might be seeing in the project when it is finished. Your quote of $4250 is practical. I would appreciate if you would be handling the project.


When you are paying to get a job done, and particularly a customized job, (irrespective of the fact that it is a digital project or physical project) you just don’t only pay for the material or the effort but you are also paying for the-

  • Insurance
  • Liabilities
  • Sacrifices
  • Licenses
  • Taxes
  • Integrity
  • Commitment
  • Discipline
  • Excellence
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism
  • Time to prepare
  • Time to plan
  • Tools
  • Custom Skills
  • Experience
  • Knowledge

If you are requesting a proposal for some custom work that needs to be done, kindly do not insult a provider by trying to bargain with them. If the proposal that they gave you exceeds your planned budget, there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to get proposals from others. Just keep this in mind, you get what you are paying for…


Always know your value and stay confident.


Recognize what they are worth and be respectful about it. I am sharing this for supporting all my clients, family, and friends who are tradesman, business owners and entrepreneurs.

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