We recently hired a contractor to help us with the framing of our tiny house. I got a good vibe from Chris from our phone conversation. He sounded professional, driven, intrigued by our project, and excited to quote the job. One check mark in the “pros” column.
We set up a time to meet him at the build site so he could see what the project would entail. He arrived promptly for the meeting (quite unusual for a contractor in my experience) – another check mark in the “pros” column.
Having already expressed concern to Melissa on our way to the meeting that he’d likely come in way over our budget, we braced ourselves for the quote.
Chris took out his phone, did some calculations, and spit out a price.
Yup, way over budget.
I enjoy negotiating (weird, I know) but where we weren’t even in the same ballpark I figured I wouldn’t bother.
I told him we weren’t interested in spending that much and thanked him for his time, fully expecting it to be the end of our meeting.
“Well,” Chris said, “I’m intrigued by this project so why don’t you tell me what your budget is and we’ll see what we can do.”
So I shared a quote we got from another guy, again expecting him to agree that we were too far apart.
“If you can be flexible on a start date and give me permission to take some pictures of the project for my business social media accounts, I’ll match that quote.”
I was stunned. For the price of a single handyman, we were getting a licensed and insured company who will end up doing more on the project that the other person.
“Shit, if you’ll match that quote, we’ll bring you coffee, lunch, and do material runs as needed,” I said.
He stuck out his hand. “Do we have a verbal agreement?”
“We sure do!”
With that, Melissa and I both shook his hand and the deal was on.
When we shared this story with a couple people in our lives, they questioned Chris’s willingness to come down as far and easily on his price as he did, which briefly made Melissa doubt his abilities. But I kept saying to her, “I just have a good feeling about this guy.”
Besides, Melissa will be at the build site whenever his team is there to answer questions about plans, ensure that they’re being followed, and to be sure we don’t lose any precious inches of living space due to misinterpretations.
We sent him over the architectural plans and set up a time to meet and sign the contract. Melissa suggested to him that we meet at a Starbucks, but he suggested another location – a health food store nearby – instead.
I was excited when Melissa told me because I had wanted to check the place out but never got around to it. Another check mark in the “pros” column.
We met Chris and his master carpenter there on a Saturday afternoon for coffee and tea.
“Thanks for recommending this place,” I said to him. “I’ve wanted to check it out.”
“Oh sure. Yeah, I love it here. It’s pricey, but I try to get most of my groceries here. I like that the food is organic and non-GMO.”
Yup, I’m vibing with this guy more and more.
As we discussed the details of the job and showed them some videos of other tiny house builds, Melissa was feeling awful, having just come down with a nasty head cold. We were wrapping up the meeting when Chris said, “Follow me. I’ll show you some great stuff to help you with that cold of yours.”
We followed him down an aisle where he pointed out things like wild cherry bark syrup and organic throat drops.
“I use these whenever I have a cold and it knocks it out in three-to-five days, tops. I don’t really like putting the drugstore cold medicine options in my body.”
Big, fat check mark in the “pros” column. Not because he doesn’t take cold medicine but because he’s open to other options. Our kind of guy.
I knew I liked him.
Melissa and I finished our teas, paid for our new head cold products and left. As we settled in the car, I turned to her and asked, “So what do you think?”
“Yeah, I have a good feeling about him, too.”
The moral of the story? Trust your gut.
Where are you struggling to follow your heart? To trust your gut? Chat with me in the comments below!