I hate telling a potential client “No”.

I can only think of a few times it has happened.  

In one case, the guy told me straight up that he had saved money on projects in the past by getting to the end of a project and only paying his team 95% of what they were owed.  I didn’t walk out abruptly, but for me the meeting was over right there.

Today though, was different and I hated doing it.

This prospect was a good guy just trying to grow his restaurant business.  He impressed me as someone I would have enjoyed working with.

But he made a critical mistake.

He tried not to spend the money to get a quality set of design drawings done – money not well saved.

His electrical plans called for major changes to be made to the electrical system, but did not include any details.  When I asked the architect for more info, I did not get it.

That was a big part of the problem if you caught what I just said.  The architectural designer had done the electrical drawings – not an electrical engineer.

We could have built exactly what the plans called for, then had an inspector make us redo everything.

Or worse, the work could have passed inspection.

It could have passed and the restaurant opened on time and on budget.

But then circuit breakers could have started tripping when the place got busy because there wasn’t enough power going where it was needed. 

Neither case was acceptable.

Vince Lombardi once said that when you throw the football, there are only three possible outcomes, and two of them are bad.  The same is true when trying to do a project without a quality design.

I’m all about saving cost and time, but by not getting a signed and sealed set of plans for a project, you are asking for disaster.