Skip to main content

16 years later …

Sixteen years ago, I did a fairly large project for an attorney who was well off enough to pay me much more than I charged him for the work. But he was a guy who liked a deal and I needed the work.

He was also one of those guys who envisioned himself as a woodworker. He had a shop that would stand on par with most professional shops. He had a stash of wood that would be the envy of any woodworker, professional or not. And he would talk about how he would do the work himself if only he had the time.

This project went on for several years as the guy kept coming up with more ideas for additional pieces. We not only did the kitchen, bathrooms and all of the other typical cabinet-related work, we also made all of the doors for the house, many of the windows, miles of complex balustrade, and most of the furniture.

Overall, it was a good project and even though the money was a bit thin and the guy was a pain in the neck, it pretty much supported the shop for a couple of years.

I was somewhat surprised when I got an email from the guy asking for advice on touching up or refinishing some of the kitchen cabinet faces. Now, I have always tried to stand behind my work, but 16 years later? And we are talking about water spots on the cabinet faces under the sink?

I responded with some general information and some suggestions with the obvious implication that I would be happy to get involved but that I would expect some compensation. The reply to that was "OK, thanks." I appreciated the fact that he left out the "fer nuttin" part but I get the feeling the guy expected me to take care of this for him at no charge.

So now I'm curious. How many of you would feel that a client was justified in asking you to come back and "touch up" a finish 16 years later? How many of you would do it anyway even if you felt it was not justified?


Related Articles

Now or later?

For the first time ever, I plan to build something up to about 95 percent complete – and then just stop.