Neighbor wants a patio cover, saw and liked my work done for another neighbor, contacted me to build a small patio in back. Limited budget, time-crunch, undecided on a design, but they want a lexus on a kia budget, etc. all the usual stuff. No problem. Huge black guy with a petite little oriental wife.
But what I feel funny about is this: Like three times now, the guy (who lives one block over, and is a gardener for several of my neighbors), or both of them together, just show up, either on my doorstep ringing the bell insistently, or pulled up in front of my house honking for me to run out and see what the problem is. When I mosey out to see what’s up, they kinda get demanding, like Well, do you have a bid price yet, or Well, have you come up with a design yet?
So, what’s the best way to handle this? I don’t really need this little project (budget 3k) right now, but I don’t mind helping a neighbor out. But I feel like writing “Contact by phone or email only”, or words to that effect, in the contract.
The job I did for his neighbor was a pleasure (converted a bedroom into an elaborate home office) – no problems, straight T&M, paid on time, etc.
But I had another T&M job for a guy down my street, that went south big-time. Turns out the guy was bi-polar and paranoid, maybe even schizo. Would come out every morning friendly as could me, complement me, then add more to the scope of work. Then he’d drive by twice a day to “check” to see if I was really working. At end of day he’d scream at me for taking too long, and for running to the lumber store for supplies, saying one trip was all it should take. But he was the one adding to the scope of the job, necessitating extra materials. And the supply store is like two blocks away. Really.
Anyway, I finally just told him I couldn’t work for him at any price, hire someone else to finish the job. I left some folding horses at his job, and he didn’t want to let me have them when I came to get them. I almost ended up punching him out over it. I grabbed them, he grabbed them, and I drug him and them out in the street because my older brother always told me if you’re gonna punch somebody, never do it on their property. He finally let go, but wouldn’t talk to me for almost a year.
Later, I gave him a bottle of wine and said Look, lets just be good neighbors and forget about the rest. Now he’ll talk to me, but there is still a bit of static in the air when I see him.
I don’t wanna go that route again. Because for one reason, this guy would likely clean my clock, and besides, who wants to fight with their neighbors anyway?
Anyone else run into this situation?