It should have been a win-win situation. Actually, a win-win-win-win situation.

Randy, an electrical contractor and our owner's friend, was planning an addition to his home, so our owner put him in touch with one of our remodeler-customers. Randy was excited about using Oak Tree Remodeling because he wanted to do more residential electrical business and this would give him an “in” with the contactor. Oak Tree was of course happy to get the job and, naturally, we were happy to receive a good-sized order and even happier to make introductions that could lead to more business in the future for everyone.

The fourth winner in this situation was Amber, a friend of Randy's wife who had just started an interior design business. She was hired to oversee the project's aesthetics.

At first we thought nothing could be better than a group of people all connected through the bonds of friendship working together on a remodeling project. But we soon found out that nothing could have been worse.

The job was rough from the first day:

Day 1, 9 a.m.: Oak Tree ordered the interior doors and trim as per the details in the contract, but when the designer came in to work on the kitchen, she got side tracked and ended up changing things.

Noon: While we were trying to stop and change the doors and trim, Randy stopped by; while in our showroom he took a look at our cabinet offerings and fell in love with amber—the color, not the designer.

12:15: We noted his new selections and were able to deliver the good news that the trim and doors could be changed.

12:30: Randy took our owner to lunch.

12:35: Oak Tree called to see if the designer ordered door hardware. We called our owner on his cell, and the owner told Randy to tell his wife to have the designer pick hardware.