Working with a Distant Client

Not long  ago I had taken in a job of recovering 4 antique dining chairs from a client who lives an hour away from my shop. At the time that he was here I had carefully talked over the details of the job with him before I wrote up the work order. As I was getting ready to order the springs for the job I realized that, as written on the work order, the top of the seat might end up to be 21-23 inches tall. I was very uneasy. What should I do? Should I just do the chair and take a chance that it would be OK? I don't like to proceed when I figure that there is a chance for the client being unhappy (and somewhat rightfully so).

Well, I needed to talk to him about the chair seat height. But I hated to have him drive an hour just to I could talk to him. That would be quite an imposition on him. So, I ended up making a short video of me showing and discussing my question with him. Here is that video, as an example of something that might be helpful to others. (Yes, I know I made a mistake and called webbing burlap. Oh well.)

I sent the client a link to the video and also restated my questions. He got back to me and told me that he wanted me to take the top wood strips off, and to make the chair seat so that it would be no higher that 19 with the casters removed off the chair.

Looking back at this situation, I can say that making the video and sending him the link, along with my questions, was a very good thing to do. I'm sure that it has saved me from a potential troublesome time. Now I feel at peace because I have a plan that seems quite workable and had been approved by the client. In working through the solution I gave the client an assignment so that they could realistically answer my questions. This was a good method to remember.