Do you give a guarantee with your work?

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Forum topic by BillyJ posted 08-14-2010 02:33 AM 1483 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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622 posts in 2625 days

08-14-2010 02:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m starting to pick up more work, all through word of mouth. I do this mostly for fun, but appreciate the opportunity to make a piece of furniture or construct a deck for someone – and get paid for doing it.

My question is – do you give a guarantee with with your product or service? Because most of my work has been for friends and relatives, I’ve always said in passing, “If at any time something goes wrong, just call. I’ll correct any problems.” To me, that is a guarantee. However, when building for someone you don’t know, do you enter into an informal agreement, put something in writing, or none of the above?

I would like to get some ideas.

Thanks –

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

6 replies so far

View ShopDogs's profile


228 posts in 2779 days

#1 posted 08-14-2010 03:02 AM

Yes, Bill, I do have an agreement I use on every build. It talks about the scope and cost estimate of the project.
It also clearly lays out both parties responsibilities. One of my responsibilities is to deliver a quality project that with normal use and care should last for generations. THeir responsibility is to use it in the manner for which it was intended, and to exercise normal care. If a joint comes apart or a drawer sticks or drags, I will fix it. That is the only right way to do business, to stay in business. But if they abuse it, I will fix it—on their nickel. I built a beautiful serving cart for a couple years ago. It was an indoor piece of furniture. I visited their home several months later, and it was sitting on the back porch with 8” of snow on it!. The next spring, they wanted it repaired. But not at their expense. It did not happen. Nor did I ever build for them again.

The legal department here at the house is sometimes at odds with the production department. But we will always find a way to do the right thing for everyone concerned.


-- ShopDogs, Tulsa, OK The tools aren't the problem-It's the organic interface!

View christopheralan's profile


1120 posts in 3143 days

#2 posted 08-14-2010 03:07 AM

5 minutes or 50,000 miles; which ever happens first.

I agree with Michael. I run my business the same way.

-- christopheralan

View patron's profile


13524 posts in 2763 days

#3 posted 08-14-2010 03:27 AM

lifetime guaranty .
my life ,
your life ,
or the life of the box !
which ever comes first .

seriously the boxes i make ,
people throw in the trunk of their car ,
with jacks and tires and whatever ,
leave in the dirt ,
or in a window (finish) .
i have had some that they left in the water .
i will repair them , under normal use ,
but not under those extremes .

i am always amazed that they will lift a dresser from the top ,
and rip the top off ,
or drag a table by a leg ,
and wonder why it tore off .

like anything made is welded steel ,
or poured concrete !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Matt 's profile


212 posts in 3172 days

#4 posted 08-14-2010 03:51 AM

As a contractor, everything I do has an 1 year guarantee to any defects from my construction. Pretty much if something I installed or built fails due to poor construction, I’ll replace or repair it. I usually have that noted in the contract also. Never had to go back to an old job though!

-- Hold on! Let me get the board stretcher!

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2495 posts in 2529 days

#5 posted 08-14-2010 04:17 AM

All the years I was in business, I always tried to be sure everything I did was a win/win proposition. If you put the customer first and do professional work, you will have them for the nest twenty years. That was always my goal. Of course there are a few customers out there that no one can satisfy. When I had on of these types, I just made sure there was nothing that they could point to, to bad mouth my work. Even if I did not get paid for it. These people are not worth keeping for customers.
You will find there are great customers out there and will appreciate good quality and workmanship. These are the keepers. And they will be loyal to you and show off your work to new customers. Word of mouth is always the best advertisement there is. Rand

View doninvegas's profile


334 posts in 2330 days

#6 posted 08-14-2010 07:46 PM

This is ours for our Adirondack furniture “We back up our attention to detail with our satisfaction guarantee and 12 month warranty
All our furniture has a 12 month warranty against defects in materials or workmanship.
Defects are defined as faults or deterioration which affects your ability to use the furniture. Like all wood products, these natural materials will react over time with their surrounding environment. This will normally take the form of changes in color and small movements in the wood components as they absorb and release moisture. These movements may include the appearance of small surface cracks which are perfectly normal and do not affect the use of the product.
Very occasionally this movement will cause a component to become loose or unstable, particularly where they occur around the fixtures used in constructing the chairs. This is what we mean by a defect.
Any claim under this warranty will be limited to the repair or replacement of the affected piece of furniture. The choice of repair or replacement will be made by us in discussion with you and will be based on the nature of the defect and the age of the original piece
This warranty applies only to defects arising during normal use of the furniture and does not cover loss or damage due to misuse, theft or the action of an outside agent.”

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

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