I’ve lost a lot of desirable projects over the years, but got a few, as well. The biggest reason of course is money. From the very challenging projects I took on in my early years, I learned what it took to do those later on. Well, there is always someone out there that hasn’t learned those lessons yet and will try to do it cheaper. Will they make money, probably not, but it looks good in the portfolio.
In the latter stages of my career, I started charging for designs. I wish I had done that earlier, as it was accepted way better then I thought it would.
Years ago, we started framing a lot of the “super” garages. Learned that you couldn’t bid these like you did standard garages. We have won a few bids for these recently, and lost a few, as some newer framers had to learn the same lesson.
I like the idea of charging for estimates, but don’t do that locally. I believe it may be something to look at in the future. So far I only charge trip charges when I have to go out of town to do quotes.
I’ve had a few jobs that looked like really great projects and they ended up falling through. There was one built in office/sewing room that I was supposed to do a couple years ago and the clients were very keen about it and said they were committed to me doing it. They ended up backing out and said they needed to put their money into some infloor heating first and would get me to do it later in the year….never heard from them again. The good thing with that one though is I charged for the 3D design that I did so at least I got paid for the design stage.