Here, we're talking about leaving something behind - as part of the completed job - that was not ordered, expected, or directly paid for. It can be a complete gift or covered as part of the overhead in the job.
The little extra that is provided can be the same or essentially the same item or feature for each client - offered as a type of signature statement we provide because we feel that it is a necessary item for people to have - or it can be done as an extended part of the project that was not specifically requested but done as a finishing touch.
This accomplishes a couple of things: first, it provides a more complete finished project for our clients and second, and it goes a long way in dispelling the notion that contractors are just focused on making money from the client. It should help with potential repeat business or referrals also.
So, what types of extra items are we talking about?
Let's say we are redoing a stairway for a home that already has one. We design it according to the building code, pick the colors that the client likes, and complete it. When the client sees the completed job, it will have the addition of a railing along the wall even though the building code may not require it because we know that this is a more complete look and a safer one than just putting the railing along the outside.
How about the opportunity of making a statement - and really impacting the usefulness of a home for any age group - by including an entry station? This is a place where we can include a signature element that is exactly or essentially the same on each project. We may choose an actual shelf that we attach to the building near the front or side entrance of the home. It can be a bench that we create and locate near the entrance - natural wood or painted a signature color. It can even have storage inside or beneath it. We can also get a piece of unfinished furniture such as a small cabinet or table and seal it with exterior paint.
Items like an entry station are so noticeable, easy to do, inexpensive to add, and so powerful because of their usefulness that they become an instant focal and memory point for the client to enjoy and to remember how we helped them.
There are many other places in the home where we can add a little touch or upgrade that was not expected but so helpful to the client's overall enjoyment and use of their home. Anything that adds to their overall safety, comfort, or convenience in their home is something that can be considered for this little add-on gift or inclusion.
If this is something we already are doing, keep it up. If not, consider what can be done to make a statement and lasting impact to the overall remodeling project. This applies to any type of remodeling but is especially helpful in aging-in-place renovations because of the additional value and safety it creates.
We can know when the job is finished that we gave our clients a little something extra that will contribute to their overall enjoyment of their home.