My wife and I are renting a house while we search for one of our own, and I got the following email from my current landlord:
“I’ve been thinking about updating my kitchen cabinets and countertops once you all decide to move out. I believe some small updates will bring a bit more return on my investment.
Since you mentioned you were an architect that maybe you wouldn’t mind providing me with some basic specifications (cabinet sizes) and layout designs. Doesn’t have to be right away but sometime in the next month or two.
I would like to take down the wall separating the kitchen and dining room to open it all up. Therefore, the stove an microwave would need to be moved. From there I’m not sure how to layout where the fridge and stove would be placed.
Hopefully you can help me out with this and provide some basic information. ”
He’s basically looking for free design work. I’d typically reply by saying: “I’d be happy to work with you on this. The kitchen has a lot of potential, and I agree it’s due for an update. Here’s an example of a kitchen I designed in a custom home (attached) that you might like. If you’re in town this weekend, let’s get together to discuss your goals for the renovation, and we can also talk about design fees to do the work. Let me know when you’re available – – looking forward to it.”
My only hesitation is the power dynamic at play since he’s my landlord. I need him to understand that I take my work seriously and don’t work for free, but I also don’t want bad relations with the person that provides maintenance for the house I’m living in.
Can I get some general feedback on my response?
Has anyone run into something similar?