Whether you live on the West Coast or not, you might have heard of something called "Carmageddon." In brief, this was a temporary shutdown of the major highway in Los Angeles, the 405. Normally highway construction doesn't garner an apocalyptic name, however, it is no secret that traffic in Los Angeles is already famous for its "parkinglottish" nature. So for weeks the public was continually informed of the impending shutdown, and with a name like Carmageddon it was obviously preparing drivers for the worst. So with all that was built up, the day came and went, and it seemed to go quite smoothly. Why? Simple, drivers were clearly informed on the construction project to come, and they prepared for it.
One of the most important things we can do before we begin a project is to inform our clients of what is to come. Although we have many years of experience, understand that many of our clients do not. Embarking on any major work whether in the residential or commercial realm, can be frightening to an uninformed client. You can't blame them either, almost every person has a story about a nightmare contractor. We should do everything in our power to alleviate their apprehension.
In laymen's terms, take them through every step of the project. Don't scare them, but if you know there might be issues in certain areas, inform them. For example you can say something like, "It's important that you know, that before I get in there I won't know exactly what the issue is. Once I do, I will inform you of our next steps." That is an honest assessment and your clients will not be caught off guard with surprises. Saying something like, "I'll take care it, no problem," without actually knowing can lead to a disgruntled client. Also, use this as an opportunity to show your expertise in your craft. Take time to educate and your clients will value the great job you're doing for them even more.