How would you handle this? A large scale landscape renovation with lighting. The architect, (actually, I think he is just a landscape designer. I don't think he has a stamp.) Anyway, the designer is acting as agent for the owner in negotiations. We go through the process for a few weeks and get the number almost down to where the owner wants to be, my portion approx. $33K, using the designers plan mind you. In one meeting, the landscape guys are discussing downsizing and eliminating plant material to help with budget. The designer is not digging this because he feels his job will look unfinished and cheap upon completion. He turns to me and asks how much the lights I'm using cost. This is in front of the homeowner. I refer to the proposal price, and he says, no, the actual cost of the fixtures. I refer to manufacturers list pricing, and he says "Let's replace 50 of the spotlights with a brand X spot that only cost $50.00 and the money saved can go towards the plantings. I know this particular brand is on sale right now at ____ supply house, and it would do the job just fine." I defended the original product choice (again, his design) saying a lesser product would have service issues, seal and socket issues, and availability may be an issue. The reality was he was taking money directly out of my pocket by trying to reveal actual materials cost to the homeowner. I was able to negotiate using the product of my choice by doing a lighting demo for the homeowner. Unfortunately the designer was unavailable for the demo, so he didn't get any say in the process. I got a signature from the homeowner on my contractor, and an earful from the designer. My question is how would guys handle that kind of ambush in front of a homeowner? I'm don't want to just burn the designer, since, as we all know, this is a tiny little mutli-billion dollar industry we work in. Also, do you ever reveal materials cost to a homeowner and then show a specific percentage markup? As pros we buy at a discount that homeowners wouldn't get, plus we go to the effort of selecting the right product for the application. Isn't that worth a certain percentage, above and beyond our design , labor, and service fees?