My 2cts..I have a highly skilled developer whom I value immensely..When I hit something that I cant do ..or that I know my solution will take me a while ( that I may not have ) to find ..or that my solution will not be as elegant as it might be..
I contact them..I pay them to read the "problem"..they tell me how long to solve it..frequently I know that they will probably not need to spend as long on it as they say ..however.. I consider that I'm also paying for their knowledge and not merely their time..
So I almost always pay extra to what they have quoted me..
On occasion they have said that what I wanted is not a good idea, or is not the best way to do something ..they don't charge me for that advice..
They don't take on what they cannot solve..they have turned down work , saying that it was "not within their competence"..I paid them for their time in reading the brief..
re: your developer..
If the problem did not change in midstream ..I would pay them for time spent reading the brief ..and no more.
I personally would / do not charge for what I cannot do..I would charge for reading the brief..otherwise life flashes by whilst one reads other people's dumb ideas..:)
I suspect the developer I use would agree with me ..but I would feel honour bound to pay him for the time he would have to spend reading the request for his opinion and answering me :)
[edited by: Leosghost at 5:22 pm (utc) on Oct 18, 2011]