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View Full Version : Landscape Installation Deposit Percentage??


Slcareco
01-22-2011, 12:16 PM
Hey I was wondering what the range of deposit percentage of the total cost of a job is?? 25-50%

I have a job for 87,000 so I want to know whats reasonable and dont say just what covers cost.... I need a % thats the normal.... thanks..

tadpole
01-22-2011, 12:27 PM
On residential contracts, I get 50% deposit; for commercial -- 33%. Some states have a set limit on deposit percentages.

Slcareco
01-22-2011, 12:34 PM
thats what I figured, thanks for the quick response

Lefet
01-22-2011, 12:42 PM
We get 50% down, 50 on completion, (residential). But then I've never had a 87,000 job, so congratulations.

AGLA
01-22-2011, 03:30 PM
Check your state laws. Some do not allow a 50% deposit.

Lyon Landscaping
03-01-2011, 01:23 AM
CA is 10% of the job or $1,000 - whichever is less for the down payment. That is the law. Once the job starts then it is fair game to get more based on a pay schedule agreed upon or however else you have it in the contract.

White Gardens
03-01-2011, 11:09 AM
At 85K, I would request a 25% deposit and then take a weekly payments until the project is completed.

How long do you expect it to take. At 85k, average sized business, I would assume (stress the word assume) that it will take at least 4 weeks.

FLCthes4:11-12
03-01-2011, 07:51 PM
Yeah for me I would want 33% up front and that shoud get you going then make draws based on completed work after that.

AI Inc
03-02-2011, 06:30 AM
You need to have a signed payment scedule, stating that no work will resume untill payments have been made.

land_scaper70
03-02-2011, 08:30 AM
I would like to see what a $87,000 job looks like, unless it is just mulch around a shopping mall? Anyhow, 1/3 the total cost sound about right.

Lyon Landscaping
03-02-2011, 10:49 AM
Any body that would ask for 33-50% on a 87K job is probably not a licensed or reputable company or they are completely under financed. The law in most states is 10% or 1,000 deposit! When people use the wordind..."sounds about right..." that too is a red flag that they don't know the law and are either guessing or pulling arbitrary numbers out of the sky. Learn the various states laws as it will keep one of of trouble and make one sound and look much more professional. Just saying. Cheers!

tadpole
03-02-2011, 11:24 AM
Any body that would ask for 33-50% on a 87K job is probably not a licensed or reputable company or they are completely under financed. The law in most states is 10% or 1,000 deposit! When people use the wordind..."sounds about right..." that too is a red flag that they don't know the law and are either guessing or pulling arbitrary numbers out of the sky. Learn the various states laws as it will keep one of of trouble and make one sound and look much more professional. Just saying. Cheers!

To the best of my knowledge, 50% down for residential is standard practice in Florida. Standard for Commercial is 33% down, 33% when project is 50% completed and the remaining 33% upon project completion.

It has nothing to do with being licensed, reputable or under financed. It has to do with covering expenses in case of client default without resorting to lengthy and costly litigation.

Dig-It-Landscaping
03-03-2011, 05:27 PM
On jobs under 30k I charge 50% down, 30% first day on site, and 20% upon completion. On jobs >30k the schedule of payments is: 30% down, 5% on completion. The other 65% is divided into equal weekly draws based the projected time for the job.

These only apply if the job is scheduled to start within 45 days, if longer I get 10% of total project, then the remainder of the down payment 45 days prior to the start date.

So I disagree that 33-50% is too much of a deposit, and as you can see I don't like to leave much on the table for the final payment.

Lyon Landscaping
03-03-2011, 10:29 PM
Again... "to the best of my knowledge"... doesn't tell me what the actual law is in FL. If 50% or 33% is the law, then my comments here are moot. So far nobody has come on, other than me and the CA law, and said... this is the law for said state. Do you know the law or not? The whole reason there are deposit laws are to protect the consumer from unethical contractors, licensed or not, from taking 50% up front and never seen again. It's not to protect the contractor. Contracts are to protect us contractors and once work starts, then by all means, get your money to cover expenses. 50% of an 87K is a nice chunk of money and sometimes makes people do crazy things.

tadpole
03-04-2011, 12:21 AM
Again... "to the best of my knowledge"... doesn't tell me what the actual law is in FL. If 50% or 33% is the law, then my comments here are moot. So far nobody has come on, other than me and the CA law, and said... this is the law for said state. Do you know the law or not? The whole reason there are deposit laws are to protect the consumer from unethical contractors, licensed or not, from taking 50% up front and never seen again. It's not to protect the contractor. Contracts are to protect us contractors and once work starts, then by all means, get your money to cover expenses. 50% of an 87K is a nice chunk of money and sometimes makes people do crazy things.

I may be wrong, but as far as I know, and I have researched the subject, there is no law in Florida that governs the % amount that can be charged for a deposit. I did find one case where the State of Florida prosecuted a home improvement contractor for deceptive business practices involving taking deposits, which btw were from 50% to 75% of the total, and not delivering any service or product. No violation of State Statute was mentioned in regards to the size of the deposits only that the defendants fraudulently took the money.

Glenn Lawn Care
03-05-2011, 06:23 PM
I always do half down before i start and the other half due upon completion
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JimLewis
03-09-2011, 09:49 PM
White Gardens has the right answer. I'd ask for 25% down as well.

And I will add that Lyons is also correct. Anyone here who thinks there's nothing wrong with asking 50% down on a $87K job is someone who has never done business at that level before. It's completely unprofessional to ask for that much down and it would be completely ridiculous for a customer to give someone that much money without having anything at all to show for it. Most guys don't even carry bonds that big!

What's your bond? Do you carry an $87,000 bond??? I seriously doubt it. Would the bond you carry even cover half that amount, if you took the money and ran??? Again, I doubt it. So it's not fair to ask that someone give up that much $$ up front.

On a small job (e.g. less than $20K) then it's perfectly acceptable to ask for 50% down (as long as your state allows it). That's normal practice. But on larger jobs the rules change.

I'd ask for 25% down, which is about $21,750.00 and then the next 25% at a certain stage of the project (approx. 1/3 of the project or X, Y, and Z) were completed then the next 25% at the 2/3 point (when A, B, and C) were completed, and then the balance on completion of the job. And don't be surprised if they ask for 10% hold back at the end too. That's very common. I wouldn't bring it up. But if they bring it up, it's totally normal. Go ahead and go with it. It just means that they want to see that all the materials are fully paid for before releasing the last 10% of the funds.

Finally, I'd also be agreeable to working out the terms a little too. If they wanted to give me $20K down and $10K a week until it was done, I might be amenable to that as well. Be a little flexible. Just as long as you're not running out of money while the job is going on, you'll be fine.

JimLewis
03-09-2011, 09:57 PM
Again... "to the best of my knowledge"... doesn't tell me what the actual law is in FL. If 50% or 33% is the law, then my comments here are moot. So far nobody has come on, other than me and the CA law, and said... this is the law for said state. Do you know the law or not? The whole reason there are deposit laws are to protect the consumer from unethical contractors, licensed or not, from taking 50% up front and never seen again. It's not to protect the contractor. Contracts are to protect us contractors and once work starts, then by all means, get your money to cover expenses. 50% of an 87K is a nice chunk of money and sometimes makes people do crazy things.

Lyon, what you're saying is correct. Except that you happen to live in a Nanny state that is a little overprotective. So from your experience, it seems normal to have "deposit laws". However, that is not the norm. Most of the rest of the states in the union don't have any "deposit laws". So that's probably why nobody can find anything about the deposit law in Florida. Like most other states, they probably don't have one.