View Full Version : question on taking deposits for jobs?

03-19-2004, 03:27 AM
does anyone take deposits on jobs that will not be scheduled for several wks?if so what do you say and how much do you take?i would like to get deposits on work we schedule to get done down the road.do you deposit them or hold them until you start job?

03-19-2004, 09:08 AM
Personally, I don't take deposits. I let the customer know that I trust them to pay in full when the job is completed. All my customers are long term, so I know them well enough to do this. In your case though, taking a deposit and holding it might make sense. Deposit should only cover costs of materials.

03-19-2004, 10:24 AM
I always ask for a deposit, especially because I've been stiffed a few times and people also can change their minds.

Depending on the job, I ask for either 1/2 or 1/3 right up front. I've never had a problem with this policy.

03-19-2004, 10:39 AM
Our policy is 50% up front. I recently did a large city job and let that slide. It has now been 6 months without payment and I've learned a good lesson. Just when you think that you know a person or trust them, you get screwed. Some of our smaller jobs are not required to pay upfront, but if it goes beyond three months I bring in collections after a warning to the customer. Our contracts state that the customer will be responsible for all expences incurred along with late fees to obtain payment!

03-19-2004, 11:52 AM
50% up front on small amounts, 100-1000

1/3 up front for big amounts, 1000 and ^

Nada for weekly maintenance but will take prepay:D

Long term customers will adjust a little for them. Can't bite the hand that feeds ya.

Bottom line - Give me the money

03-19-2004, 12:22 PM
I wont go into anything without money down and a contract unless it is under a thousand dollars. If it is over twenty thousand I do it in thirds. But for the most part I ask for half down.

03-19-2004, 01:52 PM
1/3 down to schedule and this time of the year it might be quite awhile before your turn comes. I got tired of people making deals with us and then spending the time before the job was actually to be done shopping around or changing their mind. It takes all the argument out of where a job should be on the schedule the first check in is the first job done.

Also we deposit immediately, what point is there in getting money up front, if you aren't going to use it to buy the material for the job etc.

We do quite a bit of commerical work, where we aren't able to get deposits, those are the ones that often end up being real problems waiting to get paid.

Austreim Landscaping

Acute Cut
03-19-2004, 10:01 PM
im new at this side of the business, but here is my 1/2 cents worth. I say ATLEAST materials up front. I think as our jobs start getting backed out a month or so i will ask for 25% deposite and then 25% as the job starts. Then the rest is billable.

03-20-2004, 10:47 AM
If you're going to sign a contract to do a job that requires you to buy materials you must be crazy to not get a deposit. And if you have the money to finance other peoples projects than why the hell are you working for them? If I'm gonna commit time in my schedule for them then I want some kind of commtment from them as well.

03-20-2004, 11:03 AM


03-20-2004, 07:29 PM
I use 35% up front on small jobs $250-$1000 and 48% for jobs over $1200. This way we lock the customer in the contract , if it takes 1 to 6 (days , week, months) to get ready for the job:confused: then I have there money upfront for the equipment . IF the job falls through and they don't build I can earn interest from there money.

Cultural Landscape
Landscape and Lawn Care :)

03-20-2004, 07:50 PM
50% then I schedule.

Kelly's Landscaping
03-20-2004, 08:00 PM
If the materials are over 500 I want a deposit I do not care for percentages what I do want is enough to cover my out of pocket costs. If the jobs 5000 and I have 1800 in cost then I will ask for at least that upfront. As for taking deposits weeks or months ahead of time I do if the job is large but I do not deposit the check to the week of the job.

allgreen lawn
03-20-2004, 08:06 PM
always 50% up front on anything over $350.00. been screwed too many times out of money or purchased material to start and customer changes mind.

03-20-2004, 08:09 PM
For $10,000 + Jobs 1/3 up front 1/3 mid way, remainder upon completetion. Under 10K 1/2 up front 1/2 When Finished

03-20-2004, 11:21 PM
Its all about O.P.M(other peoples money). I usaually make sure i got enough of a deposit to cover the materials, but i dont put the check in till i am about to start.

03-21-2004, 03:32 PM
I alway's take a 1/3 the day I show up to start never chance them screwing me unless they are a good costumer!


03-22-2004, 01:22 PM
For all hardscape jobs, and softscape installs, we collect 30% on the day of the contract signing. Next we collect a second 30% the first day our crew starts the job, and lastly the remaining 40% is billed at 14-30 days net.Both of the first two checks are deposited after the end of the day on the first work day. Its nice to have 60% upfront to cover yourself, knowing if the customer would try to screw you on the 40% blance, you can at least cover your expenses while proceeding through collections. Maintenance we bill monthly, and hydroseeding is paid in full, in advance prior to even starting the machine. <a href='http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb008' target='_blank'><img src='http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/3/3_2_4.gif' border=0></a> Work smarter, not harder...

ej Landscaping
03-22-2004, 10:56 PM
60% down--40% when finished. If not 60% down, we have to have our materials covered before we start because if we get jacked, at least we are out labor money and not material money.