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contracts for mulch/landscape jobs

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by millie86, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    It is still important to establish a good personal relationship with your potential client. Emails can read as being cold and uninterested. Make sure what you write in your emails also comes across as a personal message and not a form letter.
     
  2. BossPlowMaster

    BossPlowMaster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 122

    Scott had some good info for you. As far as getting estimates out to people we typically do it by email. However it is only after we have met with them and looked at everything they want done so we know exactly what they want done. I will only sign agreements with customers in person after last year when I had a few customers who mailed me a copy of the contract for me to sign off on, and when I mailed it back they wrote little notes on it saying that we would do this or that even though I didnt agree to it. In person is always better because you can then observe the work that they want done and it gives you a chance to meet your customers etc.
     
  3. millie86

    millie86 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 116

    oh yes i see that side of it. I can't believe they would try to do that. Thats crazy
     
  4. Bryan27

    Bryan27 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 148

    I've wondered if this has happened to anyone, I've been given proposals/estimates that are signed by a contractor and handed off for me to sign afterwards. It would take a pretty sketchy customer to do that, but you never know what some people are capable of. I was taught a lesson on this that makes me think about how the process should take place. Similar situation, I had a landlord when I was out of state for 1 year that had me sign the most detailed 10 page rental agreement I've ever seen. After going over it and signing it, I made a copy and kept the original, gave her the copy. When I moved out at the end of the lease, she tried nickel and diming me out of my deposit with stuff she had written on her copy of the agreement after I had signed it. I left the house cleaner and in better shape than when I moved in, had the carpets professionally cleaned and a cleaning lady come by to make it ****'n'span after I removed all my stuff. I paid a $50 pet deposit with a pet addendum because I had a dog, she added on to the lease *after I signed it* that $500 of the rental deposit is non-refundable for having a pet. Then she also crossed out the deposit amount showing that it was lower than what I wrote the check for. Such a conniving waste of air. On final inspection, she took no exceptions to the condition of the house and even thanked me for having it professionally cleaned, then she tried to drop the "but you'll only be getting 200 of your $850 deposit back...." on me and pulled out her copy of the lease. She didn't have much to say when I pulled out the original copy of the lease with both of our hand written signatures on it and a copy of the cancelled checks for both the house and pet deposits, signed by her. She had been talking about how one of her other rental houses needed all kinds of work done on it and didn't know how she was going to pay for it about a month earlier, I figure she thought she'd get a payday out of me by falsifying the lease.

    I agree that it is best if you can have contracts signed in person, while you are there to sell the job, but protecting yourself from people changing a signed contracts is more about your process control than anything. You keep the original marked "ORIGINAL", they get a duplicate marked "COPY". Have wording on the contract to the effect of, "All changes to the original contract are to be handled with a written change order, agreed upon by both parties". 3 rubber stamps marked ORIGINAL/COPY/VOID and a pad of red ink has the potential to save you a lot of headaches. Always keep the original.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  5. scout007

    scout007 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42

    I usually take half up front. I type up a contract showing total amount with up front payment deducted.:usflag:
     
  6. BossPlowMaster

    BossPlowMaster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 122

    I started this new thing where after every line in the contract I have them initial it so they can't say I didn't tell them about this or that.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    My clients are not authorized by my company to make changes to my company's contracts/agreements. Only I posses that power.
     
  8. BossPlowMaster

    BossPlowMaster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 122

    Put the foot down! Haha :laugh:
     
  9. Bryan27

    Bryan27 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 148

    That is the perfect position to take on that matter! :clapping:
     

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