Please critique my install contract

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Before I present this contract to the customer, I'd like to see what kind of advice the more experienced landscapers have to offer.

    Contractor will provide materials and labor to install landscape design as per plan. Materials to include:

    Sixteen (16) 5gal Nandina
    Ten (10) 3gal Drwarf Yaupon Holly
    One (1) 30gal Live Oak
    Nine (9) 5gal Pampas Grass
    Pavestone as needed per plan
    Cypress Mulch as needed per plan
    Metal Bed Edging & Stakes as needed per plan
    Crushed Limestone as needed per plan
    Sand as needed per plan
    Irrigation Timer, Wiring, Valves, Risers, Pipe, Drip & Sprinkler Heads as needed

    Contractor will warrant all irrigation work for a period of 12 months from date of project completion. Contractor will warrant all plant materials for a period of 365 days from the date they are delivered to the construction sight. All warranties include labor.

    Customer agrees to pay all applicable sales and use taxes.

    Customer agrees to pay 50% of the total price at contract signing. The balance will be due within seven days of project completion.

    Project completion is defined as the time at which customer signs off on the “project completion statement,” and such sign off cannot be unreasonably with held. In the event that customer feels that the project is not complete, they will refuse to sign the “project completion statement” and will provide a written list of needed repairs or replacements to Contractor within 7 days. Contractor will make all repairs or replacements in a reasonable period of time and will request that customer sign the “project completion statement” after such repairs or replacements are made. Should customer refuse to sign the “project completion statement” and fail to provide a list of needed repairs or replacements to contractor, the project will become complete on midnight, CST, of the 7th day after refusal.

    Contractor will not honor any warranties until all payments are made in full.

    Customer agrees to pay a “crew pull off” charge of $350.00 if customer requests any design changes after construction has started. Any design change requests will not be honored unless both parties agree to design changes in writing. If such agreement cannot be reached, the plan will be installed as originally designed.

    Customer agrees that, should they fail to render payment, in addition to all actual collection costs incurred by contractor, they will pay the following fees and charges:

    A late fee of $29.00 will be added to the balance due if payment is not rendered by the due date.
    A finance charge of 2% per month will be added to all past due balances.
    A fee of $75.00 will be added to the balance due for each request for payment sent via certified mail.
    A fee of $450.00 will be added to the balance due if a mechanic’s lien is filed.
    A fee of $600.00 will be added to the balance due if suite is brought forth in court.

    Price for Landscape Installation: $5,200.00
    Sales Tax : $416.00
    Total Price: $5,616.00

    OK guys. What do I need to change?

    Thanks,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,749

    I don't like the wording "Customer agrees to". It would be better to say "All applicable taxes will be billed to the client".

    The biggest and most important is to state that "any work not described in this contract is an extra and will be billed as such". That covers the unforseen whether it means bringing in a sub or billing your man hours for when this happens. It also allows you a reasonable markup for extra materials. This not only covers your tail, but keeps the client from trying to milk extras out of you. Sometimes this becomes the most lucrative part of the job.
     
  3. ckf

    ckf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    Pavestone as needed per plan
    Cypress Mulch as needed per plan
    Metal Bed Edging & Stakes as needed per plan
    Crushed Limestone as needed per plan
    Sand as needed per plan
    Irrigation Timer, Wiring, Valves, Risers, Pipe, Drip & Sprinkler Heads as needed

    Unless the design states what is actually needed, I would take these out and give exact figures. Otherwise the client can say they thought there was more going in such as more pavers etc...
     
  4. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    ++++Unless the design states what is actually needed, I would take these out and give exact figures. Otherwise the client can say they thought there was more going in such as more pavers etc...++++

    That's what I did last time and everyone told me to do it this way. Reason being, if I spell exact amounts out in the contract, the customer can shop the job with other landscapers for the best price.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  5. ckf

    ckf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    No disrespect meant on this, but they will probable shop around anyways. I know that here most people get at least 3 estimates for the same job. It is not always for the price but to see if different companies do it differently. Is this just a proposal or the actual contract for them to sign? Don't they ask you what the sq footage is anyways during the meeting? The reason I ask this is if it is just a proposal, you do not need to include that info. If it is an actual contract, you are better off spelling everything out so both you and the client are on the same page. I used to do something similar to yours a while back and it brought me more than a few headaches at the time of the final payment such as "I thought the patio would be bigger"
     
  6. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Posts: 1,557

    You need to put in a clause about the warranty of plant material. If damage due to customer neglect occurs, then warranty is void. A plant should not die within a year unless it was never watered for the most part. Also damage due to animals should not be covered either. You have to spell out every single thing to people now, or they will try to cheat you.
     
  7. askarvelis

    askarvelis LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    As I am applying for my contractors licence here in VA, They have some ground rules for what a contract needs to say, does your state?
     
  8. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    These are the mimimum standards for written contracts here in the Beaver State.

    OAR 808-002-0200

    Minimum Standards for Written Contracts and Billings

    (1) Landscaping contracts and subcontracts shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

    (a) Landscaping business name, license number, business address and telephone number;

    (b) Consumer's name and address;

    (c) Address or location of work to be performed if different from the consumer's address;

    (d) A list of plant materials, if any, together with the size and quantity;

    (e) General description of the work to be performed;

    (f) Estimated time for completion or estimated completion date;

    (g) Price and payment schedule;

    (h) Description of guarantee; if no guarantee such a statement shall be included;

    (i) Signatures of the business licensee and consumer;

    (j) Statement that the business is licensed by the State Landscape Contractors Board and the current address and phone number of the board.

    (2) All billings by a licensed landscaping business shall include the following:

    (a) Name, address and telephone number of the licensed landscaping business;

    (b) Name and address of the consumer;

    (c) Total contract price and amount paid to date;

    (d) The amount now due and the work performed for the amount due.
     

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