Sample of a Commercial Contract

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Fantasy Lawns, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    This is a sample .... giving credit to the orignal post link from the University of Florida .... which by the way has the BEST website related to turf only second by the University of Texas

    REMEMBER this ONLY a SAMPLE .... I don't use this anymore as it is too wordy for me .... BUT it did give me the foundation to create my own contract

    Bump it too the top fore all to see ... if you like or visit the web site for the orginal

    Part I--Lawn Maintenance Considerations

    All turf areas shall be mowed as needed so that no more than one-third (1/3); of the leaf blades are removed per mowing. Mowing shall be with a rotary or mulching mower. Mower blades will be sharp at all times to provide a quality cut. Mowing height will be according to grass type and variety. Clippings will be left on the lawn as long as no readily visible clumps remain on the grass surface 36 hours after mowing. Otherwise, large clumps of clippings will be distributed by mechanical blowing or collected and removed by the contractor

    Tree rings and plant beds and all buildings, sidewalks, fences, driveways, parking lots, and other surfaced areas bordered by grass will be edged every other mowing. Turf around sprinkler heads
    will be trimmed or treated with a non-selective herbicide so as to not interfere with or intercept water output. Isolated trees and shrubs growing in lawn areas will require mulched areas around them (minimum 2-foot diameter) to avoid bark injury from mowers and filament line trimmers and to
    reduce root competition from grass. Such mulched areas will be charged to the customer. Contractor will clean all clippings from sidewalks, curbs, and roadways immediately after mowing and/or edging. Clippings will not be swept, blown or otherwise disposed of in sewer drains.

    LCO will inspect lawn areas each visit for indications of pest problems and advise the client or representative of such problems. No pesticide will be applied to turf areas by LCO., when pesticide is applied by an outside contractor, we request verbal notice, 24 hrs before the regular scheduled visit. Records should be kept on pests identified and treatment(s) rendered for control. Pesticide applications will be made in accordance with the rules and regulations governing use of
    pesticides in Florida. Posting and notification of pesticide sensitive persons will be done.

    (See Optional Services)

    Part II--Landscape Plant Maintenance
    Considerations: Trees, Palms, Shrubs, Ground Covers

    Ornamental shrubs, trees and ground covers planted less than three (3) years shall be fertilized four
    (4) times per year. Applications shall be made during the months of February, April, June, and October. Shrubs, trees and ground covers more than three (3) years old in the landscape shall be fertilized two (2) times a year in March and September. Rate will be one (1) pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per application.

    Mature palms in the landscape shall be fertilized four times per year at a rate of 1/2 pound per 2 feet
    of height, up to 15 lbs. Palms under 8 feet tall will receive 2-5 pounds per application 4 times per year.

    All fertilizers should contain equal amounts of nitrogen and potassium and at least 30% of both elements should be available in slow release form. The fertilizer should also contain magnesium and a complete micro-nutrient amendment. The fertilizer analysis shall be similar to 828, 10510, and 12412.

    Established shrubs and trees in lawn areas exposed to lawn fertilizations will not be fertilized supplementary. Fertilizer applied to shrubs and trees planted in beds shall be broadcasted over the
    entire plant bed. Fertilizer may be punched into the soil on berms and slopes where runoff is likely.

    Shrubs will be pruned with hand shears as needed to provide an informal shape, fullness and bloom.
    Tree and palm pruning will be done once (1) per year and is limited to branches and/or brown
    fronds and seed heads below 20 feet in height. No green palm fronds shall be removed. All litter will
    be removed by the contractor. No trees under utility lines will be pruned and no pruning will be done
    during or immediately following growth flushes. Branches will be pruned just outside the branch
    collar. Pruning paint will not be applied. Sucker growth will be removed by hand from the base of
    trees. No herbicides will be used for this purpose.

    All mulched areas will be replenished once a year during the winter months (Nov. - Feb.). "Alternative" mulches (pine bark, pine needles, melaleuca, recycled, etc.) should be considered. Mulch should be maintained at a depth of three (3) inches. All curb, roadway and bed line edges will be trenched to help contain the applied mulch. Additional mulch will be billed at $ 40.00 /yard. Mulch will not be placed against the trunks of plants.

    Part III--Considerations for Optional Services

    Replacement of existing annuals may be done only after threat of last spring frost, usually between April & May, the cost shall be considered between both parties. Replacement of dead or injured plants due to pests’ negligence will be done at cost to client. Replacement of stolen, vandalized or damaged flowers will be charged based on /plant.

    LCO. shall inspect and test all components and zones in the irrigation system monthly and shall reset zone times according to seasonal evapotranspiration changes. Minor adjustments and repairs such as head/emitter cleaning or replacement, filter cleaning, small leaks, and minor timer adjustments shall be made by the contractor, with the client paying for parts. Once a year we may recalibrate each zone, during weekly maintenance FANTASY LAWNS INC. will note and report to client any symptoms of inadequate or excessive irrigation, drainage problems, etc.

    Repairs or system service beyond the above scope will be charged to the client at an hourly rate per
    man plus parts. LCO. will notify the client or client's agent, of the nature of the problem before repairs are made.

    Removal of thatch (a spongy, build-up of dead and living grass shoots, stems and roots) should be
    considered when thatch thickness exceeds one inch. The best time for thatch removal is March through August when the turfgrass is rapidly growing. Thatch removal is in addition to the basic contract charges. Verticutting, using a vertical mower, is the recommended method of mechanically removing thatch from Bermuda, St. Augustine and Centipede lawns. Blade spacing shall be 3" for St. Augustine and Bahiagrass , 2-3" for Centipedegrass and 1-2" for Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass.

    Bahiagrass lawns can be power-raked rather than verticut. Resulting debris will be removed. Remaining turf will be mowed and irrigated with at least ½ inch of water. Fertilization with a soluble nitrogen source at 1 pound nitrogen per 1000 square feet will be applied one week after dethatching. Scalping (close mowing) is not a substitute for vertical mowing and is not recommended for this purpose. (Priced by contractor on a per job basis):

    Installation of a rain shut-off device.

    Landscape additions/renovations/transplanting. Transplanting of existing trees will be accomplished during January/February for dormant species, and April - August for palms.

    · Plant or turf replacement (not attributed to contractor negligence).

    · Maintenance of aquatic sites.

    · General hauling.

    · Major irrigation system modifications.

    · Interior plant maintenance.

    Part IV--Considerations for Insurance, Licenses, Permits and Liability

    LCO. will carry liability amounts and workmen's compensation coverage required by law on his operators and employees and require same of any sub-contractors and provide proof of same
    to the client. The contractor is also responsible for obtaining any licenses and/or permits required by
    law for activities on client's property.

    Situations which LCO. may deem responsible.

    1.Any damage due to operation of equipment in performing the contract.

    2.Complying with all laws pertaining to protected plant species such as the mangrove.

    3.Damage to plant material due to improper horticultural practices.

    4.Improper replacement or retrofitting of irrigation system components.

    Situations which LCO. may deem are

    1.Death or decline of plant materials due to improper selection, placement, planting or
    maintenance done before the time of this contract.

    2.Damage due to improper irrigation components existing at the time of contract execution.

    3.Exposed cables/wires or sprinkler components/lines normally found below the lawn's surface.

    4.Flooding, storm, wind or cold damages.

    5.Disease or damage to lawns or landscape plants caused by excessive irrigation or lack of
    water due to inoperative irrigation components provided he reported these to client, or
    irrigation restrictions imposed by the Water Management District or civil authorities.

    6.Damage caused by or to any item hidden in the landscape and not clearly guarded or marked.

    7.Damage due to vandalism.

    Part V Property Description, Services Provided, Terms, Conditions and Charges (for possible inclusion)

    1.Contracts are normally for maintenance of property at an identified location and specifically

    2.The term of the contract. A contract can be for a single year or multiple years with a beginning
    and ending date. A cancellation provision should be included.

    3.The charge for monthly, specified services should be specified. A deadline date should be
    included and late payment charges should also be considered. Any additional or unscheduled
    services agreed on by client and contractor could be billed separately.

    4.Contract renewal provisions may also be included.

    The contract is signed by both parties, dated and can be witnessed or notarized.
  2. Hard Worker

    Hard Worker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    Steve, Can you link the Texas site you mentioned in your post? Thanks in advance.

  3. JCinTx

    JCinTx LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 30

  4. Hard Worker

    Hard Worker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    Thank you John these sites will be a great help! Billy
  5. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    I really do not understand why some people treat commercial prop different from residential. I let commercial props choose their services just like residential. I have more fine print in the commercial contracts but services are itemized just like residential. Why force commercial props into pruning, fert, and other programs if they don't want it?
  6. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    ALL Services .... beyond "Basic" Service ie mow, edge, weed-eat n blow .... is an "Extra" .... the template is only a "sample" ... most of my resi's are just "basic" ... some of those require "extras" such as hedging or basic weed control ... other wish fert n squit

    Fore the most part ... on Commercial work .... their "basic" includes .... hedging, weeding, fert n squirt ..... after that .... anual mulch ... many flower rotations ... the list is endless ..... long as their budget supports it
  7. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 802

    Because if you don't do the "extras" 2 things will happen.
    (1) The prop will look like crap after a while and you will somehow be responsible
    (2) Someone else will do the "extras" and I'll bet it won't be the prop. owners.

    Residential props have a chance that the owners will handle the things outside of weekly maintenance.

    Ever seen store employees pruning trees?
  8. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    I don't think its "forcing" them to receive services they don't want, I think its basically telling them these are the services you will need and done by a professional to keep the property looking like a professional maintain's it. A lot of "office managers", or store managers don't know the difference between an edger and a mower they just assume it will look like the professionally maintained store across the street.
  9. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    I quoted a seperate price for a complete fall cleanup for a townhome. The owner of it used to run their own team on his props now he hires out. So he decided against the cleanup, I simply side discharged the leaves on my weekly mow and when I came back the next week the leaves were up, and guess who did it, the prop workers.

    Sure it was not done as well as I would have done but good enough in the eyes of the owner, and if I would have said fall cleanup or I don't mow, I would have been out a great contract that takes ten hours for my one man opperation which works out to be 25% of my yearly income.

    I suppose you might run into some owners blaming you for not doing a good job or them hiring out because "their lawn company is not doing a complete job" but you may also end up like me with a great contract. Thats why I like to completly itimize each servive, if they do not choose it they do not get anything explained in that section.

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