Customer pays progress payment two months late


LawnSite Member
Holgate, OH
Here is the short version:

Large landscape install, with agreed upon monthly progress payments ( I am a solo op, so large jobs take time). The customer pays the progress payment two months late, I have stopped working on this job for the past six weeks waiting on payment. Now the season is getting late for planting, do I offer a deal to complete next spring, or is it sorry about your luck this is how its going to be and finish at full cost next spring?


LawnSite Platinum Member
Customers 2 months late and you want to play lets make a deal? I'd walk away as soon as the payments were caught up.

DVS Hardscaper

LawnSite Fanatic
County Jail
There is no deal cutting on a delinquent client.

Are you furreal?

You need to market your name, line up other work and move on.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Now, since I see you are working solo, let me ask this. Did you set up a written progress /payment schedule, and how well was that defined? It is a very easy thing to do in Quick Books Pro Contractor 2005. Have you kept up with, and be honest, the progress in the field the way you promised it written or otherwise? I know our crews and what they are capable of to the point wherew I can calculate to the nearest hour when they will be at where I feel they should be. They get rewarded for finishing early by being paid for the entire job time built into that job, so they don't slack.

After your field ops are all dialed in the next rule never to be broken is this. No money, no work. We take $1,000.00 to book and secure a timeslot. The day we show up starts the billing cycle, we work 3 days, the bill is produced at the end of that day, due by the following day. If supplioes are scheduled for the job, payment is required that day.
Unless other arrangements are made, and I have been assured the cleint will do what they say, and what we agree to, if we get no check, we hand the owner a 10 day stop notice as applicable by California law and move that crew to the next job.

Most people are good by nature. They do what they promise so long as you do the same. It has only been when we have worked with clients from other cultures that haggling occurs during payout. And, in their countries, that is how it is done. It ain't the way it's done in America, at least not where I operate..

Two potential traps contractors fall into. The first is not billing early and often enough. The bills should be sent or handed before any work is due, so the client is on the mindset this ain't no freeken charity show. By handing a huge surprize bill to someone, it will cause problems. I would rather have smaller amounts after work schedules are completed. The second, is with scheduling. What you told your client, should be followed, as close to the letter as possible. Sure it rains, and, materials come late and so fourth. Thats what phones are for. Communicate to them what has occured. Now if you have too many sick days, or two many other fires you have to pull off from the job you are on, those are not acceptable excuses to not be working at that cleints job. Communication is key.

Just like Chicago voting, we bill Early and Often. And we don't have delinquent clients. Think about it, if you do get one of those few who loves to screw contractors, would you rather be screwed out of a few thouand dollars, or $10,000.00?
This system might not be for you, but by far it is the best I have used anywhere.


LawnSite Fanatic
zone 7 CA
Because the customer did not hold up their end of the bargin I would make all the work that had been completed due and payable with two more payments up front(depending on how big the payments are)thrown in for good measure.But I would not be in that situation because it is common practice to get all your material $ and 1/2 your labor before you begin a job under contract.


LawnSite Member
I was involved in one similar this year and we are suing them for the last 25%. AMong numerous other tings like installing 30 trees and shrubs, 2 ponds and 2 waterfalls, I hydroseeded 3 acres and they never watered once and they are now using their dicked up lawn as an excuse not to render final payment. Do what I did lawyer up and keep the industry respectable. I'm soo happy I had a detailed contract with these people. They hung themselves and even supplied the rope.


LawnSite Silver Member
Frontier-Lawn said:
thats why i do no less then 50% upfront and no payment plans period!!!!!!

thats what i do half up front to cover my expenses at the very least.