Down Payments on Work

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by outdoors81, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. outdoors81

    outdoors81 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    If a customer accepts your bid for landscaping do you have them make a down payment? If so how much?
  2. WalkerMike98

    WalkerMike98 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    We Always Get 50% Down. Some Will Disagree With This But I Like To Cover My Own Arse. Dont Be Fooled, You Cant Always Judge A Customer Whether You Know Them Or Not.
  3. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    I usually go with a third down upon agreement/contract, a third when half completed, and a third when complete.

    I would add I pretty much just use this formula when working on a large project, generally anything $1200 or less we simply invoice.

    JKOOPERS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,259

    anything over a 1,000 and we get half down that way if they were to f$ck me i would have my materials covered at least .
  5. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    On residentials, this is the way to go. Though when we do commercial properties (up to $10,000) we generally just invoice. This is simply b/c most commercial accounts issue only one check.... upon completion.

    If we do a larger project, then we break it out and upon completion of a section or portion of the project, then we will bill for that while starting on the next project.

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,526

    i don't require a down payment, does your plumber,electrician,or whoever? i have a buddy who's family own a large electric contracting co. they dont charge a down payment on jobs and they go into the millions on bids. the owner told me that he would not even hire a contractor if they require a down payment to start the job. get a good contract and stick to it. it looks more professional. if you dont either have the fianances or credit to do the job you should pass. i did that with a roof on the house a few years ago first two guys show up in old beat up trucks, want half down in cash, third was a little higher but he was in a newer truck, clean truck and clothes no money down. in talking with him he said the same thing about he would never hire a contractor that requires a down payment.just my opinion but i believe it looks more professional to not get a down payment.also when you buy material you have the customer listed on the invoice builders and electricians do it and i have a few times that way if they dont pay the vendor comes after them not you, if you do this you give them a signed lien release when job paid in full
  7. alwaysgreener

    alwaysgreener LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Always get 1/2 down to cover product.. You can't go to Burger King and order food and pay them later..get money NOW..
  8. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    We always get 50% up front. For larger installs we will do 25%, and collect as the job progresses. :)
  9. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    a 5 dollar lunch is a bit different than a 5000 dollar install...beside you pay for you lunch and you get in about 5 minutes.

    they deliver pizza with out askingfor money up front....

    I think alot of it depends on your client and the size of the job.....

    When I had my siding and AC done this year, they wanted 1/3 down as good faith to order the materials and schedule the work....

    If you client doesn't have half of the money now, who says they have any of it when your done....
  10. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 698

    Get 1/2 up front to cover materials and a little bit of the labor. Like said before, you have to make sure the customer is even willing to put up the money before you do anything. If you aren't taking anything up front I would wonder what kind of product I was getting, I would think something very cheap.

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