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trouble wording new contract

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    phone is ringing off the wall from my leaf cleanup adds. in these areas with massive oak trees, we do weekly cleanups, over the next 5 or so weeks. because oak trees never stop falling, you MUST have a cuttoff date. we use dec. 10th in most cases. here's how it works in most cases:i'll give a price for the cleanup. say it's $500 for the season. the leaves are cleaned on weekly visits over the next 5 weeks. now week one may be a light cleanup, it may be a heavy one depending on wind and rain. you may get the biggest drop on week 3. there is no way to tell, so that's why we charge for the fall season, and not per visit. $250 is due the 15th of november, $250 due dec. 10th. here is where it gets hairy......say u go on november 7th, clean alot of leaves. you go back on the 14th after a heavy rain and high winds. now most are dropped, this is a rough day, but the next 3 weeks are gravy, u just need to pick up the residual since 80% of the leaves have fallen. ok, so u get your $250 on nov. 15th. you've made the 2 trips removing the bulk of the leaves. week 3 is light coverage a quick in and out. OH NO, now it snows. you cannot complete weeks 4 and 5. BUT, like i said, 80% of the leaves have already fallen, and been picked up because of an earlier than usual drop. do i get paid the remaining $250? or any part of it? how can i word my agreements, to make sure to cover my butt, and be fair?
  2. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 2,412

    Keep part of it. What about having them pay in full before you do it and have in your contract you will pay them back $xx per visit you can't make. I don't think its right to do it by what percentage of leaves that have been picked up. That percentage is an opinionated fact.
  3. jpmako

    jpmako LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 593


    That is exactly why I charge a flat rate for clean-ups.
    In my contract it states that fall clean-ups will start around October 15th, and continue until approximately December 1st. (Approximately is the key word here) If we get snow and I cannot finish the fall clean-up which by November 15th is usually 85% done than that is what spring clean-ups are for.

    Here are two sections of my agreement

    1. Fall Clean-up will include: Picking up debris and leaves from all landscaped beds and turf areas on the above mentioned property and placing in an area designated by the client as suitable for dumping debris. Fall Clean-up services will commence around October 15th and continue until Approximately December 1st. This service will be conducted approximately every 7- 10 days at the discretion of the contractor. If the client elects to have the debris removed from the property the charge(s) for this service are as outlined under the section titled "Additional Services". Debris will be placed on the street in front of the property and will be taken at the time of the last visit.

    2. It is understood that depending on the length, and severity of any inclement weather, that it may take the contractor varying amounts of time to fulfill the work covered under this service agreement.

    This is another reason that I try really hard to sign up my clients for the following year before Fall clean-ups are started.

    Good luck!
    have a great leaf season!

  4. Eric 1

    Eric 1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,220

    This should do it for you Bobby.

    I work when i want/feel like it.
    If you dont pay me i will sue/kill you.

  5. chimmygew

    chimmygew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    Just throw in some type of disclaimer about snow. I would think something like that would cover it.
  6. SpudsM15

    SpudsM15 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    Bobby my contracts are clear and simple, last season I had no problems with it.. but that was only 12 contracted leaf clean ups...
    This year I have about 28 or so contracted....
    My contracts say for leaf clean ups...
    Fall Leaf clean ups will consist of 3 visits. each time of visit will be determined by contractor. 2 visits in nov and one in Dec/Jan..
    Last year I did some clean ups in january, when it was possible.
    All my contracts are on a 12 month payment plan.. cutting goes till the end of oct.... So I will be paid no matter what
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    BG, send Turfdude a pm. He'll be able to help you I'm sure.

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