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California CONTRACTS!

 
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Old 12-28-2017, 01:32 PM   #1
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California CONTRACTS!


I the contractor license material it says that your contract with the customer has to contain a preliminary disclosure, and several other things, in certain font size etc. Are these JUST to protect you in case you don't get paid or are they required? Does anyone actually put all of these in a contract? Seems like a lot of stuff. Is there a template anyone can point me to?

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Old 12-28-2017, 01:34 PM   #2
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Re: California CONTRACTS!


They're there to protect the consumer, not you and if you don't follow all of the rules, including Federal regulations, you can get in a lot of trouble.

Haven't been there for a long time but Craftsman books used to have a contract writer program, a little lengthy but very thorough, check them out online if you're interested.

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Old 12-28-2017, 04:34 PM   #3
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Re: California CONTRACTS!


Having a legally conforming contract is like pulling permits, having insurance or wearing a seatbelt; no problem unless you hit something.

If you have a problem, the CSLB will be all over you if your contract isn't correct. And the client's attorney will fry your butt.

On the other hand, a well structured contract will really help when things go south (and they will sooner or later). I've been through this with two bad clients.

I'd suggest buying a form contract on line and then running it by an attorney who does construction law. Yes it's expensive, but nothing like not getting paid or dealing with the CSLB.

Running a real business isn't just showing up with a truck and tools.
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Old 12-28-2017, 10:36 PM   #4
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Re: California CONTRACTS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio View Post
They're there to protect the consumer, not you and if you don't follow all of the rules, including Federal regulations, you can get in a lot of trouble.

Haven't been there for a long time but Craftsman books used to have a contract writer program, a little lengthy but very thorough, check them out online if you're interested.
Craftsman Books program was my first. I customized it heavily after that.


And yes, I put in all those disclosures.


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Old 12-29-2017, 01:39 AM   #5
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Re: California CONTRACTS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by cvtsf View Post
Having a legally conforming contract is like pulling permits, having insurance or wearing a seatbelt; no problem unless you hit something.

If you have a problem, the CSLB will be all over you if your contract isn't correct. And the client's attorney will fry your butt.

On the other hand, a well structured contract will really help when things go south (and they will sooner or later). I've been through this with two bad clients.

I'd suggest buying a form contract on line and then running it by an attorney who does construction law. Yes it's expensive, but nothing like not getting paid or dealing with the CSLB.

Running a real business isn't just showing up with a truck and tools.
The problem that will hit you the hardest is when you are 100% in the right regarding your contracting issues and the contractor's board makes you give your customer back 100% of their money because one small required notice is not in your contract.

The contractor's board adds new required notices every few years and also removes some notices. I can't remember which notices were removed. It is very difficult to keep up with changes and even my attorney has to do a significant amount of research to keep up with the changes because the changes are not always obvious. Although, the contractors board sends out a pamphlet a few times a year, but I have not seen one in about 5 years. Maybe, they are only online and I miss them.
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:36 AM   #6
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Re: California CONTRACTS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by daffysplumbing View Post
The problem that will hit you the hardest is when you are 100% in the right regarding your contracting issues and the contractor's board makes you give your customer back 100% of their money because one small required notice is not in your contract.

The contractor's board adds new required notices every few years and also removes some notices. I can't remember which notices were removed. It is very difficult to keep up with changes and even my attorney has to do a significant amount of research to keep up with the changes because the changes are not always obvious. Although, the contractors board sends out a pamphlet a few times a year, but I have not seen one in about 5 years. Maybe, they are only online and I miss them.
good quote. This will make it hard.

Bill

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Old 01-30-2018, 09:58 AM   #7
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Re: California CONTRACTS!


what da heck happened to California?
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Old 02-04-2018, 02:29 AM   #8
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Re: California CONTRACTS!


There is a guide on the CSLB website called Contracting for Success that lists all of the requirements. In my company, we've hired a law firm that put all of these things together, and as part of their ongoing service they provide updates to all of their construction industry clients to make sure that we are all current on this.

I heard talk of the Craftsman Book contracts. I've never heard of that one. But, if you're wanting to look at standardized contracts, here's where I've looked at before:

1. AIA
2. AGC
3. NAHB Contracts
4. ConsensusDocs

In the end, we ended up writing our own contract. We did it because we wanted to create a document that was simple, fair and easy to understand. We wanted it to protect our interests, and we wanted it to reflect the way we actually conduct business. The AIA contract for example, assumes that the architect is an intermediary between the General Contractor and Owner, and requires us to submit applications for payment to the architect, which is not how we normally process invoices.

I don't think there are as many compelling reasons to use a standardized contract document with a homeowner, as there is to using one with subcontractors, as this is a one time thing for the homeowner. I am tempted to use standardized documents with subs to hopefully ease the burden of reviewing contracts, and help them get contracts turned around faster.
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Old 03-01-2018, 06:22 AM   #9
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Re: California CONTRACTS!


in my opinion, contracts are there only to conform with the cslb laws so the contractor complies... clients really dont care about contracts in my experience, and the cslb only cares if the contract isnt correct... in california it all boils down to covering your a** to make sure the client has no way to screw you over, because they will, the first chance they get. im in los angeles and it seems, whoever has the most money to spend on lawyers wins any disagreement, even if there is a contract... to enforce a contract you literally have to go to trial which is very expensive. MY OPINON, get a good contract for clients, tailored to each job and make sure it complies with the cslb, also tailor one for each trade you sub out, always take progress payments as work is completed so your never too far ahead of the money, and do good work... most of the time clients are fine and will pay you, but every so often you get that guy who wants discounts, or just doesnt wanna pay... its easier to just let that last few thousand go and walk away than fight them over it, in california the customer is always right, no matter how wrong they are. thats just my 2 cents anyways FYI my contracts are roughly 30 pages, regardless of job size, i do small remodels, high end reno's, office spaces and restaurants.

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