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Sean
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Ouch - one item I do see is your payment plan is a little vague, I know you mostly do decks but this wording is a little to open IMHO

i.e. 30% of total (3rd draw) Required upon reasonable completion of framing, and up to completion of scope of work

I prefer to type mine in based on the project (one example from a deck / misc repairs around the house)
Payment Terms: 10% non refundable retainer due on signing based on combined minimum charges - Full cost of line item charges due at completion - 10% retainer applied to last line item to be completed (Exception for full cost payment - The Deck - 30% due at start of project, 30% due when framing completed, 25% due at completion of decking board installation, remainder due at completion minus the retainer paid)

I know its not the most elegant, but it eliminates any confusion & I am not out 40% if they fail to pay. In the case above - if the HO decided not pay at the magical 40% spot (your problem spot), no railing & no stairs would have been installed.

For other projects - I have dollar figures in there & I vary the language based on when supplies are due & payable, etc..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
not sure how its vague,

1st 30% is due at signing/paid up through footing completion

2nd 30% is due upon completion of footings/paid up through reasonable completion of framing

3rd 30% is due upon reasonable completion of framing/paid up through completing SOW

balance(10%) due prior to closing out permit.


this nonsence has wreaked havoc on my schedualing and logistics not to mention, being tied up with law suits instead of completed projects.
I've been tied up all day with emails and demobilization instead of taking delivery of decking and railing. Either way I'm paid up thus far. Its just becoming par for the course, as in almost 9 years in biz without dealing with any of this nonsence.
 

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Project Manager HFH..
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What is their reason for not wanting to pay you?
 

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framing complete/inspection, conveyed 3rd draw due via email and voice mail, no response, more emails/vm's hemming and hawing, more vm's/em's more hemming and hawing, notified twp, atty, demobe.

Have you tried to ask for your money in person? I know I would have a hard time turning you down if you were standing in front of me!:thumbsup:
 

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Sean
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Maybe its just me, but I could easily read that as you will ask for the money anytime after framing is almost completed up till just before the scope of work is completed, lights in, deck sealed, etc... which as a HO means I can pay anytime during that period. I know that is not what you mean & so do your customers, but it is not really clear. I would lose the ",and up to" as it is not described as you list in your reply that they have then "paid up through"

I do agree with the others above - is there an issue or reason that they don't want to pay? They seriously just want the frame sitting there with no decking or railing installed? I try to make sure that my phases tied into payments both occur at the end of a day. Do you want to see us back tomorrow - well... Seeing you have a lead carpenter - can they collect at the appropriate times or advise you of any possible problems?
 

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not sure how its vague,

1st 30% is due at signing/paid up through footing completion

2nd 30% is due upon completion of footings/paid up through reasonable completion of framing

3rd 30% is due upon reasonable completion of framing/paid up through completing SOW

balance(10%) due prior to closing out permit.


this nonsence has wreaked havoc on my schedualing and logistics not to mention, being tied up with law suits instead of completed projects.
I've been tied up all day with emails and demobilization instead of taking delivery of decking and railing. Either way I'm paid up thus far. Its just becoming par for the course, as in almost 9 years in biz without dealing with any of this nonsence.

Change the phrase, "Reasonable Completion" to "Substantial Completion" and define what Substantial Completion of each particular benchmark phase is construed to be.

Go ahead and see if you can use some of the language from my clause here:

Article 9)
Payments – Payments shall be made as provided in the agreement. The making and acceptance of the final payment shall constitute waiver of all claims by the Owner. Payment is due upon substantial completion of the work. If certain items of specified contractual work are incomplete, the cost of these items up to 5% of the original base contract amount, or a mutually agreed upon sum, may be withheld from the substantial completion payment at the Owners option until such items are complete or until the final walk through inspection has been approved. The work will be deemed substantially complete when the Contractor has completed all work called for in the contract documents and the work is ready to be used and occupied by the Owner, even though minor items may remain to be installed, finished, or corrected, provided such minor items do not have an appreciable effect on the Owner to utilize the work for its intended purpose.

Ed
 

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President
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When you see your lawyer have him help you with a new contract. I when thru that about 5 years ago. Now if the home owner won't pay the deposit I won't do the job. I just walk away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thanx ed, I will be taking another look at my contract,

whelp, make that 2 for 2 on 3, things are back on track now.
As to the contract itself, that is just attached out of my files (didn't feel like taking the time to delete out names/addresses), the actual one has the 1-800 # in it as well as estimated start/completion dates, I don't have an arbitration clause, so the font size doesn't pertain, the only thing that I'm a little confused on now is the "attorneys fees/court costs" portion.
As i read it on the bill, it seems that the mear wording of such would void the whole contract and be in violation of the Unfair Trade Practices/Consumer Protection Act, however:

"Owner shall make all payments under and in accordance with the terms of this Contract. Interest at the maximum legal rate shall accrue on all payments not received by the date they are due. Contractor reserves the right to suspend all work in the event that payments are not timely received. Owner further agrees to reimburse Contractor for all reasonable costs of collection incurred, including attorneys’ fees, costs and court costs"

does not in any way shape or form indicate intention/incentive to walk off a job and try to fleece a customer.

breyers/pa guys, chime in.
 

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Contractor
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to back what SLS said, make the draw requirements more specific as in what Ed said. Also using clear wording such as

Draw #3 - 30% ($4575.60) is due upon completion of decking
Final Draw - 10% ($1256.75) is due upon completion of project and walkthrough with homeowner

I don't round numbers off in my contracts-IMO it would look fishy if everything was in $100 incremements.

sorry to hear about your string of problems-does that mean you have 3 decks that are incomplete?
 

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Sean
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Glad to hear you got one taken care of - seeing your in PA (hint, hint - profile & location), you definitely need to get your contract redone. Here is one site to check out http://construction-contract.net/list.php?state=PA

You might also pull a search on here - as I recall someone has a word version available with all the proper fonts & wording for the cost of lunch
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
gents, maby its just me, but a deck as far as i know has footings, framing, decking and railing.

how the **** is it unclear that 30% is due at signing, 30% is due when footings are complete, 30% is due when framing is complete, and balance (10%) is due when sow is complete:blink:

anyway this ones back on track, so no harm no foul, the other 2 were from apr-june, so I'm going for the jugular. gotta go check my mooring than I'v got battle with hurr bill to attend to in rehobeth:thumbup:
 

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I found out a long time ago that "due at start of" leaves out all the interpretation bullsh*t of due at completion, due at substantial completion... etc... completion is up for interpretation, especially (substantial). What is substantial? To the contractor it is one thing to the customer it's always something completely different.

"Start of" is pretty damn cut and dry.... I'm here... I'm starting... you have my check? Tomorrow we start the footings, so you'll need to have my check in order for that to happen. Way simpler then completion and then you get some jackass customer who says... well I thought the dirt was going to be leveled around the footings? Are they really complete? Or get a job where a change is made and you're pouring 10 footings and the other 2 over by the stairs which were now added when the homeowner wanted a bigger landing can't be poured yet until the homeowner gets their uncle over the weekend to come by and move his boat... and suddenly he's holding your check... cause the footings aren't complete...meanwhile the uncle never shows up and you can either stop the job or move on to something else. With due at start of you are already paid for the footings and feel fine to move on to keep the job and your schedule rolling, with due at substantial and a customer not paying yet you now grind to a halt or go on a leap of faith and move forward unsure.

You know the drill, it will always be something. 'Start of' is way simpler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I found out a long time ago that "due at start of" leaves out all the interpretation bullsh*t of due at completion, due at substantial completion... etc... completion is up for interpretation, especially (substantial). What is substantial? To the contractor it is one thing to the customer it's always something completely different.

"Start of" is pretty damn cut and dry.... I'm here... I'm starting... you have my check? Tomorrow we start the footings, so you'll need to have my check in order for that to happen. Way simpler then completion and then you get some jackass customer who says... well I thought the dirt was going to be leveled around the footings? Are they really complete? Or get a job where a change is made and you're pouring 10 footings and the other 2 over by the stairs which were now added when the homeowner wanted a bigger landing can't be poured yet until the homeowner gets their uncle over the weekend to come by and move his boat... and suddenly he's holding your check... cause the footings aren't complete...meanwhile the uncle never shows up and you can either stop the job or move on to something else. With due at start of you are already paid for the footings and feel fine to move on to keep the job and your schedule rolling, with due at substantial and a customer not paying yet you now grind to a halt or go on a leap of faith and move forward unsure.

You know the drill, it will always be something. 'Start of' is way simpler.
I can agree with this and see the logic, I can also understand there will always be poeple who will argue what the definition of "is" is. That being said, I cant think of one job other than the ones with curved stairs where I will encounter one of those footing/framing out of normal sequence/progress issues.

As my progress payments are now, lets say a typical job my footing expenses are 2-4% of the total and my framing expenses are 15-17% of the total, as we all know the bulk of the expense is in the decking and railing. I'm already27% +/- in the green by the time footers are done, and another 28% +/- for a total of 55% +/- in the green after 19% expenses. with the decking and railing making up 41-48% of the total, at any given time I'm in the green, and I damn sure wont be taking delivery of the decking and railing without the 3rd draw, which still puts me 40%+/- in the green, so the ball is in their court. I've never had any of these issues before, and they are certainly not due to pay schedual ambiguity, all this stress just makes me want to hang it up all together. Funny thing was back in june on the last one, I gave several notices and received recipricol acknowledgements to the 3rd draw being due, but no 3rd draw, even though I was over half way through the decking already. I figured I'd give it a weekend and cool off, then pick up the following week, so I went out on my boat that weekend, HO calls me while I'm on my boat, asking me why I'm not there and if I plan on working today, I say I'm on my boat and I hadn't planed on doing anything until the 3rd draw was paid, they went ballistic then threatened to have my equipment hauled away, Had to get a police escort to retrieve my ****. I notified my atty, but told him to sit tight, lets see where this goes, so the husband calls me few days later wanting to work things out, paid 3rd draw, ok, finish deck, go to install gliding door, wife goes ballistic, again telling me to get off her property, so police escort #2 to retrieve my ****, now there gonna pay!
 
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