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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We all know a customer can cancel within 3 days but what about the contractior being able to cancel the contract?
If i have a signed contract from a customer along with a deposit but decide the next day i dont want to do the work, can i notify the customer and return deposit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Im creating an opening for a patio door and then installing.. They asked if i can install a "temporary step " so they have some limited access to the backyard before they have another contravtor install a deck.they asked me to do this as we were writing the contract, i said" i guess i can "and i write the words " temporary steps in contract.
After returning home i realize that could be a huge liability and then my carpenter said we cannot do a temprary step, it needs to meet code.
I sent an email telling them about this. They have'nt responded yet.
I have the feeling they knew the code and thought they could get it done on the cheap by me .. My bad for not knowing the code but be that as it may, i will void the contract if they dont agree to pay dor steps that meet code.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Of course he can make steps to meet code, i just thought they coud get some small tempory cheap steps. This will cost more, and thats why i am willing to walk away if that dont want to pay extra.
Should i have known this when writing up the contract? Of course.
The smart thing to do is notify them asap, which i did, and explain the issue.
Building steps ( 4 ft high ) to code is about 800 bucks with labor; simple , nothing complex and all wood, no composite.
Also has to have railings.
 

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Talking Head
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Of course he can make steps to meet code, i just thought they coud get some small tempory cheap steps. This will cost more, and thats why i am willing to walk away if that dont want to pay extra.
Should i have known this when writing up the contract? Of course.
The smart thing to do is notify them asap, which i did, and explain the issue.
Building steps ( 4 ft high ) to code is about 800 bucks with labor; simple , nothing complex and all wood, no composite.
Also has to have railings.
You can buy some of the cheap pt stringers, rails and 2x for very little at HD. How long does it take to nail em up?
 

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GC/carpenter
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power said:
Im creating an opening for a patio door and then installing.. They asked if i can install a "temporary step " so they have some limited access to the backyard before they have another contravtor install a deck.they asked me to do this as we were writing the contract, i said" i guess i can "and i write the words " temporary steps in contract. After returning home i realize that could be a huge liability and then my carpenter said we cannot do a temprary step, it needs to meet code. I sent an email telling them about this. They have'nt responded yet. I have the feeling they knew the code and thought they could get it done on the cheap by me .. My bad for not knowing the code but be that as it may, i will void the contract if they dont agree to pay dor steps that meet code.
We make temporary steps all the time for mobile homes that pass inspection. In order to get a COO.

Here's a pic of them.

image-2611252629.jpg

They have to get a COO before the home is completed in order to close the loan.
 

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Tell the customer the Temp step are a loan/lease, I.e. you'll remove them the day before the deck Contractor shows up, get a deposit equal to the material $ at least. Otherwise they'll be part of the deck...

Set a time limit, build the steps so you can get some salvage value out of them, Brand handrail(router,woodburner) them with"On Loan From/Property of your company's name & phone # "--Hinge pin mounts on the house, pull the pins roll on low flat bed trailer, unscrew house hinge leafs, Goodbye to Homeowners.

I'd talk to an attorney just to inform yourself for some future guidance, You've created a new exit, I don't think many juries would think leaving it w/out a safe access as reasonable... Fire codes(Call and ask the local decider) probably preclude just screwing it closed prior to decking? They got along for years? with out it didn't they?
 

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sounds like you screwed up on your bid? and now you want to walk away from a job because you suddenly realized your going to lose money?


I had a customer(through a builder) who wanted a tankless WH....every few days they asked about another brand name...and every few days I would rebid the thing..over and over....eventually I screwed up on my math($1000 off) and of course that's the one they chose.....I still did the project....I did it for less than my cost by $100-200....was I happy? nope....I screwed up and learned a good lesson from it.....seems like once a year I do some bath math and forget to double check it..it happens and I eat it

you can walk away from the job...if you return the money and give the owner a good excuse im sure it will go smoothly.....if it was your mistake then id say ethically you are in the wrong on this one
 

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Tell the customer the Temp step are a loan/lease, I.e. you'll remove them the day before the deck Contractor shows up, get a deposit equal to the material $ at least. Otherwise they'll be part of the deck...

Set a time limit, build the steps so you can get some salvage value out of them, Brand handrail(router,woodburner) them with"On Loan From/Property of your company's name & phone # "--Hinge pin mounts on the house, pull the pins roll on low flat bed trailer, unscrew house hinge leafs, Goodbye to Homeowners.

I'd talk to an attorney just to inform yourself for some future guidance, You've created a new exit, I don't think many juries would think leaving it w/out a safe access as reasonable... Fire codes(Call and ask the local decider) probably preclude just screwing it closed prior to decking? They got along for years? with out it didn't they?
Why would a customer agree to any of that? A time limit after which you're going to take them away? The contract's already signed.
 

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Phd
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If you agreed to build the steps in your contract, you need to build the steps. Period.

Sometimes your the windshield, sometimes your the bug.

Happens to ALL of us, from time to time.
 

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We all know a customer can cancel within 3 days but what about the contractior being able to cancel the contract?
If i have a signed contract from a customer along with a deposit but decide the next day i dont want to do the work, can i notify the customer and return deposit?
I don't see the problem. You should of included them in your initial bid. But be that as it may you're only human. Ask them for the extra money. Maybe in a change order. If they refuse then you have your answer. Good luck.
 

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kinda leaning towards the lesson learned thing.....do the job as the contract was signed. Karma's a *****...and would you let someone out of a contract, after three days, if they realize they over spent with money they didnt have?

****EDIT...thanks SFO
let me rephrase that....after looking back at that post, looks like I wouldn't let someone out. not sure where i was going with that train ride of a thought. But if I sign a contract with a client, and made a mistake, depending on the size of the mistake, id either eat it, or try to work it out with the client.
 

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sounds like you screwed up on your bid? and now you want to walk away from a job because you suddenly realized your going to lose money?


I had a customer(through a builder) who wanted a tankless WH....every few days they asked about another brand name...and every few days I would rebid the thing..over and over....eventually I screwed up on my math($1000 off) and of course that's the one they chose.....I still did the project....I did it for less than my cost by $100-200....was I happy? nope....I screwed up and learned a good lesson from it.....seems like once a year I do some bath math and forget to double check it..it happens and I eat it

you can walk away from the job...if you return the money and give the owner a good excuse im sure it will go smoothly.....if it was your mistake then id say ethically you are in the wrong on this one
This is one of those areas where I tend to think one thing and do another. In the case of the OP's problem I'd just take care of the stairs because there shouldn't be any way that he's in the red because of a set of temp stairs. In the case of what Huggy is talking about I would have told my customer about the mistake in the BID and adjusted it.

I have no qualms about withdrawing a bid due to bad math. I don't even have a problem with someone backing out of a contract for that reason as long as it doesn't cause financial hardship for the other party due to scheduling, etc.. My sense of honor doesn't tell me to take food off my family's table so I can stick to a bad quote. I owe my family more than I owe any customer. When I'm on my deathbed(hopefully as an old man) that customer isn't going to be there holding my hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Of course i should have taken into account the extra cost for stairs. Of course its my fault but i innocently thought they just wanted a few steps for a few weeks until the deck was built. It was after they called me a few hours after i left and asked some bs question about the patio door and they threw in ; " when you build our steps, make sure there are railings"..
Thats when i said to myself " what !!!!!!!
They knew they got over on me and i dont like when someone usnt straight up with me. Thats why i kind of want to walk no matter what.
I like money but dont need it that much.
Thank you Ethan...good advice.
 

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CarpenterSFO, The CUSTOMER asked for temporary steps.... Having discovered that even temp steps would be have to be built to "Code" and THEN not sharing that information with the bidder. The railing was a "hidden" condition...
But even OSHA requires a railing on temporary steps......More then 18"(three steps) here = Railing even on concrete walkways code wise for over 30 yrs...

Power, rereading your posts you agreed on the temp stairs in good faith, give them their temps made out of MDO and cornstalks(OSB)studs. Try printing the word ESTIMATE on the top of your next work order instead a hard #.
 

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If you dont feel comfortable with the customer, cancel. Life goes on. You'll find more work. You gotta go by your gut feeling.
 
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