Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Dharma Building
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As I've said before, my area has a lot of older homes (100 yrs. plus), most of which have been through many remodels over the years. My question is whether anyone out there inserts any special clauses in their contracts to deal with the unexpected problems one encounters in this type of remodel. I frequently find myself spending huge amounts of time correcting framing problems, shimming and furring to match elevations, etc. I've run into buried gas lines for gas lighting and miles of knob & tube wiring. While some of this can sometimes be anticipated and allowances made, sometimes I find myself getting screwed. I actually enjoy the problem solving aspect of this kind of work, but I want to be fair to myself as well as the homeowner. Any ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
This is part of my contract;

(the Contractor) is not responsible for anything unseen. The owner shall insure the Contractor uninterrupted access to the jobsite during normal working hours. The owner shall be responsible for the location of all utilities.

The Contractor can not and will not be held responsible or liable for the presence of any fungi, algae, lichens, slime, mold, bacteria, wet or dry rot and any byproducts of these organisms however produced that may or may not be present now or at any time in the unforeseeable future.

A CYA clause. When working on the real oldies, I go over the possibilities verbally as well.
 

·
Dharma Building
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Teetor. How do you handle charges for additional work falling under this clause? Time & materials with a higher hourly rate or negotiated upcharge? Also, when pricing the base contract do you include any allowance for unforeseen problems that might not fit under this clause? If so, how do you calcualte same? As and example, on a recent siding job we removed frieze boards prior to replacing them and residing the house. It turned out that the existing freize boards consisted of two boards, tongue & groove, and were not only nailed to the framing, but had been nailed down through the soffit as well. All had to be cut off the house. Would this fall under your cya provision?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
Craig, I don't have separate contracts for different ages of buildings, just use enough clauses to CYA for as many circumstances as you can. Here is some more verbage that might help you out:

EXTRA COSTS/CHANGE ORDERS
ADDITIONAL WORK REQUESTED NOT DESCRIBED IN ATTACHED SCOPE OF WORK WILL BE AN EXTRA CHARGE. ADDITIONAL WORK TO BE APPROVED BY CUSTOMER PRIOR TO COMMENCING, BY SIGNATURE, ON A CHANGE ORDER FORM. PAYMENT FOR WORK LISTED ON CHANGE ORDERS IS DUE AT COMPLETION OF THAT WORK AND NOT AT END OF PROJECT.

HIDDEN DEFECTS
IN THE EVENT THERE ARE ANY CONDITIONS NOT APPARENT OR DISCLOSED WHICH REQUIRE ADDITIONAL WORK AND/OR MATERIAL, THIS WORK WILL BE COMPLETED BY THE PROCESS OF ABOVE EXTRA COSTS/CHANGE ORDERS.

REUSE OF EXISTING MATERIALS
AN AGREEMENT TO ATTEMPT TO RECYCLE OR SAVE INDIVIDUAL EXISTING FIXTURES OR MATERIALS IS NOT A GUARANTEE THAT SAID ITEMS WILL ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO BE SAVED OR REUSED. CONDITION, PREVIOUS INSTALLATIONS AND ATTEMPT MADE TO REMOVE THESE ITEMS MAY IN FACT DESTROY THEM OR RENDER THEM UNSUITABLE FOR REUSE.. CONTRACTOR WILL NOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR REPLACEMENT.

MATCHING MATERIALS
CONTRACTOR CALLS ATTENTION TO THE OWNER TO THE LIMITATIONS OF MATCHING PLASTER, STUCCO, CONCRETE, MASONRY, ROOFING MATERIALS AND ALL OTHERS MATERIALS, AND WHILE CONTRACTOR SHALL MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO MATCH EXISTING MATERIALS, TEXTURES, COLORS AND PLANES, EXACT DUPLICATION IS NOT PROMISED. CONTRACTOR SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO SUBSTITUTE MATERIALS OF SIMILAR QUALITY, PATTERN AND DESIGN IF UNABLE TO OBTAIN THE EXACT MATCHING MATERIALS.

CUSTOMER SUPPLIED MATERIALS
ANY MATERIALS SUPPLIED BY CUSTOMER AND INSTALLED BY CONTRACTOR OR SUB-CONTRACTORS OF CONTRACTOR ARE NOT COVERED UNDER CONTRACTOR’S WARRANTIES. CONTRACTOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WORK STOPPAGES OR DELAYS CAUSED BY MATERIALS SUPPLIED BY CUSTOMER. CONTRACTOR CANNOT ANTICIPATE ADDITIONAL COSTS DUE TO MIS-MATCHED, WRONG OR ADDITIONAL WORK CAUSED BY CUSTOMER SUPPLIED MATERIALS. ADDITIONAL FEES MAY BE APPLIED FOR WORK STOPPAGES CAUSED BY CUSTOMER SUPPLIED MATERIALS, ADDITIONAL COSTS MAY BE ASSESSED TO CORRECT OR ADDRESS UNKNOWN PROBLEMS CAUSED BY CUSTOMER SUPPLIED MATERIALS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
As far as I know, you will never be able to asses 'what might come up', there are just too many items. Termites, water damage , mold, plumbing, electrical and combinations of these and more. You have to calculate after everything is opened up. Subterranean termites on the 3rd floor had to work their way up there from below and they don't often go in a straight line. Something as simple as changing out a tub can easily go into double digit thousands and is completely undetectable to the eye.
 

·
Knight of Ni!
Joined
·
93 Posts
Mike I like some of the wording you have. Changing some paragraphs in our contract thanks to you. thanx, Met.
 

·
Flooring Guru
Joined
·
2,794 Posts
For Flooring:

"Additional charges can incur due to unforseen circumstances that arise during istallation. If this should happen, work will stop, and the scope will be re-evaluated.
If client chooses to cease the remodel due to additional charges, ________ will be paid for time used and materials purchased."
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
Craig said:
How do you handle charges for additional work falling under this clause? Time & materials with a higher hourly rate or negotiated upcharge?
T&M or fixed. I would quote it based upon the individual circumstances, however if I had quoted the original work as fixed, any additional work would most likely be quoted identically to the original contract. The exception is if you uncover a problem but you aren't sure if there is more yet to uncover just to fix what you have found. Usually it really only involves a discussion with the homeowner, such as "Well, remember how we talked about the possibility of this or that could come up? It has come up, come take a look and I will show you what I found and what needs to be done about it and how much it is going to cost." But if you can look at what you have found and diagnose exactly what needs to be done to correct it why would you quote T&M?


Craig said:
Also, when pricing the base contract do you include any allowance for unforeseen problems that might not fit under this clause?
No way. I'm not going to pad the quote driving the price higher for things that might be discovered. Simply discussing what might be discovered if you suspect there is a chance and discussing how extra charges will apply is more than enough. If you go padding every quote on what you might find you will be losing business based on the percentage of jobs where nothing more is going to come up.
 

·
Dharma Building
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to all. Really good advice. I like the contract language you use, Mike. It seems to cover most of the issues and is detailed enough to give the homeowner an idea of what it means. Working on old homes is sometimes scary - you can take a beating and/or end up with a seriously ticked off homeowner regardless of how well you anticipated problems and regardless of the quality of the work. Again, thanks guys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Great Help

I am running into a problem similar to what your saying. I went to look at giving a bid on vinyl siding. The house is REALLY OLD. The Facia board is fallin off and the roof is very old.. I am afraid to start due to not knowing what to bid. I dont want to tear into this house and loose money.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top