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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We work with subs all the time obviously as a Builder/Architect/Designer/GC and we always require a signed agreement before work begins.

We use a standard agreement that our attorney based off of NHBA and AIA contracts. Normally, our subs don't have an issue. However, for some reason, PLUMBERS have had a MAJOR issue signing our agreement.

They say things like "I don't do business that way", or "I am not out defraud anyone so I don't need to sign your agreement" or "I don't believe it's fair for you to hold back 10% at the end of the project for 5 days"...and on and on.

Aren't these things standard? I've been doing this for 10 years and just recently have had such an issue with plumbers not wanting to sign an agreement but only wanting to work on a handshake.

Does anyone else have this issue? I refuse to work with anyone not willing to put our "meeting of the minds" on paper and just base it on a "handshake". I told them that that is bad business and also really stupid.

Thoughts?
 

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Kowboy
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He may not be willing to sign because if you read an AIA contract, you'll see that the architect can't be held responsible for anything, but the sub can be held responsible for everything.

Perhaps if these contracts were written more fairly, it would be easier to get subs to sign them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He may not be willing to sign because if you read an AIA contract, you'll see that the architect can't be held responsible for anything, but the sub can be held responsible for everything.

Perhaps if these contracts were written more fairly, it would be easier to get subs to sign them.
I'm sorry, anyone that does business "with a handshake" is a fool. Period. And I've told them if they disagree with any of the verbiage I'm happy to adjust it/etc.

I've done business "with a handshake" several times and 9 out of 10 times it bit me in the ass. If someone isn't willing to sign a contract, then they're shady - period. If you have good intentions and willing to take responsibility for your work then there's nothing to fear.

Ridiculous. Anyway, in the hours since I posted this, they agreed to sign the agreement with a few minor changes which I happily made.
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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In 20 years of subcontracting, I have never signed a contract with any builder. I have had a few sign my contracts though.
Ditto.
 

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I'm sorry, anyone that does business "with a handshake" is a fool. Period. And I've told them if they disagree with any of the verbiage I'm happy to adjust it/etc.

I've done business "with a handshake" several times and 9 out of 10 times it bit me in the ass. If someone isn't willing to sign a contract, then they're shady - period. If you have good intentions and willing to take responsibility for your work then there's nothing to fear.

Ridiculous. Anyway, in the hours since I posted this, they agreed to sign the agreement with a few minor changes which I happily made.
Maybe YOUR the problem. I have never had an issue where I thought I needed a contract with my subs. I sign two different subs agreements, or at least their qoute with some verbage. Thats fine.

The way I handle it is to send a letter to every new sub with my expectations and expect them to abide by what I ask them to, if not, they will be terminated. I also ask what they expect. The old subs I dont worry about.

I am the GC, I have the money. It is the subs who should have contracts :laughing: I certainly have a contract with my clients, although I have done six figure projects several times without one.

I am an honest man, I try and deal with honest people. Its worked well for me.

I dont really tend to listen to people who make arbitrary or general statements like everyone else is the fool becsuse we dont agree with you :whistling
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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I'm sorry, anyone that does business "with a handshake" is a fool. Period. And I've told them if they disagree with any of the verbiage I'm happy to adjust it/etc.

I've done business "with a handshake" several times and 9 out of 10 times it bit me in the ass. If someone isn't willing to sign a contract, then they're shady - period. If you have good intentions and willing to take responsibility for your work then there's nothing to fear.

Ridiculous. Anyway, in the hours since I posted this, they agreed to sign the agreement with a few minor changes which I happily made.
Call me a fool then. It works for me.

Maybe you need better partners.
 

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Love me some Concrete
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My reply to you would be: You called me, I do not advertise, no names on my work vehicles either. So you know of me through word of mouth, you then know my reputation, heard about my work and feel in one way or another that I will do the best job and I will. So I can understand you wanting to protect yourself but I am not having you sign a contract, so I would prefer that you also be honorable and there is no contract needed. If you insist, find another contractor.
 

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I'm sorry, anyone that does business "with a handshake" is a fool. Period. And I've told them if they disagree with any of the verbiage I'm happy to adjust it/etc.

I've done business "with a handshake" several times and 9 out of 10 times it bit me in the ass. If someone isn't willing to sign a contract, then they're shady - period. If you have good intentions and willing to take responsibility for your work then there's nothing to fear.

Ridiculous. Anyway, in the hours since I posted this, they agreed to sign the agreement with a few minor changes which I happily made.
I noticed that you placed architect before builder for your occupation. That provides plenty of context for me.

People can burn others or get burned regardless of a contract. I'm not saying contracts are a bad thing as I use them for all customers, but if I had any doubts about a customer or a sub I wouldn't be doing business with them regardless of a contract.
 

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i have only signed a handful of contract for GC's over the years.....as long as its the standard contract from the local builder association i also belong to i never have an issue with it......

i have the opposite problem lately.....i refuse to work for a GC unless they sign MY contract....they fight me and push it off over and over.....its getting worse....with some of my steady customers ive let it go a few times....

a handshake is a stupid way to do business in 2014, but its all too common
 

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Repair/Remodeling Tech.
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I'm sorry, anyone that does business "with a handshake" is a fool. Period. And I've told them if they disagree with any of the verbiage I'm happy to adjust it/etc.

I've done business "with a handshake" several times and 9 out of 10 times it bit me in the ass. If someone isn't willing to sign a contract, then they're shady - period. If you have good intentions and willing to take responsibility for your work then there's nothing to fear.

Ridiculous. Anyway, in the hours since I posted this, they agreed to sign the agreement with a few minor changes which I happily made.
If your high falutin ass talks to people like that in person, you need a good smack in the mouth from time to time...it'll break u of that chit. Come on up to IL, I know a fella that would be glad to start your training.....

EDIT:

you would get a knuckle sandwich from me if you tried talking to me like that nitwit..
You beat me to it, lol
 
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