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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

Im a concrete finisher whos trying to make it on my own...

Im somewhat new starting my own concrete gig, but it seems no one ever wants to pay and mostly seems to be home builders... and its sooo annoying as we work to make a living.

Im in the process of getting ready for the concrete season to begin here in Canada and needing advice about collecting deposits from home-builders and home-owners. My question's about this is as follows:

1) What is a good percentage of the agreed contract to collect before work commences?

2) Do I return in full amount given as a deposit if the client changes mind or changes contractors when a contract is already signed? Would have a penalty fee like a restocking fee as stores do?

3) If a percentage is kept from the client of the given deposit on declined contract?

Thanks ahead for your input.

- S
 

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Super Moderator
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Well first off, my recommendation is start doing work for home owners directly, if you can retool to do that. It's called a prime contract. The only time I've ever been burned in this business is by another contractor.

As for a deposit. If it's legal, tell them they have a three day right to rescind and if they rescind on day four they lose there deposit. If they rescind on any day after day three and you've invested time and money into the job, then they will owe for work or materials on any amount over the deposit. They are less likely to change their mind if they have"skin in the game"

How much should you charge for a deposit? If it's legal I would start with 10 or 20%. If it's a builder get a much as you can possibly get, this maybe different with each builder. In other words you may be skeptical of some and fully trust others.
 

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Sophisticated Siding Guy.
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528 Posts
Without providing material I or needing to special order material it's hard to get a deposit.

I typically do 1/3 down, 1/3 on start, final 1/3 once signed off on.

The only time I get anything down payment wise from a general contractor is if it's special order material. If it's a builder I have a good relationship with I don't even worry about it then.

I don't start to sweat until it's 30 days from invoice. That's when I get on the phone.
 

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Thom
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4,137 Posts
no one ever wants to pay and mostly seems to be home builders... and its sooo annoying as we work to make a living.
then you are working for the wrong builders. talk to their other subs, look at other work they have done, then give them a price.

I would be surprised if you could get deposits from builders but, you should be able to get paid within 2 weeks of completion.

On a prime contract the amount you can get down is a function of the size of the contract. If it's a patio, sidewalk, or driveway, maybe 50% down, balance upon completion (when you strip the forms). If you work it right you might be able to get the other 50% while your guys are cleaning up after finishing the mud.

If the project involved multiple parts (footing, stem or foundation wall, and slabs) you can probably break the payouts into separate projects/payments.

On a whole house, I would make two payments. One for the Footing/Stemwall/Slab (including excavation, grading, and steel) and the second upon completion of patio, drive, sidewalks.

If you're going to be a contractor your most important tool is working capital.
 
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