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I'm getting ready to write three of these up and I'm looking for some input. When you're listing your allowances and things you've included in the estimate do you get specific? And if so how specific for example trim packages. Do you show what type of doors and moldings you've figured? Do you have a picture of the windows you've allowed for? Doorknobs kwikset brass for example?

I'm thinking of doing a word doc and hyperlinking all the specific items, attaching pics any suggestions or other methods?
 

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Spell everything out as specifically as you can get.

Brands, models, trim hardware color(s), door, casing & moulding material, type of wood, grade & mill pattern, framing materials, roofing etc, etc ,etc......

In other words list EVERYTHING...:thumbsup:

Eliminates any arguments/misunderstandings later on.

Also your bid will shine leaving no questions & slamming the door on the low ballers....:laughing:
 

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stacker of sticks
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jhark123 said:
Specify, Specify, Specify! If you don't, the client will try to soak you for every upgrade imaginable. Heck, some will even when it is specified. You will have a better relationship and all parties will be happier if you spec the nity gritty. If you email me I'll send you a sample of my spec sheet.
It there anyway you could send it to me to?
 

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You're writing a contract, which to me means you already went over all the details and what is included in your price with the clients. In other words, you've been through the proposal phase and a couple of meetings and most everything has been decided and agreed upon. As mentioned above, it's all in the details. Be descriptive yet concise.

As for allowances you need to be specific about what your labor for that allowance item includes and exactly what that allowance item is.

You don't want to just include labor in your contract for tile installation. You must explain what that labor is for, "Labor included in contract price for 12"x12" ceramic floor tile installed in a straight/parallel pattern with 3/16 grout lines" otherwise the client will come back from the show room with inserts, three different size tiles, boarders etc.. and expect that complex tile design to be installed for the same labor price.

You're profit can be eaten up quickly with an ambiguous worded agreement.

Also, when reading the contract prior to signing you will verbally explain all the details and answer questions along the way. I've hand written amendments many times with client and I initialing them.
 

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This is a very interesting topic one that is very important. In truth it is impossible to completely cover every detail of a job. Crossing your t's and dotting your i's can only help to a point. What about the plumbing adhesive a plumber is using to join his pipes. The Bricklayers mortar consistency and mixing procedure. The Carpenters methods of of building a cabinet, or the glue used. The tilers thin set thickness, The painters wall rolling and and fusing skills. The list can go on and if they do not want to pay………:eek: the cost of a lawyer for some small jobs it is not worth it. :rolleyes:
If your a contractor and do not use Builders Specifications along with the plans itemizing everything you require a full-time quantity surveyor on your payroll…..:eek: Great if your that size go for it……...:thumbsup:

Do not take on to much work. Know your client, always have time for their questions and be on top of your projects at all times. I keep away from clients that want to micro manage, Have a few sub-trades they want to use, or want to run the show.

As for contracts yes I use then on some projects, but not on everyone.

http://shiptonconstruction.com
 

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Talking Head
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I'll throw a +1 on the SPECIFY train. I even include a print of the tile layout now as I've lost so much time to "small" layout changes that involve me cutting every damn tile three times.
 

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This is a very interesting topic one that is very important. In truth it is impossible to completely cover every detail of a job. Crossing your t's and dotting your i's can only help to a point. What about the plumbing adhesive a plumber is using to join his pipes. The Bricklayers mortar consistency and mixing procedure. The Carpenters methods of of building a cabinet, or the glue used. The tilers thin set thickness, The painters wall rolling and and fusing skills. The list can go on and if they do not want to pay………:eek: the cost of a lawyer for some small jobs it is not worth it. :rolleyes:
If your a contractor and do not use Builders Specifications along with the plans itemizing everything you require a full-time quantity surveyor on your payroll…..:eek: Great if your that size go for it……...:thumbsup:

Do not take on to much work. Know your client, always have time for their questions and be on top of your projects at all times. I keep away from clients that want to micro manage, Have a few sub-trades they want to use, or want to run the show.

As for contracts yes I use then on some projects, but not on everyone.

http://shiptonconstruction.com
You've never seen a Commercial Contract then.
Even the specs on the washer are spelled out and yes, even with Mortar and the consistency of the concrete to core samples to prove its right, temps of the blacktop after its been spread and compacted.

This is an easy way to figure out how to write a contract.
1) You can reference the proposal/bid which will have everything speced out or you can spec it out in a proposal that becomes a contract once signed by BOTH parties. But what should you put in there?

Anything you would want to be telling a judge to prove your point. A judge that has never seen the job or your work...

Yes, EVERYTHING...if you always want to win in court.
I think the saying is:
The Devil is in the Details
 

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LNG24…………….My good man if you read my whole post it says use a QS (quantity surveyor) …… I Have followed Specs from QS's on commercial jobs for years in different countries thats all well and good for certain size projects……………………..BUT if you have a 10,000 dollar job and spent a day writing up a document you learn of better and faster ways of delivering your work and getting paid. Sitting on my backside writing up a jigsaw puzzle of balony and then explaining it to your clients can also cause problems.

Of the thousands of contacts I have completed and fulfilled. There has been a more likelihood of trouble from the contracts that are signed and sealed properly, Than the jobs I have done without contracts…. Why The human factor:thumbsup:

http://shiptonconstruction.com
 

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Be as detailed as you possibly can with the materials you're proposing to use. List the manufacturer, model and finish of products, that way you will avoid any problems with customers down the road and you will look professional when presenting your proposal.
 

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Pro or somethin'...
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I agree with brian2014 but maybe that's just how it is in Alberta! I'm a contractor, not an office worker and I'd rather spend an extra day on the tools because of some extra than an extra day in the office writing up some lawyerly sounding script. It can work to your advantage at times too, when you have the freedom to substitute a cheaper product that performs as well.
 

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Well here in California (sue me lawsuit land) you practically have to be a lawyer as well as a contractor. It's not really that much more work to list the finish materials that a customer is going to see day in and day out, of course we're not talking about going into minute detail when it comes to pipe, fittings, wire, boxes, nails and screws and such.
 

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Well here in California (sue me lawsuit land) you practically have to be a lawyer as well as a contractor. It's not really that much more work to list the finish materials that a customer is going to see day in and day out, of course we're not talking about going into minute detail when it comes to pipe, fittings, wire, boxes, nails and screws and such.
Same here in NY.
Sure on residential, we might not spec which nails, but details will be specd and often use photos of items such as fixture, trim, level of finish.

And working without a Contract? :eek: Out here, that is a good way to not get paid...A few counties require it and if you don't provide it, you ain't collecting a penny in court, but you will be paying the fine.
 

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It is best policy to write up contracts, as soon as every product is picked by my clients then the work is basically done.

Was pointing out that the relationship between you and the customer is the most important aspect.
You can do the best workmanship in the world for customers if they do not fully understand and appreciate what is being done at their request then leaving it up to the courts is a lose.

If you have a problem with a client and still win they can still drag it on forever if they have the funds, it all comes down to money.

http://shiptonconstruction.com
 

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Brownchickenbrowncow
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To be honest specs and submittals are quite easy. Any product you may use you can easily find a cut sheet on it in 30 seconds online. Many specification can be referenced back to industry standards, like TCNA or what have you.

Two of us handle all this as a superintendent and project manager for a 29 mil high rise, 90 percent is boiler plate. Build your boilerplate, easy from there for then on.
 
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