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El Jefe
01-14-2011, 07:39 AM
Hey those of you own a construction business could you give me a hand with a little Business Law project I need to do? This is the hypothetical scenario:

I am a small cosntruction business, a client has approached me about building a deck on their house. Said deck is 8' x 15'. I am supposed to develop a contract for the project. I am supposed to do any research and devise a contract that protects my (the business) interests. Does anyone have a common form they use they could send me to get a starting ground? I just need a template even to have a foundation. Hopefully someone can help me, thanks fellas!

El Jefe
01-14-2011, 07:40 AM
Edit: If you aren't a construction business, but know the legalities I should use, feel free to chime in also. Thanks :)

Jenson71
01-14-2011, 07:43 AM
Most Contract Law textbooks have sample contracts in an appendix in the back.

LiveSteam
01-14-2011, 07:47 AM
Ask Bugeater. He does proposals & contracts ect. I own a small masonry bizz. & work mostly on hand shakes. Never been burned. If I do work for some one who is not a home builder or contractor. I will ask for 50% up front & the rest when the job is done. If they cry about 50% up front. Its a good sign they don't have the money to start with. & I just say no thanks.

rageeumr
01-14-2011, 07:53 AM
I work for a small commercial contractor. I have templates for a few different contracts. Most are by the AIA (American Institute of Architects). They are reasonably balanced as far as protecting both the owner and the contractor. Let me know if you'd like copies.

El Jefe
01-14-2011, 08:33 AM
Most Contract Law textbooks have sample contracts in an appendix in the back.

I wish mine did.

mikeyis4dcats.
01-14-2011, 08:37 AM
We use AGC contracts. I could get you a draft, but of course it's about 20 pages long and way overkill for what you are looking for. Phobia might have something...see if he replies.

El Jefe
01-14-2011, 08:59 AM
We use AGC contracts. I could get you a draft, but of course it's about 20 pages long and way overkill for what you are looking for. Phobia might have something...see if he replies.

Yeah that may be a tad long LOL. I really am just needing a very cut and dry contract, but thanks man!

ChiTown
01-14-2011, 09:08 AM
Yeah that may be a tad long LOL. I really am just needing a very cut and dry contract, but thanks man!

Actually, this is a good exercise for a student to do on their own, without the help of professionals.

Just think through all the areas in building a deck, or providing a service like this, where there would be liability. Then, think of all the things that you are responsible for providing for the project, and what the client must provide - basically your scope of work. Tell them when you expect to get paid, how you expect to be paid, and when you will get started/completed. Don't make any guarantees that you don't have to, and make sure it makes sense to you.

Good luck:thumb:

Over-Head
01-14-2011, 09:23 AM
My signed Quote/work order has a few conditions ie: Payment COD 3-5 Buisness days, non payment after 14 liens are placed with etc. IF I don't manage to get a signed contract. Either way if it's on paper you at least have something to take to a laywer if the need arises.
What ever you use make sure you get THEIR signature somewhere on something.
UNLESS you pull a Richard Marcinco and send a dirt bag contractor trying to stiff ya a registered letter he has to sign for stating that reciept of said letter constitutes accecptence of all conditions etc...saved my ass a pile of cash last year :thumb:

In most cases the dispute is over non payment and or quality in my profession.
As has been stated if the client ain't willing to cough up a sizable deposit, turn and walk.
Been burnt in the past, (nature of the beast in construction in these parts sometimes) but you can certianly take steps to avoid 99% of it.

Stewie
01-14-2011, 09:44 AM
Actually, this is a good exercise for a student to do on their own, without the help of professionals.

Just think through all the areas in building a deck, or providing a service like this, where there would be liability. Then, think of all the things that you are responsible for providing for the project, and what the client must provide - basically your scope of work. Tell them when you expect to get paid, how you expect to be paid, and when you will get started/completed. Don't make any guarantees that you don't have to, and make sure it makes sense to you.

Good luck:thumb:

I think advice from a pro is a good idea, though. There's a line from a movie that goes something like, "There are 50 ways to fuck things up. If you can think of 25 of them beforehand you're a genius."

El Jefe
01-14-2011, 09:53 AM
I think advice from a pro is a good idea, though. There's a line from a movie that goes something like, "There are 50 ways to **** things up. If you can think of 25 of them beforehand you're a genius."

I figured the same thing, I'm not trying to short hand this project, I was just trying to get an idea from someone who knows firsthand. Our Prof said we could use those in the business to solicit ideas and information from.

ClevelandBronco
01-14-2011, 10:00 AM
Ask Bugeater. He does proposals & contracts ect. I own a small masonry bizz. & work mostly on hand shakes. Never been burned. If I do work for some one who is not a home builder or contractor. I will ask for 50% up front & the rest when the job is done. If they cry about 50% up front. Its a good sign they don't have the money to start with. & I just say no thanks.

I know this isn't the subject of the thread, but I've bought many thousands of dollars of real estate improvements and I'd never pay a dime up front. It's a good sign that the contractor doesn't have the money to fund his "business" (or what he's pretending is a business) and I just say, "No, thanks."

Iowanian
01-14-2011, 10:41 AM
You basically need to define the scope of work, the deliverables, define things like who pays for materials, completion date and what happens when changes/modifications are made. Is there a concept design/blueprint or are you designing it? Is there an exit clause for both the contractor and client? If contract is terminated by either party, what happens?

Are you building it from treated lumber and the client expected it to be built from bristle cone pine and balsa?


I agree that this is a very good exercise in things you'll be dealing with in real life business.

Phobia
01-14-2011, 11:21 AM
I know this isn't the subject of the thread, but I've bought many thousands of dollars of real estate improvements and I'd never pay a dime up front. It's a good sign that the contractor doesn't have the money to fund his "business" (or what he's pretending is a business) and I just say, "No, thanks."

Heh. Well, I'll be the first to admit I don't. Times are tough on contractors. I don't always ask for 50% but I schedule fair payment intervals to make sure I won't take a bath if the client goes batty on me.

Phobia
01-14-2011, 11:25 AM
Looks like Iowanian has pointed you in the right direction. My contracts aren't chock full of legalese. They specifically say what I'm doing, by what dates, payment schedule, and have a list of exclusions. They also stipulate that I can't predict unseen problems, that if I tear into a wall full of mold that there will be additional charges.

El Jefe
01-14-2011, 03:03 PM
You basically need to define the scope of work, the deliverables, define things like who pays for materials, completion date and what happens when changes/modifications are made. Is there a concept design/blueprint or are you designing it? Is there an exit clause for both the contractor and client? If contract is terminated by either party, what happens?

Are you building it from treated lumber and the client expected it to be built from bristle cone pine and balsa?


I agree that this is a very good exercise in things you'll be dealing with in real life business.

We are supposed to design the contract ourselves.

Iowanian
01-14-2011, 03:11 PM
no...not what I meant.

Is the contractor(builder) working from an existing design?

Why is this important? Which type of construction will be employed? Are they setting it on posts and concrete? Attaching to house? Where are the steps? What type of railings? Is it in the contract that it will be constructed to the city codes regarding spacing for spindles etc...

I was giving you examples of items that need to be addressed in the scope of work and deliverables.

Who is responsible if you bring a fatty onto the deck and it fails...who is responsible if you get drunk with the contractor and lose a suburban in Mexico?

ClevelandBronco
01-14-2011, 03:23 PM
Who is responsible if you bring a fatty onto the deck and it fails...

I guess it's the fault of the guy who rolled the defective fatty.

kc rush
01-14-2011, 03:44 PM
Who is responsible if you bring a fatty onto the deck and it fails...who is responsible if you get drunk with the contractor and lose a suburban in Mexico?

:LOL:LMAO:LOL:LMAO

That replacement truck was something to see though.

Stewie
01-14-2011, 03:51 PM
Heh. Well, I'll be the first to admit I don't. Times are tough on contractors. I don't always ask for 50% but I schedule fair payment intervals to make sure I won't take a bath if the client goes batty on me.

I had a buddy that went out on his own as a siding contractor. He was a hero for asking for nothing up front until the house that bit him in the ass. He had several thousand dollars in materials and labor on a house that ended up not paying. There was nothing he could do about that job since the siding was part of the house and worthless (and expensive) if he tore it off.

Baconeater
01-14-2011, 04:18 PM
I had a buddy that went out on his own as a siding contractor. He was a hero for asking for nothing up front until the house that bit him in the ass. He had several thousand dollars in materials and labor on a house that ended up not paying. There was nothing he could do about that job since the siding was part of the house and worthless (and expensive) if he tore it off.
Yep, that's the side of the story most people don't get. If I walk into a store and take something without paying for it, it's a crime and I get arrested. If I hire a contractor and don't pay them, it's business and the worst thing that can happen is I can get a judgment against me. Either way it's fucking stealing if you ask me.