Good advice - Statement of expected services

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by bakerjw, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. bakerjw

    bakerjw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    I see a lot of posts on here where people get caught up in issues regarding work that is not performed in a timely manner, not performed properly, or not as expected, or whatever. They are not alone as I have been bitten by it as well. I had drain field issues a couple of years ago and am still having problems to this day. To resolve some of the issues the company that did the drain field came out and dug a trench on the uphill slope above the drain field. They were supposed to go down 5 feet or so with the drain pipe and cover it with gravel for $1,800.00. They ended up finishing the job only going down 2 feet and still charged me the full amount. It was only after I dug out sections that I found what they had done. Had I had the foresight to get a signed statement I would have legal recourse to get them to come out and dig it all back out and do it as agreed.

    So if someone is going to work on your car, paint a fence, dig a trench, walk your dog, or anything involving a decent amount of cash you need to write up a document detailing the following:
    The work to be performed described as explicitly as possible. With drawings if needed.
    A time frame for completion.
    The cost for the service. It is easy to add in a line about unexpected costs. This also protects the provider of the service. If someone comes in to redo a room and they find termites then they can't be held for the cost of repairing the damage.
    How payment will be handled (e.g. 50% up front and 50% at completion or pick up)

    It doesn't matter if it is your best friend, a relative, or Joe Shmoe down the street. A signed document protects your rights and to a lesser degree the rights of the person or company providing the service and it will be admissible in court if it should ever come to that.

    Caveat emptor.
  2. StupidBird

    StupidBird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    I second this. Too many projects from DH's buddies/random acquantances have gone awry.

    And pick ONE person in the family to be "in charge". Nobody likes multiple bosses. It's best if that person is ME. [​IMG] (Except for the kitchen remodel, in which DH was better than outstanding and most of the decisions I disagreed with at the time are now good._
  3. BusyBlonde

    BusyBlonde Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2011
    Bessemer City, NC
    I totally agree. From the contractor's standpoint, I am VERY detailed when preparing an estimate. At first, I drove my husband crazy. He'd want to put down something like $300 to paint bedroom - I'd ask him if it was just walls, or did it include ceiling and trim. What kind and finish of paint? Any drywall repairs? Etc.

    He really appreciates it now. He has had a couple occasions where he gave someone a verbal estimate, then they wanted to use a high-dollar paint, or expected extras for free. It caused some conflict, and made what should have been a simple job complicated. If it is all in writing ahead of time, and signed by both parties, it leaves little room for disagreement.
  4. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 2, 2010
    western Oregon
    You are describing a curtain drain and if you were promised a 5' trench and was not given that you have a claim regardless as a verbal agreement is binding... if you can prove it, that is the key... witnesses are invaluable. I am a contractor of 25+ years.
  5. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2010
    yeah, and as a contractor, you always get customers saying... oh while you're here, can you fix this or that(thinking it won't cost them).... don't be surprised when your bill is higher than expected! Those little slip in's will cost you over and above your agreed price.
  6. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 2, 2010
    western Oregon
    Or worse they NEVER read the contract where it says just that.

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