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What is the typical pre-job deposit for a contractor?

Posted by kylie_m (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 15:56

Hello, I have a question for the experts out there!

We have a detached garage that is 4-sides brick on slab. It was built in 2005. A few years ago, we noticed a crack in one corner of the slab. Apparently it is getting worse because there is some separation on the exterior brick veneer.

My husband got 3 estimates from different local foundation repair companies. All the estimates were similar in terms of scope of project and cost ($3500).

So my question, what is an appropriate pre-job deposit? Does 1/3 sound right? All of the companies are scheduling 30-45 days out. $1,000+ deposit feels excessive to me just to get an appointment on the books.

Thanks for the feedback!

Kylie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What is the typical pre-job deposit for a contractor?

It's common to have a binder for a contract. However, it's normal to have a 1/3 up front when materials/permits are involved.

I just hired some painters for labor only, it was zero down, and paid them 1/3 when the job was almost complete. They were almost 2 months out when I was placed into their scheduling.

It's pretty simple if you don't like how someone operates, bottom line is to look elsewhere.

This post was edited by Roof35 on Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 17:28


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RE: What is the typical pre-job deposit for a contractor?

Roof35, thank you for the feedback. It's not a matter of not liking how they operate, I was just surprised at the one-third figure since it doesn't seem like the type of job that requires the contractor to have a dollar outlay for custom job materials. So I was curious if others found this typical, or not.

Kylie


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RE: What is the typical pre-job deposit for a contractor?

First of all, "X" is an unknown, and a "SPERT" is a drip under pressure..

WOW!

Apparently I learned ethics and integrity from the wrong set of individuals.
I have never, nor will I ever take a deposit from someone who expects me to preform for them.
No-one except me, is expected to guarantee my future.
I have never, nor will I ever enter into an agreement to preform until, we, are both ready to proceed in accordance with a specific set of expectations, in which no monies will be exchanged until either performance or material delivery has occurred.

I would suggest you revisit your search.


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RE: What is the typical pre-job deposit for a contractor?

"All of the companies are scheduling 30-45 days out. $1,000+ deposit feels excessive to me just to get an appointment on the books. "

Well if they don't get a deposit, you could just as well find someone else (in a couple of weeks) - they could possibly be out of a job for that alotted time.

WIthout a binder, you can just walk away.


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RE: What is the typical pre-job deposit for a contractor?

Or the opposite of Geoffrey's advice may happen in that you A) either end up with a hack instead of one of the good mason's available or B) you end up in the same boat trying to hire one of the same guys only to find they are 12 weeks out and you end up not fixing it and having to wait until spring (and possible more damage from frost and the weather)!


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RE: What is the typical pre-job deposit for a contractor?

There's "typical" and "typical for X". In demand guys can charge whatever they want, whenever they want. They are in demand because they do a quality job and aren't hacks. They've obviously come to that policy over time to weed out those who aren't serious about doing what it takes to get the job done vs. price shoppers. Foundation repair typically takes longer and costs more than a homeowner ever thinks it "should". If you don't want to work with the policy that they've developed then look elsewhere. Just be prepared that the tradesman that you engage that IS so readily available and doesn't want an up front deposit may not be as competent or timely with his efforts.

Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick 2. All three are impossible.


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RE: What is the typical pre-job deposit for a contractor?

Forest Gump would be proud of these "moments";
[A) either end up with a hack instead of one of the good mason's available]
[Just be prepared that the tradesman that you engage that IS so readily available and doesn't want an up front deposit may not be as competent or timely with his efforts.]

"Stupid is, as stupid does."

Would it be more plausible to assume that the "HACKS"
would not have adopted the "deposit" policy, as a business model, OR, that only those contractors who are fine upstanding businesses, demand a deposit?

Give me a break.

[In demand guys can charge whatever they want, whenever they want.]

This would only be true with the total disregard for contract law and the Business and Professional Code.

[They've obviously come to that policy over time to weed out those who aren't serious about doing what it takes to get the job done vs. price shoppers.]

Really!
So the deposit is to be placed in line for an estimate, not contracted performance?


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RE: What is the typical pre-job deposit for a contractor?

never mind, will save my breath.

This post was edited by millworkman on Sat, Aug 24, 13 at 12:52


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RE: What is the typical pre-job deposit for a contractor?

In my opinion, the right answer is "zero." I refuse to hire someone who wants money in advance. I've never had trouble finding a quality contractor who bills as work is completed. I don't want to deal with someone who may have potential cash flow problems or is on the edge regarding finances. I don't pay my dentist in advance and I'm not paying someone in the building trades in advance. On a job like this, the contractor does not need money up front. Keep looking until you find someone who is established and stable enough to not need your money. If you feel you really have no choice, tell them you will put the money in an escrow account, but that you are not sending them the money directly.


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