Many times over the last several years I have done classes or training for folks and there has always been things that have been left out that are critical to the over all  productivity of the job.   These can be small things but they are really important.  So this is a check list that may help you stay focused and prepared.

Contractor Check List

Prior to the project starting

1.) Before starting the project have a signed contract.

2. Make sure the contract details your responsibilities and the clients responsibilities through the duration of the project.  If the responsibilities that you have laid down for the client are not meet then there needs to be a penalty for your wasted time.

3.) Create a sample board to be checked off on, and color sign off.  This keeps both parties on the same page.  If there are changes then there needs to be a change order document stating the changes and or add-on's.

4.) Make sure your schedule and there schedule can accommodate each other nicely.

Starting the project

1.) When you start the project if something is wrong right away , deal with it promptly.

Example:  I started a project one time and I requested a water hose to be present in our area.  It was new construction.  When I got there the project was down stairs (many stairs)  and the water was actually about 800 feet out side on a neighbors house.   I had to stop and call the owner.  I lost three hours waiting for 55 gallon drums to be delivered placed in the basement and then filled with water from 5 gal buckets.

2.) Protect every thing that can be damaged from dust, wet mud, stains and other debris.

3.) Keep the work area clean.

4.) Make sure you have access to all your materials and the house.

Example:    Showing up with locked doors, wife is gone ect. ect.

5.) Make sure the area itself has been prepared. 

Example:   If the client said the piano was going to be moved out for you...and its not out ( his responsibility )  you show up and its still there... you run the risk of having to move it yourself and damaging it.   If you have  a penalty that will be added to the project for the time wasted because of the in action of your client then you can walk and not loose  your shirt. 

A penalty clause or statement can be as easy as ....  If the responsibilities set forth are not completed on the time appointed resulting in the stopping of the work progress a hourly fee can occur  at a rate of $175 / hour.   or what ever your breakdown is.

You will also need to cover this and make your client understand that your time is money and their responsibilities whatever they may be are very important.

Please feel free to add comments on any of these topics as this will be ongoing.

Views: 199

Comment by Tima on May 5, 2012 at 2:53pm

Thank's Master

Comment by scott dobert on May 5, 2012 at 4:36pm

nice list! one def to be used!

Comment by Beth johnson on January 15, 2013 at 9:02pm

So what does a contract you would use for this type of work look like? Is it a" homemade" thing?



Comment by Nathan Giffin Vertical Artisans on January 15, 2013 at 10:12pm

I have no set example other than ... examples of additions to a standard contract... It is very important to know the variables before you start any project...

Something like a penalty clause would apply for a out of town situation ...

You have allocated 5 working days for a project, the client is all ready a tight wad.  He says he wants to help by applying the scratch coat ( I don't suggest you allow that ) but what ever. 

lets say you show up and the Scratch coat is supposed to be done...   If it was his responsibility to put the scratch coat up and he didn't   ... You just lost one full day.   Regards who puts it up.. You still have an issue.  

If I allocate responsibilities to some one not under my control I may insert a clause to protect me from that kind of nonsense.  

Or I may just walk....  I have never given a deposit back and walked but there was one time I was very close to doing just that.

There was one contractor / home owner who played the game very well.... he knew how much money you had, he assessed you situation by certain questions he asked.   He knew if he manipulated me and got me deep enough into the project that I had to finish because it would be more painful to walk.   This happened gradually first the draws got  smaller and took longer to get.   Be fore I knew it I was so far under the gun that I had to finish before I got paid even earlier draws.... I hated the control and manipulation ... all the while he was changing crap and adding little things to the show as if I had to stay in his good graces to see it through....

It is very hard to see some of this coming ... THATS why when something arises you must deal with it promptly and quickly.... avert the disaster....  Do not just forget about it... because you may be getting set up...deeper and deeper into the project exposing you more and more to risk...

Stick to the agreement and be ready to walk off until things are right... its a very stand up move ......

One time I had a guy simply tell me  that I was gonna do two more sections or I would never see the deposit... I was completely blown away by the outrageous suggestion.... 

I didn't have the nerve to walk so I did it... Lost money  on it too.  It infuriated me.... I gave it to God and walked.

As I was cleaning up the invironment I happened to  look at his book shelf.... It was filled with books on manipulation and how to never loss and argument.   I was out gunned before I knew it... 

It has been a habit of mine for many years now  to look around and study the environment and pick up clues to the character of a person.... 

Hope this helps ..... its a small percentage of people that pull this kind of crap but their out there.

Comment by scott dobert on January 16, 2013 at 6:04am

thanks for sharing this nathan .....very insightful!!

Comment by Beth johnson on January 17, 2013 at 10:34pm

very helpful....things to watch for . I appreciate it. By the way congrats on the wine happy for you. I would be curious to know how much time you have put into this project so far, I mean even before the work has even started?  Do you have a check off list so that you have all items you need at the job....or by now you have done so many you remember it all?

Is there a program you use to give a client a sketch of the job? Made my first clay model but client said a sketch would have sufficed


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