ArboristSite.com Sponsors
 
 


Writing a contract

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by rtsims, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. rtsims

    rtsims ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Oregon
    I would like to see if i can get some help on writing a general contract that i can adapt from job to job.
    When i say general i mean an outline for pruning jobs, dismantle/removals.If you guys could guide me to
    any links or maybe even share some ideas that you use in your own i would greatly appreciate it.
    This is what i have so far. I used some of the info i previously found
    on the site. Thanks for that stuff guys.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011
  2. rtsims

    rtsims ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Oregon
    Well should i re-post this in another forum or am i asking a "top secret" question?
     
  3. 26newtreeguy

    26newtreeguy ArboristSite Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Springfield, MA
    That looks good. I have everbody sign one.
     
  4. lxt

    lxt Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,995
    Likes Received:
    241
    Location:
    pa.
    Thats very basic, I have a carbon type estimate/work authorization form!

    the one thing you will learn as you go along is that you need to protect yourself by incorporating "terms""rules" & contract adherence for the parties involved, such as: not responsible for lawn damage from tree care operations unless otherwise stated!!

    ive been burnt a couple times: some people think they get to pick what wood stays & you will take the rest (another example)

    within my contract is a section of small print which I go over with the homeowner, they sign & date or no work commences!!!

    a contract is just not a scope of work & payment terms, it is protection.............I have foreign debris clauses & several other outlined agreements/clauses...........beleive me in this economy customers will find a way to get more for the same or less!!

    just the other day I had a lady complain about her shrubbery not being trimmed low enough...........within my contract it states all trees, shrubs, woody specimens, etc.. shall be trimmed according to A300 (ansi regulations) & best management practices......as low as she wanted them would of been a yard full of sticks!!! she wasnt happy & I told her I cant/wont trim the way she requested cause the liability falls on me................she threatened action & I said fine, Im protected..........after she calmed down & I explained it to her she is still not happy but understands!!

    hopefully this helps!


    LXT................
     
  5. tree md

    tree md Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Messages:
    7,645
    Likes Received:
    568
    Location:
    Somewhere in a tree
    There used to be a pretty good sample contract in thread in this forum that you could download. I am looking for it myself right now. I need some kind of waiver for cracking a driveway with a crane.
     
  6. tommyo

    tommyo ArboristSite Lurker

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    va.
    Call your crain company and ask for a copy, modify it for your company.
     
  7. tree md

    tree md Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Messages:
    7,645
    Likes Received:
    568
    Location:
    Somewhere in a tree
    Bingo! Already did that. Just got it in my email. Thanks!
     
  8. rtsims

    rtsims ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Oregon
    Thanks for the reply lxt.

    I understand what you are saying as far as the terms, rules etc go and that they are "have to have" items in the contract so that it covers your butt. How far in depth and the total length of the contract is where i get lost. Im having a hard time finding the thin line between covering my butt, and handing the customer 10 pages worth of contract. I dont want to scare them off. Oregon already makes me give them 1 additional form, 2 if the job is over 2k.
     
  9. rtsims

    rtsims ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Oregon
    If you find it let me know.
     
  10. tree md

    tree md Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Messages:
    7,645
    Likes Received:
    568
    Location:
    Somewhere in a tree
    I looked through this entire forum and could not find it. I have a copy on my home computer which is 800 miles away. I'm having someone look tonight and see if they can find it on there and email it to me. If not I will put something else together. I'll post back and let you know what I come up with.

    It used to be searchable but the search feature don't work worth a #### on this site anymore.
     
  11. rtsims

    rtsims ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Oregon
    Awesome thanks. I havnt had any luck with the search feature at all. Im allways cruising through a thread and some one posts "search it, this has been covered" or something to that effect. So i search and come up empty. Then its off to searching the old way
     
  12. tree md

    tree md Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Messages:
    7,645
    Likes Received:
    568
    Location:
    Somewhere in a tree
    OK, here is a very basic one that I found in this forum. Sorry not to give credit to the poster but I forgot who posted it and I'm not digging back through the forum to find out.

    This is a basic one that I used and modified to fit my needs. Basic but binding:

    Name of client
    Address of client

    Regarding: Address of work Site

    As per your request, YOUR COMPANY NAME is pleased to provide you with this proposal for TYPE OF SERVICE services at the above referenced property.

    It is our understanding that based on our conversation about your property. You want (whatever the job is) (example: 3 stumps ground, on the northwest portion of your property)

    SCOPE OF WORK

    Task 1 – Grind stumps

    1) We will grind the stumps 6 inches below ground surface; the mulch created during the grinding operation will be placed in the hole left after grinding the stump.

    This task allows for the following:
    • One day of stump grinding with (type of equipment or general description (example 10 HP stump grinder)
    • Two workers
    • Transport of equipment
    • Removal of excess mulch (if required)
    • transportation and disposal (of mulch, wood scrap, stumps) up to 1/2 ton
    • Clean fill (if required up to 1/2 ton)

    Task 2 – whatever else you might do
    Permits, call before you dig, tree removal, etc.


    COSTS

    YOUR COMPANY NAME’s estimated cost for the performance of the tasks presented above is $X,XXX. Should there be any reason to modify the scope of work; YOUR COMPANY NAME will seek your approval before commencing any such additional work. All work will be performed on a time and materials basis in accordance with our Standard Fee Schedule (attached). Work Payment terms are 30 days from the date of the invoice. 1.5% late fee will be charged each month the invoice is not paid. (get paid up front and you don't need to worry about that in that case write payment in full is required the day the work is preformed)


    Limitations and conditions

    YOUR COMPANY NAME anticipates being able to commence work within ten (10) working days upon receiving your notice to proceed. To initiate this project, YOUR COMPANY NAME requests acceptance of this letter and confirmation of our engagement by your signature in the place provided below.

    YOUR COMPANY NAME will coordinate a mark out of public utilities on-site, however, the site owner must establish all non-public utilities. YOUR COMPANY NAME assumes no responsibility for the location of or damage to underground utilities not clearly marked by the site owner prior to commencement of site services. YOUR COMPANY NAME will require a 10 feet wide path to each stump, it is "the NAME of the Client” responsibility to clear a path to each stump, otherwise YOUR COMPANY NAME will clear a path (for Cost?) to each stump, YOUR COMPANY NAME assumes no responsibility for the location of or damage to trees, lawns, driveways, well heads, plantings, gardens, rockwalls. etc. (whatever else you want).


    If you have any questions or need additional information regarding the information presented herein, please do not hesitate to call me at (XXX) XXX-XXXX Ext. XXX.


    Sincerely,
    YOUR COMPANY NAME
     
    ctrees4$ likes this.
  13. rtsims

    rtsims ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Oregon
    Perfect.. Thanks much tree md. something like this is exactly what i was in need of. This helps out a ton.
    One more question for you. Do you schedule payment plans with any of your customers, or is everyone a pay on completion deal?
     
  14. tree md

    tree md Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Messages:
    7,645
    Likes Received:
    568
    Location:
    Somewhere in a tree
    Not if I can help it.

    I like being paid upon completion of job and modified my contract to say exactly that unless otherwise stated therein.

    If you are doing large jobs (IE trees on houses, insurance claim work) and using large equipment a lot of times people will not have the money for that right away. I always get the go ahead from the insurance agent before I get into a situation like that and from now on I will be getting a deposit up front for crane service and what have you.

    I have got one insurance company dragging their feet on payment right now even though the work was OK'd by the agent and was signed off on by the HO. I was paid almost half but the remaining balance is a month past due this week. I also got stiffed on one emergency job I did a week ago and I'm going to have to get a lawyer involved/lien on property and all that nasty mess. That is why I am getting a contract together that states there will be late fees and whatnot. I needed a better contract in place than just having the work order/invoice signed. Like I said, the contract that I had been using on large jobs is stored on my home computer miles away right now.

    Glad this helped you. I am the type of guy who likes to do business on a handshake but unfortunately we no longer live in a world where that is possible. Always good to CYA with a signed contract. :msp_wink:
     
  15. tree md

    tree md Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Messages:
    7,645
    Likes Received:
    568
    Location:
    Somewhere in a tree
    Well my faith in humanity is somewhat restored... No sooner than I hit submit on my last post the lady I thought was trying to stiff me called and said she would have a payment for me this evening...

    Knock on wood, I have never been stiffed on payment in 20 years in the biz. Sad to say, the only people I have been stiffed by is other tree men...

    I have had to make payment arrangements before and don't mind doing so for folks that are not so well off. Still... I am putting a better contract in place...
     
  16. rtsims

    rtsims ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Oregon
    I agree. I have conducted all previouse business with either a handshake or a signed proposal, mostly hand shakes. It has bitten me several times, two times were "friends" of mine with results of non payment in the amount of around 5k. Thats one reason for the contract. Im a small 2 man show right now, but im looking at the big picture and want to do it right from the get go. You have been a big help thanks for your time its much appreciated.
     
  17. abilitytrees

    abilitytrees New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston TX
    Thanks for the

    That looks good. Just make sure you are protecting your company...
     

Share This Page