I want to be fair, but I don't want to get screwed. What's usual and
customary for payment terms with a painter (entire house, all white
including trim, vacant, interior only, 1600 square feet)?
How about carpeting or tile work- after the paint is done?
I just had mine done, for simplicity sake let use 2500.00, my payments,
which I thought were excellent was:
500 at the contract signing
1000 after the prime coat was complete
1000 after the final coat and job was to my satisfaction.
If you need an excellent recomendation for the Massachusetts area, let me
know. I can't even begin to tell you how satisfied I was with the people I
In Fairbanks, AK? Manhattan, NYC? Manhattan, KS? Auckland, NZ?
Zermatt, Switzerland? London, Ontario? London, England? Toronto,
Canada? Tokyo, Japan? Dallas, TX? Baghdad, Iraq? Surfer's Paradise,
Australia? Paris, France? Hong Kong?
I'm sure the price might differ. Without such info you're question is
You're asking about payment, not price, right? First, get references
and background on the contractor(s) and check them out. Check out
business licenses and any other certifications. Make sure they have an
actual address, not a PO box and a phone #. Pay as little as possible
in advance -- one recommendation I see is 30% -- certainly not more
than that. Of course, in the case of painting, supplies will need to
be purchased, and you don't want someone doing 3 gallons-worth of work
and then taking time out to cash another check and go buy the next 5.
Still, 20% plus supplies should be more than adequate. As Brian
posted, an interim payment, preferably after a distinct stage in the
job can be identified (prime coat completed to your satisfaction), of
enough to bring the total up to 60% seems good. And the remaining 40%
Contractors are stiffed by clients as often as the reverse. One key
thing is to get as much as you can think of in writing before the work
begins, for protection of both. And don't *ever* make the final
payment 'til the job is done.
If same contractor, these should probably be sequential,
seperately-negotiated contracts. I believe it would be unwise to pay
20% of paint, carpet, & tile jobs before you'd seen how at least one
of them was proceeding.
Yes, I'm asking about payment, not price.
Thanks very much for your suggestions - makes sense to me - I'll probably
propose something like 30%, 30%, and 40% - and see how that flies.
I'm in Dallas, Texas - just curious if there's anything I'd have to worry
about related to the contractor having financial problems with his
suppliers - I know that a contractor can put a mechanics lien on my property
if I don't pay - is there anything that can go through the contractor to me,
or my house?
Have no clue, sorry. My Tree-cutting Guy should be back in a few
minutes, after getting more "goop" for patching roof shingles (Isabel,
etc.). I'll ask him. (He specilaizes in "hardscaping" -- outdoor
concrete, etc., and got into trees(!) because they're often a
side-issue with his main business.) Logically, which is not a valid
legal position, I don't think anyone you engaged could divert his own
creditors to you *unless* supplies were contracted (by you), purchased
by the contractor, and not paid for. For an unknown contractor, I
would be very cautious about contracting for "supplies" unless quite
detailed. The ins. claims adjustor who inspected my house provided a
very detailed breakdown of costs for repair, incl. things like "30-yr
shingles" and even $4-worth of reinforcing wire for concrete work.
Presumably an experienced contractor could similarly specify precisely
what a "supplies" items in a contract would include.
I just talked to my contractor. There are such things as "materials
lien waivers" that protect against various liability problems. In
fact, if it is practical, you might consider purchasing materials
directly, and hiring a contractor for the labor involved. Indeed, if A
doesn't pay B for supplies or parts used in your job, and A goes
bankrupt or disappears, the parts/supplies person *can*, it seems,
place a lien. To be completely protected, it seems, requires a fair
amount of research, one way or another -- either into the legal
questions or the rep of the contractor.
My understanding (and I'm a contractor) is that this varies from
circumstance to circumstance and location to location. You'd be
better to phone up the small claims court where you live and ask them.
Yours are very small jobs -- I don't think I'd worry too much,
assuming the guys you're using have been in business for a while and
intend to stay in business.
As to payment terms, the usual practice here is
Painter -- 100 percent on completion.
Carpet -- 100 percent of carpet and underlay on delivery, 100 percent
of install on completion.
Tile -- 100% on completion.
It's really between you and the guys you are using -- smaller guys may
need some cash up front to buy the materials or they may not be
willing to trust you. What you're proposing seems fair to me.
On smaller jobs, I usually get half up front if I don't know the
people; if they've been referred to me and seem decent sorts, I
seldom bother with a deposit.
On larger projects, I get 10 percent up front and bill out the
balance in progress payments.
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