I'm having a 350 sq. ft. room addition to the back of my house done soon;
the contractor we've chosen has presented me with a form, buildersbook.com
#203, that lists four progress payments to be made- first in our case is
written in as "foundation" and amount is $15,000. He wants this payment a
few days fter we sign the contract. Next to these four listed payments is a
statement on the form which says "it is against the law for a contractor to
collect payment for work not yet completed, or for materials not yet
delivered. However, a contractor may require a downpayment." (?) Above a
ll this is a place for the standard "down payment" which is due on signing
the form.. as is the law in California, that's $1000.00, and that's what is
written in. My question is- on a job which is bid at $70,000.00 total, is
it normal for the contractor to ask for this amount of money up front?
Should I make a separate, more detailed, set of progress payments up myself?
I'm not in California, possibly you should ask a lawyer about the contract
clause you describe..
However, on big jobs I've always been presented with something like 1/3 at
beginning, 1/3 half way, and 1/3 on completion. On my kitchen remod, it was 1/2
at beginning due to all the materials and kinds of labor involved, 1/2 at end
(it turned out to be 1/4 close to end, 1/4 at end, though that was with a
contractor who has done a lot of work for me, things were going well, and he
needed to square up a subcontractor).
Gosh, $1000.00 is so easy to walk away from given a seven-tens of thousands kind
of project, and so much needs to be acquired as far as materials, etc., that's
not a very fair requirement IMO.
But, again, I'm not in CA..
California has very strict laws as to what a contractor can ask for and
progress payments and so forth. The state may have information for
consumers online. If you are not comfortable with an up front payment,
change it to upon commencement of work.
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