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Old 01-08-2019, 06:29 PM   #1
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Default Writing a formal contract for interior or exterior

I don't really know where to begin with contracts. What should I definitely include? I would like to charge a 25% deposit, have it ready to sign after I estimate and they agree to hire me. Do you provide a copy for the customer? How so? What about email contracts, how would they sign and return say without a scanner? Do you sign it too?

Just some things I want smoothed out so I'm confident and not floundering. Seems basic but going from an employee to an owner I never did this stuff.

I'm trying to be as professional as possible to make up for my lack of references etc, since I'm going solo this year.

Maybe a basic template link for me to work with would help a lot too
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:26 PM   #2
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I use these guys for all my forms.
https://www.actcontractorsforms.com/
They will have the proper forms for your state.
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:58 AM   #3
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This looks great, the only problem is I'm in BC, Canada lol
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:21 AM   #4
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I use Freshbooks for my bidding/invoicing and love it. Clients also comment on the professional look and easy digital signatures. I include exactly what I'm doing, a price, and specific payment terms.

Freshbooks is mediocre for overall book keeping, but for bidding alone it's worth the fee.
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:55 PM   #5
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Just a thought, check to see if there are any specific contract components that are required where you are located. For example, in my state there are certain things that are required by state law to be in a contractor’s contract. There might be similar requirements where you live.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrushPro View Post
This looks great, the only problem is I'm in BC, Canada lol

Like already said, unless you have to have some specific things for Canada contracts, any of those forms would work for you. Call them and ask, the guys is a total D, but they do a good job.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:13 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info!
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:07 PM   #8
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When I left the paint company I was working with in Chicago, I took a copy of their estimate and used that as a template for my new company. It had terms of agreement and payment terms.

I included these on all my printed estimates:


Terms of Agreement:

Henceforth the term “we” will refer to the entity of Estate Plaster, the term “client” will refer to name stated in the above heading, and the term “address” will refer to the address stated in the above heading.

Accepting these terms of agreement authorizes Estate Plaster and its employees to perform the work as specified above. Any alteration or deviation from the above specifications involving extra costs will become an extra charge above the original estimate. This proposal will be withdrawn if not accepted within 30 days.


A payment in the amount of 10% of the total cost will be needed to secure a starting date. An additional payment of 30% of the total will be paid on the first day work is started. The remaining 60% of the total is due on the day of completion.

Accepting the terms of agreement obligates payment by the hereafter authorizing party in the amount stated above.

Client Signature: ________________ Date: ___________________________


You are free to use this, and I still use it on my estimates today in a similar form, but I use Houscallpro estimating software, which I feel has brought me up a level in professionalism, not to mention takes me 1/2 the time to do estimates now.

If you email me, I can send you a copy of one of my old contracts to use as a template. It will give you a good place to start.

And yes, you should leave a copy with your client. Best practice is to have a signed copy for them and a signed copy for you. If they give you a deposit check (I generally ask for 10% to set the date), I note that I received it on their copy and write down the amount, check number, date and my initials)

Hope this helps!
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