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I’m in the process of hiring a contractor to replace the wood trim around the windows on my house. I think less than 5 days work. If the contractor requires full payment up front, I am very reluctant to do that. What is a reasonable payment schedule to pay a contractor?

atheist611 5 Apr 16

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29 comments

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7

Half down, the rest after completion is normal.
Make sure you check out the company first. See if they have a website with customer comments. Check with the BBB for their rating before you commit to anything.

6

Every contractor I've worked with was half down, half at completion for multi day jobs

6

I think 50% when the contact is signed, and 50% when the work is completed, is reasonable.
Provided that the work passes inspection.
Make sure your contractor is licensed and bonded.

5

Half down and no more! That should cover materials. I don't get paid before I work and neither should a contractor.

Bingo!

5

If u got the material for a 5 day job I would only charge when im finished. if u need materials bought then look for half up front and half on completion. contractors all have their policy but for a 5 day job it shouldnt be much of a hassle to wait til completion to get paid if u already have the materials to do the job

jorj Level 8 Apr 17, 2018
4

Cost of materials first. Hours after the job is done.

4

NEVER pay 100% up front unless you want to appear on People's Court TV!!!!!!!!
Industry standard is 1/3, 1/3, 1/3, or for a small job, enough to buy materials and pay after completion. And Never pay that last payment until the job is complete to Your satisfaction...may hear whining about paying the workers,etc. a sure sign the job is over--for them! ou pay and will never see them again! Except in court....

3

Half labor and materials.

3

Do not do that. 40 percent at most.

3

On a job like this one where most of the cost is labour no more than 10% up front and balance on completion and inspection.

3

Sign a contract specifying exactly how long it's going take and only give 1/4 of cost when they begin work..

3

My last contractor, OK only contractor, was my son in law. I did not pay him the total up front, nor would I pay that much to anyone I wasn't related to. I'd give him maybe 50% to start and the rest when the job is done, especially as it "will take 5 days". If you pay him up front you might never see him again. Give him motivation to come back and get the job finished. And final payment only after you have checked the work out and it is acceptable and they have cleaned up after themselves.

2

In the last couple of years I have had new carpet, vinyl flooring, and windows installed. All have been 50% down. I would never pay everything upfront.

2

I would have thought a good company would cover the cost after getting a binding contract and that's the key to this. if it's not down on paper the law can't help you.

2

Make sure there is a completion date!!!!!!!!!

Hutch Level 7 Apr 16, 2018
2

Think he is planning the trip to the Bahamas on your dime.

2

I used to pay part down, and the rest when the job was finished. But be sure to get several references first, as some contractors are dishonest.

1

No more than 50% up front. Remember, the contractor must buy supplies. I can recommend one in Houston if you want.

1

Check your state laws. California allows only 10% up front

Im with you.

1

100% down with a 40% tip for the way he uniquely tucks the pencil under the brim of his hat. He has hacked his pencil, this means he is super-pro. I am surprised I did not see this suggestion in the comments already.

0

Ridiculous, the wood for window trim is not a big expense. I wouldn't ask for anything upfront personally. Materials is reasonable but 1/3 should cover it. This job shouldn't require any permits, which do require some time and expense before the work starts.

0

I just remembered that in Oregon the contractor is required to provide you with a document that is a lean on the property(yours) if the materials are bought on credit. Do not freak out, it is a means for the material provider to get paid, any decent contractor will provide this and show you the bill and the means of payment for the materials, which releases the lien.

0

Never ever pay a contractor more than 50 % up front. Used to be a contractor of sorts, furniture cabinet maker and would always ask for an amount up front to cover the costs of some of the materials, and a small amount for labor. If you are concerned about seeing the contractor again say you will give 1/3 up front, 1/3 half way through and the rest after completion. Legally do not hire anyone who is not bonded, licensed, and insured. In Oregon all contractors have to have all these and a contractor number. I have heard that in many States all it takes to be a contractor is a sign saying one is a contractor. Ask for references and check them. If you do not check and then find your money gone then it is your fault and you will have no recourse.

0

Nothing up front... get a written contract explaining everything to be done. Allow a 10% contingency for the unforeseen problems. Also include penalty for not finishing and note that payment is after a walk through and cleanup. Contractors have the money up front. If they don't ... they're not for you. Get rid of them.

0

I was a Electrical contractor before I retired. Sadly ther's are a lot of bad contractors out there, and they have gave contractors a bad name. Used to be a mans' word meant something. I wouldn't pay more than 1/3 to start and pay in full after it's completed, Get a contract, make sure it's what you want. make sure you are happy with the work after it's done. Any good contractor that would be reasonable.

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