Construction disputes over payment

it's causes (and what to do about it!). Report 2

Have you ever had clients with unrealistic expectations?

You went to great lengths to show them just how much work was involved to complete the job the way they want.

Paul Johnson

You even had sketches and drawings to illustrate what you were about to do.

And . . . They still don't get it!




Another reason for trade and construction disputes

is their understanding the scope of your work.

Scope?  What is scope?   How big the job is perceived to be.

Too many small businesses use quotes that only vaguely describe the work they have agreed to undertake for the agreed price.

Some people just scribble a note the back of their business card with a price, and wonder why they find themselves landing in a Fair Trading tribunal hearing.



Unless what you are going to do is written down crystal clear,  

your client will end up insisting that a whole pile of work

that was not in your quote,

must be included.


You don't want that.



Because your quote was vague, you'll feel the need to accommodate the client and do the extra work for free, which will lose you money.



Avoid trade and construction disputes by:


Listing your work in detail.

Refer to plans, measurements, site visits, exact materials etc. It must be easy to see exactly what it is, you are offering to do for what she is paying you.
If there are any exclusions list them in detail
If there are inclusions list them in detail

If you are bringing in the use of your excavator or expensive equipment, include a separate figure (or maximum approximation at an agreed $ rate per hour).
(You have paid out alot for your equipment - you need to get a return on that investment.)

smiling face

Detail your insurance cover for her peace of mind.




In every job you must insist that any additional request, is a variation, and do not do it unless a variation is signed off on.

(Be sure to tell her, it's protection for both of you).


The Paperwork

Because Mrs Smith is so nice, perhaps you have allowed your documentation to slip.

Payment disputes thrive on the big empty space where nothing is written down.


The dispute becomes a “he said, she said”, and they are very hard to win.


This is especially true in tribunals where these disputes are so often heard.

Unless you can prove something with documentation, you are on the way to a hiding.


So keep every step written down.

Give yourself a 'paper trail', all the way along. Cover your A**.

Jobs are too hard to win to lose over sloppy paperwork.

Want to find out more about getting paid what you are worth? Fill in the blanks below:


Till next time,

 Paul Johnson



© Paul Johnson 2013

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