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Question DetailsAsked on 12/6/2015

Is it unusual for a contractor to ask fo rmoney up front?

Healthy Home restoration asked for money up front to install a vapor barrier. Is that normal practice.

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1 Answer


No - not for large, multi-day jobs or for ones requiring a lot of materials purchase up front.

Many also require a 5-10% deposit on all jobs, up front as "earnest money" to keep people from booking a date then backing out.

For a vapor barrier job, which is likely only a day or two, not much of a deposit should be necessary. I am assuming you are talking a crawlspace or unfloored basement vapor barrier, which would be a one day job in almost all cases - so I would say not more than materials cost would be appropriate - typically about 3-5¢/SF plus maybe a hundred or two $ for sand if placing bedding sand first, because he has no upfront planning or prep labor to speak of for this type job.

Be sure the contract specifies what happens to the up front payment if the job does not get done - or al least specifies it as an advance partial payment on the job, so he does not keep it if he fails to perform. Should NOT state it is non-refundable, though commonly will state is non-refundable if you back out without good cause - so read the fine print.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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