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Question DetailsAsked on 10/30/2013

paying contractor in advance

What is recommended to pay a contractor in advance if any before any actual work is completed?

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2 Answers


I think it all depends on the job. If a contractor has to order special materials for the job a larger depsosit would not be unreasonable. Some items can not be returned by the contractor to his supplier at all and some there is a restocking fee as high as 20% and possibly more. Plus once delivered to the site they can not be removed by the contractor in my state if you do not pay untill it is worked out in court. In the past ten years or so I have been doing mostly kitchens and baths and I just set the customer up with my supplier and do not have that much expense before start of job so I take a minimal deposit, usually not much more than a few hundred dollars. I then take payments at start and at different stages of completion. On a simple kitchen like the one I am stating tommorrow it as $50 on signing, half the ballance on start and balance on completion. But tis is a kitchen that I am doing everthing including countertpo install so there will be no lag time. On a job like an addition it would be broken down in to many more progress payments.

I hope this helps, Don

Answered 5 years ago by ContractorDon


Don's method of having you deal with the supplier directly saves you markup cost and deposit issues.

Another way, that reduces the initial depsoit and the amoutn of money you pre-pay before materials arrive on site, is if the contractor is providing the materials, pay for them upon delivery to the jobsite WITH lien release from the supplier - then they are your property free and clear. However, you do then have to be careful they do not walk off or get used by other contractors on-site, and the contract has to make clear they are chosen and utilized by the contractor, so he is responsible for proper installation and warranty still.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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