Angelique de la Morreaux reports:
"Writing a valid contract for a fence protects you as the builder and the buyer from possible future litigation as it sets out the details of the transaction. A signed written contract is enforceable in a court of law, and can be used as evidence of the agreement and the terms of the service to be provided. Negotiate the terms of the contract orally...before writing them into the contract...Write 'Contract For Fence of XYZ' on the top of each page. Include page numbers on each page and a place for you and the buyer to initial. This protects you from the buyer stating a page was not in the original contract...Prepare a clause for the tear down of an existing fence, if any, and the disposal of the debris in a state licensed dump or recycling center. Include the procedures for removal of all items during the process to provide a clean worksite daily...Detail the terms of the contract. Be specific as to the exact location of the fence on the property, vertical size of the fence, length of the fence, and type of materials for the fence and posts. Include the amount of spacing between the posts and how far down the posts will be set in concrete...Compose a clause about licensing and insurance. Designate the homeowner responsible to secure the license to build the fence, while the builder is required to be a state licensed business with insurance for the workers...Record the financial information. Open an escrow account for the funds, if a term of the contract, and add the levels and procedures to remove payment. If there is no escrow account, write down the details for payment. Include the initial down payment and the terms of payment, acceptable means of payment, procedures for late payments and non-payment. Specify the differences between payment for labor and fencing materials as the material costs are required to begin the work...Define the warranty that comes with the fence. Be specific as to the repairs and time limit of the warranty...Give the contract to the buyer to review and sign. Make any requested changes, if you agree with them, and if not, negotiate the change before including in the contract. Once the buyer signs and dates the contract, do the same. Give a copy to the buyer and put the original in your file before beginning the job...Make the contract as specific and full of details as you can to prevent future misunderstandings."
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