One of the important things most new handymen neglect to do is prepare contracts for the jobs that they do. Contracts are a necessary evil when running a handyman business, as they clearly outline the services to be provided and how much they would cost. This prevents any confusion about the work your client should expect from you and describes any penalties you will incur if you don’t deliver services as promised in the contract.
There are several free contract templates that you can find online and on handyman blogs so you don’t have to pay a lawyer to draft one for you from scratch. If you can afford it, however, it would be prudent to get a lawyer to read through your contract template for any issues. If you are new to the handyman trade and need some guidance on contracts, then read on.
What Is The Purpose Of A Handyman Contract?
A business contract is an agreement between two parties that outlines details of their transaction and the responsibilities of both parties. It is advisable to have a written contract rather than a verbal one because written contracts are easier to enforce. A handyman contract would include items such as the scope of work, period it should be completed in, cost of the work, payment terms, how the contract can be terminated, and penalties for failed obligations.
In the olden days people could rely on gentlemen agreements and there was never a need to have a legally binding contract to transact. Unfortunately, many businesspeople have gotten burned by people going back on verbal agreements or suing them for things that were outside their scope of responsibility. This has made contracts a necessity for businesses, small or large.
Contracts protect both you and your client. If a customer decides to terminate works when you have already made financial commitments to carry out the works such as purchasing tools you will be able to sue them to pay your losses. Alternatively, your client can also sue you for works not completed according to the given specifications or within the promised time. This is why it is important to take out general liability insurance to protect yourself from client lawsuits.
Another benefit of drafting a contract is that it acts as a basis for resolving disputes that may arise between you and your client. Contracts also protect you in case you are unable to deliver services. The force majeure clause is often used for this purpose.
Do You Need Always Need A Contract?
As a professional handyman, it is important to get a contract signed for any work you undertake. This could be as simple as your payment terms on a proforma invoice. Whatever the case, you should always have something in writing covering the services you will be providing and the amount you should be paid and by when. This way you will never have a situation whereby a client denies your payment because you don’t have proof of how much was agreed for a given job.
Remember that written contracts are only valid if both parties have signed them so always explain contract terms to clients and then confirm their agreement to the terms by asking for their signature.
Do you always use a contract when providing handyman services? Let us know in the comments. For more tips in running a handyman business, read the rest of our blog.