Getting customers to sign a waiver?

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Posted by: from Georgetown
2/11/2011 at 10:52:48 PM

Quite a few of us legitimate contractors and tradespeople have been asked to do a job(s) where doing it the right way would cost the homeowners more money than they expected or had period. ie:(asked to finish basement that has already been framed yet no gasket or poly under bottom plate,out of square,no insulation,etc) And after letting them know the issues and problems that will arise later,they still insist to just carry on and finish and make it look good on the surface. Do you take the job and get them to sign a waiver that you told them of the issues and not held responsible? Or do you pass and let the fly by night guy come in and make it worse?

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Date/Time2/12/2011 at 8:10:55 AM

Hi Chris- I would pad the estimate a little to cover my time to get the gasket under the plate & square up- materials are already covered. Also its not that hard a sell to tell people you are going to do it right. They then know that you have integrity & will not compromise on quality. If they insist on a cover up, wish them luck & be on your way.

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Chris from C.C. Reno Inc. in Georgetown
Date/Time2/12/2011 at 9:05:24 AM

I agree Bill. In fact I just finished a job with that scenario. I did the opposite of a padded estimate and offered my time for free to make it right. Ended up framing was so bad I tore it all down and started over. They paid for materials. I only lost a day and half labour cost but I couldnt walk away thinking someone else would come behind me and do a cover up. They were really great people and I couldnt see that happening to them.

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Ron from Jaykob Isaak Inc in London
Date/Time2/12/2011 at 2:15:26 PM

If someone took their car in for brakes and told the mechanic that even though the wheel cylinders were leaking I just want the new brake shoes put on and I'll sign a waver do you think any good responsible mechanic would do that????? I hope not.

I also hope the mechanic would call the Ministry to have an inspector come out and pull the plates on the car until it was re-saftied, just in-case it was my wife and grandson who stopped for the red light in front of this person.

I don't know what to tell you except that there is no way I would or would I ever let my guys finish a job like that. the liability issues are just too great, what happens in 5 years when then family finds mold growing in the basement and their insurance company goes after you . You had them sign a waver knowing full well of the dangers that may arise deliberately putting that family and any other family that may live in that house at risk for money, and you will lose everything you worked for.

Jobs like this are best just walk away from they are never a happy ending.

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Doug Millott from jnd's Contracting in Gardiner Mines
Date/Time2/18/2011 at 8:09:13 PM


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Date/Time3/2/2011 at 12:00:53 PM

In electrical we have a similar issue, people wanting to do their own work then have us come in and draw the permit and get inspection or just ask for the work not be be inspected.

In either case, we walk away. Thankfully now the permit process (at least in Ontario) you can now add many details, so if somebody comes in after the job and does some work, you are somewhat protected.

What we try to do with the clients is educate them on "value added items" like using a conduit instead of direct burial for wire, minimum circuit loading, installing extra receptacles, switches, etc. So we give them the option, if there is one, on the code solution, better then code solution(s).


John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Datawise Solutions Inc

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Date/Time4/12/2011 at 11:38:20 AM

Hi everyone,

Great post from a Contractor side of things.

As a fellow contractor, I have to agree with what has been said so far.

To be a reputable Contractor, you must do it the right way, and not cut corners. If the home owner thinks this is wrong, or too expensive, then it is best to leave the job for someone who is comfortable with doing it the wrong way.

I have always found that it is harder to come into a job that has already been started, because some of the time the work isn't proper(no sill gasket, non- levelled walls, out of square corners etc...). When trying to work with other people's mistakes, it often takes more time out of the job, and the end result still has your name on it. So if it is out of square or not level and people notice this, they automatically think it is you and you are at a risk of being labelled a sloppy craftsman, and might not get a referal from that job. Referals mean everything in this business and people who regularily cut corners rarely get the referals needed and have to rely on cheaper quotes and poor quality. It just starts a vicious circle.

I always say, if you can't do it right, for the sake of the rest of our images, please don't do it.

I know it sounds like there are alot of reputable contractors on this site, which is re-assuring.

Bill Clawsie

Clawsie Contracting


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