Just curious if I send a quote to a client and they're good with it and then I do the work and just give them an invoice to sign. Is that ok or do I need them to sign estimate as well?
First and before you start the work, both you and the client has to sign contract / estimate first.
After all work completed you could provide the invoice. If the amount of work is big that mean you have to get paid in installment and not to wait until the work completely finish.
Make sure you get a contract and have it signed. A contract is the only thing that protects you and the customer if the relationship breaks down. Make sure it has what you are responsible to do and what you are not responsible for, along with payments terms.
You give estimate, then draft a contract from that, that you both sign. You give signed receipts for their deposits. They sign on contract, or final invoice as completed.You get paid, and give final receipt. I hope you have all your questions answered now Jason. If you had someone to call directly for help and advice it would be good for you. Experience is your very best teacher.
Thirty years ago, I was where you are now.
Paul's answer from Ambridge is a comprehensive answer. Be sure everything is spelled out in the contract clearly.
Having said that I have been lucky enough to have only run into one client that was more than evil in Toronto, in all my years of building and renovating.
I wish you all the luck with your new business.
Being a contractor is tough. You live and die on the trust of your clients. Sometimes, it makes sense to do work on a hand shake or a verbal "go ahead". At the end of the day, you are a contractor, draft a detailed contract and get everyone to sign it, including yourself. Your client will respect you for it. If anything is called into question, refer back to the contract for clarity.
Once you've completed the work, ask the client to release you from the contract and give them a written guarantee for your work.
Good luck with your business.
Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.Find your home service pro