In August, new customer called, got my number from an existing customer. Kitchen remodel job. So I meet with the HO to look at the project. Nice people.

So I email my proposal to them and then I follow up with phone calls. They said they were reviewing my proposal and would get back to me. They called back and said OK.

So, I send them a contract to sign but they never sent it back. They did call and asked if I would send my information to the village to start the permit process. I did without having a signed contract (never again). A month passes and I call again and they said they are trying to find a contractor for the demo/drywall repair. OK, call me when you're ready. Another month passes so I called them yesterday to touch base. I asked if I could stop by to make some measurements for the new service. This was my attempt to verify that I was still the EC for the project. So I bring another copy of my contract with me, meet with them, get my measurements and then I said, "OK, now I just need your signature and a deposit."

So the HO signs my contract but adds a clause that states that if the contractor responsible for removing the soffits and repairing the walls does not start his work within 30 days MY contract is void. Now I know why the HO is trying to add this but I wanted him to explain. So I said, "I'm confused. Why would you want to cancel MY contract if someone else fails to perform their work ? I can still do my job."

I knew the reason why. The HO wanted an out in case he found a better price from another EC. He could delay the start of the demo work and thus would be able to exercise the cancellation clause he added. I explained that my name is on the permit and if I wasn't doing the work I would pull my name off the permit Monday morning. I further explained that I have spent money to provide bond, license, etc. to the village. He reluctantly agreed. The HO then confessed that a carpentry contractor had a friend who is an EC and that's why the HO wanted the clause added to MY contract, in case the other EC was able to provide a better price.

So now I ask for my deposit ($800.00). The HO requests that my deposit be reduced to the amount of money I have spent for bonds, license, etc. I said no. We require 20%.

I also added a cancellation clause to my contract. They agree to pay me $200.00 should they request cancellation of the contract.

I drove straight to the bank and deposited the check.