Whenever a landscaping project is started, it is usually the case that a contract will have been signed between the landscaping company and the client. That applies whether the grounds being landscaped are commercial or it is a residential client wishing their garden to be transformed.
If you own or run a landscaping business, you will likely be closely involved in the contracts created for clients. Each of these will be unique in the sense that no two projects will be the same, regardless of any recurring landscaping features which you are usually asked to create. The reason for this is that it is highly unlikely that any two locations will be identical, and even if they were, no two clients are going task for the same landscaping features
Although each contract will have specifics related to the project, they will also have clauses that are common in each one. Some of the details may differ, but these sections should appear in every landscaping contract you create. As for what clauses you should include in each landscaping contract, if you read further you will discover we have outlined seven of them.
Essential Clause #1 – Landscaping Services
The most obvious clause within a landscaping contract will be what work has been agreed upon between your landscaping business and the client. This will include details of the planning stage, and thereafter the specifics of the features that are going to be created, purchased, installed, or planted by you within the landscape design.
Essential Clause #2 – Dates/Times/Duration
Both you and the client will want to have an agreed timescale so that you both know how long the project is going to take. Simpler contracts might only have an agreed completion date for the whole project, whereas others might have a series of milestones that are due to be completed as the project proceeds. There may also be agreed times of day when the work can take place at the property.
Essential Clause #3 – Full Cost/Deposit/Payment Terms
This is an extremely important clause and one which is it is imperative that both parties fully understand. This will have details such as the total cost of the landscaping project, the deposit if applicable, and the agreed date and conditions for final payment by the client. It may also have payment terms should an agreement be in place for the client to make multiple payments towards the fee.
Essential Clause #4 – Guarantees And Warranties
Here is where you will be outlining what guarantees and warranties exist for the landscaping work you are doing for the client. Specifics will be how long these warranties will exist for, what remedial work you will agree to do, and what specific elements of the landscaping project are included, and which are not.
Essential Clause #5 – Cancellation/Termination Terms
There is always the possibility that before or during the landscaping project the client may have to or wish to terminate the contract. The possible reasons are numerous and, to be fair to the client, it could be for something which is outside of their control. This is why a cancellation/termination clause should be in every contract you create, including the terms and what potential financial penalties there might be.
Essential Clause #6 – Limitation Of Liabilities
This is a clause that has saved landscaping businesses tens of thousands of dollars. What it does is state what you are willing to accept liability for whilst you are working at the property, and what you are not. An example is the landscaping project being delayed due to severe weather not being your liability if the completion date is missed as a result.
Essential Clause #7 – Complaints Procedure/Dispute Resolution
Despite your best efforts and even though there is a contract in place, a dispute can still arise between your landscaping business and the client. You can pre-empt this by having a clause in your contract which outlines how such disputes will be handled and the process for resolving them.