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Staged payments

My agreements with clients always call for staged payments. There is a small deposit on signing. Then a larger deposit to total 50 percent once the design is finalized and drawings are completed. Then next payment is upon completion of all casework.

I ran into a small glitch with this early on because of the word “completion”.

One customer refused to make the payment because one piece of casework was not completed. We had a bit of a dustup over this because that piece could not be completed due to an undecided detail. It took some time to get that worked out and finish the last piece.

But after that I made another change to my ever evolving agreements. Instead of completion, I used the term “substantial completion”. This is a standard construction contract term and, by definition does not really apply to things like cabinetry. But the concept is obvious to most and it provided a way to get around the problem.


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