Proservices maintenance services (PTY) LTD.

Danger Beware (please note)

Deposits, the pit falls

Normally when a deposit is requested before work begins a RED FLAG should be raised. This either means that the contractor does not have the cash flow to do your work and/or the contractor cannot purchase goods on account. Generally, we would advise you to stay away from any contractor that requests an upfront deposit for works not yet attended to. Also in most cases, your funds are used to finance another project to fruition somewhere else and by the time the contractor gets to site, your money has been spent.

If the contractor insists it is to buy materials, tell him/ her to bring you the invoice and once delivered to site you will automatically transfer the funds to the supplier in question. For progress payments or part payments, based on the initial quotation or tenders different trades, it is advisable that instead of part payments the contractor on completion of the task, and provided that you are satisfied, invoices you for the task or trade completed which the contractor has detailed in the tender document.

Additional work requested

Always ask for a quotation for any additional work that you may request before giving the go ahead in writing for this work to be undertaken. By ignoring this tip, you open yourself up to inflated pricing for the work requested.

Know where your payment is going

Your contract should reflect that all payments received by the contractor must solely be used for your project and any withdrawals or payments must reflect or bear a reasonable relationship to your project and the work completed to date. Insist on receipts or invoices for all payments made to your contractor.

Never pay the full price upfront

Never do business with a contractor who requests upfront full payments.

Retentions - how much for how long?

A 5% retention of the project amount for a period of 30 days is reasonable, this amount can vary to 10% as well. Never pay the retention out until all the snagging has been completed and then only pay it out after 30 days from date of snagging completed and accepted as complete by both parties.

Get everything in writing

Avoid Verbal Orders or AVO’s, put everything in writing, whether by electronic mail or pen carbon book or SMS, record it somewhere.

Dealing with problems / issues

Problems should be dealt with and resolved immediately and not left to accumulate. Reasonable time must also be given for the rectification of problems; this will avoid confrontation at a later stage. Put it in writing!

Are YOU at risk?

You are only at risk if you do not follow the points above. Most of all, to avoid the risks associated with the hiring of contractors, never pay for work not completed and do not feel sorry for the contractor should he run out of funds to carry on with your project - you are not his bank! Never pay the last payment without 100% completion of the project.