Are you starting a new carpentry business? Are you worried that the terms and conditions of your contracts are no longer suitable for your growing carpentry business? Creating terms and conditions to include in contracts for your business can appear daunting at first. However, once you understand the basics, writing terms and conditions into your contracts can quite quickly become second nature. First, we will discuss what exactly terms and conditions are. Then we will come to understand why terms and conditions are important for your business. And finally, we will see how you can draw up your own contracts for your business.

What terms and conditions should I include?

Terms and conditions can sometimes appear to be self-explanatory. You should include them in your contracts in order to allow you to work the way that you normally work. As a Carpenter, it is likely that you will be working on a huge variety of jobs, from fixing a door, to working on the structure of houses. This can be problematic, as it is almost impossible to create a set of terms and conditions that will apply to all the situations that you will find yourself in.

For example, if you are working on the same job for a number of days, and you buy material from a certain supplier, the price of that material may increase. To account for this, you should include as a term in your contract that the price you charge for that material may be subject to change. Another example of a completely different situation would be accessing a house in order to work on a staircase inside. In this situation, it would be prudent to include terms and conditions concerning times, keys and whether or not you could leave your equipment on the premises when taking a lunch break, or, if the job went over a number of days, if you could leave some equipment overnight.

Therefore, as a carpenter you have two options when deciding on what terms and conditions to include in your contracts:

  1. Create a comprehensive set of terms and conditions that will cover you for all eventualities imaginable; or
  2. Create terms and conditions that are specific to certain jobs.

So what terms and conditions are essential to include in my contracts?

Creating a comprehensive list of terms and conditions can be quite challenging, especially if you lack the legal expertise. This is a list of terms and conditions that are essential to every contract you will have your clients to sign:

  • Quote
  • Price
  • Time
  • Defects
  • Access to property
  • Warranties/guarantees

After including the terms and conditions in this list, you should then consult a contract lawyer about tailoring the contract to suit your specific needs and any circumstances specific to your business.

For instance, the situation discussed above concerning the changing prices of your supplier could be included in the price term of your contract. Before writing these additional terms and conditions, you should first read LegalVision’s definitive guide to writing terms and conditions for your business can be found here.

Do I need terms and conditions in my staff contracts?

It is also very important to remember that terms and conditions are not limited to your clients, you should also include them in contracts for your staff. Employment contracts are extremely important, as your terms and conditions should be used to limit your liability and ensure safety standards within your business are being met. It is always advisable that you receive legal advice for these contracts, instead of creating them yourself or copying the contracts of another business. You might save money in the beginning but you could also open yourself up to unnecessary liability and claims of copyright infringement.

Conclusion

As a carpenter, you work on a vast variety of jobs, from commercial to residential, indoor and outdoor, small and large. Therefore, there are a number of terms and conditions you can include in all your contracts, but adapting them to match your specific needs can prove to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, on your first attempt. As a result, it is advisable that you first speak to a lawyer to ensure that you will not incur any liability as a result of your contracts.

At Legal Vision we are happy to help you expand and protect your business, you only need to call for a fixed-fee quote.

Lachlan McKnight

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