Are you starting a new plumbing business? Are you worried that the terms and conditions of your contracts are no longer suitable for your growing plumbing business? Creating terms and conditions for your contracts is an essential part of any business, for they allow you to operate your plumbing business the way that you want to. As a business owner, one of the most important things you need to do is ensure your business operates the way that you want it to.  The most effective way of ensuring this, is through having clear, concise and all-encompassing terms and conditions in your contracts.

Where do I start?

Writing your terms and conditions can be a daunting task at first, however, it does not need to be a stressful process. In fact, Legal Vision has written a comprehensive guide to writing terms and conditions to assist you, it can be found here. After reading this guide, a good place to start writing your terms and conditions is the term that deals with pricing and quotes. Even though you obviously want your quote to be an accurate representation of the final price, in many cases, the original quote is subject to variation, prolongation and even cancellation. As such, it is important that you include all of these eventualities in your terms and conditions.

Therefore, your terms and conditions can allow for you to be compensated for prolongation that occurs as a result of anything beyond your control. An example of this would be unforseen weather conditions when doing excavating work, or an inability to access the site due to council work or some fault of the customer.

In addition, your terms and conditions should include provisions that allow you to be adequately compensated for cancellation by the customer. When a customer cancels, it can often prove to be extremely difficult to receive any compensation from them, which as a business owner, can be extremely frustrating and detrimental to your business. As a result, it is vital that you include clear and concise provisions in your contracts that allow for money to be recovered from a customer in the event of a cancellation of work.

Variation

As a plumber, the most prevalent issue with your contracts will be that of variation. Every plumber operates in a different way, and uses their expertise and experience to solve problems to the best of their ability. As a result, the methods you use in solving a problem can be very different to those of another plumber. This means that, in all likelihood, your terms and conditions will be vastly different to those of other plumbers. Therefore, when including provisions for variations in your terms and conditions you should consider how you operate, and what variations you normally come across.

An example of a relatively common variation to a quoted price is excavation. In order to fix a drainage or sewer system you will often be required to excavate. The cost of this excavation will depend on the type of soil, machinery required, depth of the pipes and weather conditions. In addition, you may be required to landscape or concrete or replace lawn. If not, the customer will need to pay for landscaping once the job is done. Therefore, it is essential that you include all of this as a variation in your terms and conditions, to ensure that both you and your customers are aware of where you both stand at all times.

Conclusion

Are you concerned about having your legal documents sorted for your new plumbing business? Looking to have the terms and conditions of your contracts reviewed and upgraded to make sure they’re sufficiently protective? The secret to writing effective terms and conditions for your contracts is to always keep in mind how you want to run your business. Terms and conditions exist to help, not to hinder, and writing them need not be a daunting task.

However, without previous legal experience it is difficult to know whether you have provisioned for all eventualities and whether or not your terms and conditions will be enforceable in a court of law. Therefore, it is often prudent to seek legal advice to ensure the safety of your business. A business lawyer will not only draft your business terms and conditions but can assist you if any of your clients breach the terms and conditions you have created. If you feel that you do need legal advice, you are invited to call LegalVision for a fixed-fee quote.

Lachlan McKnight

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