The landscaping contract used by Details Landscape Art includes all the elements required for a C-27 landscape contractor.

The Department of Consumer Affairs’ Contractors State License Board publishes a recommended contract form. We at Details Landscape Art, a licensed landscape contractor, have modified this form, adding elements and provisions tailored to the needs of our business. Our contract includes four sections, each the subject of a separate blog: the basic elements of the contract, Terms and Conditions, Notice to Owner, and Notice of Right to Cancel.

The basic elements section begins with the owner’s name, address phone number and address of the project, if different. Next is a Description of Work section in which we describe the elements of the project. We usually refer to an attached schedule here, since space is limited and we can elaborate on a separate page. An Additional Information or Exclusions area follows this. This information may also be included on the separate attached schedule.

One of the required elements of a contract for services is a specified beginning date and completion date for the work to be done. This is the next section of our contract.

Then we have a small paragraph Notice to Buyer, which tells the owner (1) Do not sign this agreement before you read it and (2) You are entitled to a completely filled in copy of the agreement. Owner then acknowledges that he has received and read a legible copy of the agreement signed by the contractor, including all terms and conditions, before commencement of work.

The next section of the landscaping contract is Contract Price and Schedule of Payments. The first sentence sets the contract price in consideration of materials, labor and services, followed by the schedule of payments. The first scheduled payment is the amount to be paid upon execution of the agreement (deposit). By law, this deposit payment may not exceed the lesser of ten percent of the entire contractor or $1,000. Then we schedule the remainder of the payments in stages according to when certain portions of the work are completed, with the final check due upon completion.

The next paragraph discusses the fact that overdue payments will bear interest at the maximum legally permissible rate, and that if any payment is not made when due the contractor may keep the job idle until all payments due have been made. Failure to pay for a period in excess of 5 days shall be considered a breach. Further discussion of this situation will be addressed in a later blog regarding Mechanic’s Lien claims.

Then there is a sentence that informs the owner that he has the right to require the contractor to have a performance and payment bond, the expense of which may be borne by the owner. The owner is then informed that contractors are required by law to be licensed and regulated by the Contractors State License Board, which has jurisdiction to investigate complaints against contractors filed within four years of the date of the alleged violation. The address of the Contractors State License Board is provided.

Lastly, the signature section of the landscaping contract provides space for the contractor and the owner to sign and date the contract.