A Brief Introduction About the Landscaping Contract
What is Landscaping
Landscaping is the process of designing the exterior space around buildings. It includes the design and layout of front yards, back yards, gardens, office complexes, etc. It not only involves alterations of the existing space, addition of ornamental features, and planting trees, shrubs and flowers but also the mowing of lawns, trimming trees and hedges, and weeding and watering the grass. Its purpose is to create attractive surroundings for the building.
A contract entered for the purpose of such projects is a landscaping contract. It is entered into between the landscaping company and its client and aims to provide a documented outlay of the project and its terms. The entire plan of the proceedings of the project is documented in the contract. It provides for a legally binding proof of the existence of the project.
It provides a good basis for initial negotiations between the client and the landscaping contractors and enables them to compromise and reach terms that are favorable to both. The agreement also protects the parties in the chance of any defaults.
What Is Commercial Landscaping? What Are Other Types of Landscape Contracts
Commercial landscaping refers to idea generation, design drawing, installation, and maintenance of outdoor business spaces. The aim of the design is to create a beautiful space that exhibits the values of the organizations within the facility.
There are also residential landscaping contracts with similar agendas, but for homes and personal spaces.
Another distinction in types of landscape contracts can be in terms of the services provided by the landscape contractor. Landscaping companies also provide specific services and can draw up contracts for the same. Some of these service contracts are lawn care contracts for the keeping of lawns, landscape maintenance contracts for routine activities of trimming, weeding, and watering trees, shrubs and other plants, seasonal contracts such as raking leaves during autumn, snow plowing and removal during the winter, etc.
Who Takes the Landscaping Contract – People Involved
The contract is made between landscaping contractors and their clients. They mutually agree to the terms of services, scope, and extent of the work, costing, and other sundries related to the project. The concerned party may be an individual person, a company, or even a group of companies. The contract terms are drafted accordingly, and the parties are legally bound by the contract.
Purpose of the Landscaping Contract– Why Do You Need It
The contract is a detailed record that contains all the specifications of the task undertaken by the contractors. A landscaping project involves a large number of tasks and undergoes many routine changes. The tasks also vary seasonally and are quite complicated.
An agreement is necessary for the purpose of a mutual understanding between the two concerned parties, and it provides for a written confirmation of the arrangements agreed upon by both parties.
In case of any variations in the services provided or any issues regarding payments, the contract enables both parties to seek redressal and solve disputes. Commercial landscaping companies, due to the nature of their work, create contract templates that they use for all projects. This helps them save on time and money involved.
Contents of the Landscaping Contract– Landscaping Contract Template
The primary agenda behind having a contract in place is to have a comprehensive document with terms and conditions penned down, which is agreeable to both parties. As such, the contract must include the following:
- Name and roles of the people involved
- Information about the property and its ownership details
- Type of contract being executed.
- Scope of the work and a detailed plan for accomplishing the same. This should include the steps in the plan, details of the materials and manpower needed, utilities needed such as electrical tools, etc.
- A schedule of the various types of work that the project will entail, specifications of the landscaping and the types of care that will go into the project.
- Timelines and frequency of the projects. Landscape maintenance involves some recurring tasks, and the terms specific to those must be listed.
- Pricing for the required tasks.
- Seasonal duties that are inherent to the projects such as snow clearing in the winters, leaf raking during the fall, lawn decorations during Christmas, etc.
- Details of other associated tasks such as waste clearance.
- Specific pricing (if any) for seasonal assignments.
- Schedule for payments along with the due dates and amounts. The actions taken in the case of defaults should be clearly mentioned. For instance, the contractor may discontinue his services until the dues are cleared.
- Details for the modification in the work and the scenarios where these changes will require an update of the contract or a revision of the budgets. These may include unforeseen circumstances that cannot be traced back to either party and occurs through no fault of theirs.
- Terms and Conditions for the termination of the contract.
- Contractual rights and obligations of the parties with one another.
- Actions to be undertaken in the event of any issues with the performance of the contract. Means for resolving conflicts must be included.
- and most importantly, it must be signed by both parties in confirmation of all the stated clauses.
How to Write a Landscaping Contract? – Points to Consider While Preparing the Contract
During the preparation of the contract, you should keep in mind the following:
- The users of the document include the common man, and the use of technical terms should be avoided.
- The terms and conditions must be agreeable to both parties.
- The contract should allow for the hire of sub-contractors for specific tasks as needed by the primary contractor.
- The necessary legal permits have been availed to execute the project plan.
- The course of action in case of uncontrollable events has been laid out.
- The contract length largely governs the scope and budgets and must be kept in consideration.
- In the case of area-specific contracts, such as a commercial lawn care contract, the scope of work should be carefully listed, and the exclusions must also be outlined to facilitate a common understanding.
At the time of negotiations, the parties must clarify their concerns with each other. The detailed project plan should be discussed, and the costs should be agreed upon. Additionally, the client may want consistency in work and may require the same project in charge throughout the tenure. He may also want to conduct due diligence on the contractor to ensure that they are the right fit for the role.
The contractor, on the other hand, may require the client to confirm the project task outline and have a clearly defined set of roles at the start of the project. He may also want to straighten out that in case of any modifications to the scope of work, the contract and the quote will also have to be modified.
Benefits & Drawbacks of the Landscaping Contract
There are a number of benefits of entering into a contract for these projects. It can be seen below:
- The agreement will be as simple or complicated as you make it. It is easily customizable.
- It provides all the necessary information relating to the project in one place. It helps the clients with their financial budgeting and the contractor to plan their resource allocations.
- It is a legally binding document that can be produced in the event of any legal proceedings.
The agreement also calls for some criticisms as listed below:
- It is inflexible and requires a new contract to be drawn in the event of any changes.
- Drafting and executing contracts is often a long and costly legal process.
- In case it isn’t drafted to standard, it will fail to provide the associated benefits.
What Happens in Case of Violation of the Landscaping Contract
The contract provides for actions to be taken in case of the violation of any of the terms of the agreement. In the case of payment defaults, the contractor may temporarily stop the work and can demand the existing dues to be cleared.
The cases where the work isn’t up to standard or incomplete, the client may seek revisions or payment reliefs.
There can also be situations where, through no fault of either party, the contract may be violated. In such cases, both parties may agree to resolve the matter by negotiating a compromise and continue with the project. They may also consider the termination of the agreement.
In all other cases, where the dispute cannot be resolved among the parties, they may seek external legal consultation. The document is a legally valid contract and can be presented in front of the court. The parties are allowed legal counsel and can claim charges for the non-performance of the contract as well as any damages incurred to them.
A written document in place provides an environment to allow the smooth functioning of the job. Each party is made aware of their roles and responsibilities, and they contribute to the project. The contract is a mutually agreed deed containing all the small details of the project and serves as a reference point at any stage of the project. Most importantly, it helps in conflict resolution and aims to leave little or no room for miscommunications.