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Author Topic: Exterior/interior restoration contract. What is a typical payment schedule?  (Read 3993 times)
XH29N0G
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« on: May 29, 2012, 04:26:32 PM »

I am about to take my car to have the exterior (and interior) restored for the first time in its life.  I have found a reputable shop and I will take it to them in a week.  I read a thread on contracts and payments.  I have a question and would like to hear other peopleís experiences because I assume people on the list are from both the side that does the work, and the side that has the work done. 

What does the typical payment contract look like?  In other words,  How much (or what fraction) is typically paid up front?  How much is paid during the work?  How much is paid on receipt of the car?  I would prefer to keep it simple and do an up front and final payment, but do not know if that is typical.

I have a certain price point that the shop will work with of ~20-30K.  This will be discussed in detail in the next week.

Thank you,

James
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Troy
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 05:45:02 PM »

I wouldn't pay anything up front. The only exception would possibly be for some shop supplies - but if you're dealing with a shop that can't afford to float that then it's probably best to look elsewhere. There are seemingly millions of stories of cars stuck in "body shop hell" with no progress, missing/stolen parts, unresponsive owners, and/or work that doesn't meet expectations. There are also plenty of customers who only pay whenever they feel like it which blocks other cars from being done. Most all of these issues can be solved with good communication and active participation.

I'd say you will be happier by breaking the project up into lots of short duration goals. Pay as each goal is met. That gives the shop incentive to actually work on the car and you get to see progress. They know they will be paid as each task is complete so they aren't tempted to take on other "quickie" jobs to cover the bill while your car sits. Unless you go to a really awesome shop I doubt they'll know how much the final bill will be. Typically estimates are way low so they'll be asking for money midway through.

I found this a while back and it makes a lot of sense:
http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=9327

I have pretty much given up and am teaching myself how to do my own work. Of course, I have lots of cars. If I only had one I'd find a good shop (no matter where) and send it off to them. There are a few guys on this forum who would qualify.

Troy
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XH29N0G
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 06:24:49 PM »

Troy,

Thank you, and thank you for directing me to that thread.  This helps.  I would also be interested in hearing what others have to say about this. 

James
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Who in their right mind would say

"The science should not stand in the way of this."? 

Science is just observation and hypothesis.  Policy stands in the way.........

Or maybe it protects us. 

I suppose it depends on the specific case.....
XH29N0G
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2012, 06:33:59 PM »

Troy and others,

I thought of a question related to breaking the project up into a series of shorter duration goals. 

Not having done this before, Is there advice on what a working list of such goals. 

I am also comfortable talking with the owner of the shop  so I could also bring this up as something to be discussed, but the more information I can get before that would be of great help.

James
 
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Who in their right mind would say

"The science should not stand in the way of this."? 

Science is just observation and hypothesis.  Policy stands in the way.........

Or maybe it protects us. 

I suppose it depends on the specific case.....
440
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2012, 06:56:51 PM »

My car is one of those that got suck in the corner of the shop   brickwall  That's what I get taking it to a $40hr shop as opposed to a $75-$80hr shop.

Most of the high end shops here work on installments usually between $2500-$5000. They then work on that installment till the money runs out, you pay another installment and the car carries on. It seems like a good relationship as the owner can see the work being done for their money and the shop doesn't get stuck with deadbeats.
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XH29N0G
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2012, 02:58:36 AM »

OK, This makes sense.  In my last conversation with the owner on the phone he was talking about installments, but I think I misunderstood and we left the details to our upcoming face to face meeting.  That was why I sent my original question. 

If there are other thoughts, let me know.

Thanks
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Who in their right mind would say

"The science should not stand in the way of this."? 

Science is just observation and hypothesis.  Policy stands in the way.........

Or maybe it protects us. 

I suppose it depends on the specific case.....
charger_fan_4ever
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2012, 06:59:55 AM »

$20k with the parts ?
Typical second gen restoration needs $5k plus in metal parts alone.
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XH29N0G
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2012, 09:13:19 AM »

$20k with the parts ?
Typical second gen restoration needs $5k plus in metal parts alone.

Can you tell me what a typical second gen restoration runs (Exterior /interior)? 

I am not looking for a show car.  The car will be driven, and am thinking that the undercarriage should be undercoated rather than painted.  This is not an R/T.

The car has not been in an accident, but is dinged and the sides do not look straight.  It has rust in the usual places for an east coast, mostly garage kept 42 year old driven car.
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Who in their right mind would say

"The science should not stand in the way of this."? 

Science is just observation and hypothesis.  Policy stands in the way.........

Or maybe it protects us. 

I suppose it depends on the specific case.....
Brock Lee
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2012, 01:27:11 PM »

Here is what typically happens. You bring a car into them and get an estimate. They have no intention of abiding by that estimate. The way they see it, if Joe is having a bad week and and it is taking 4 times longer to get the job done, well then that is what it is going to take. If the shop is busy with quick jobs that equal more income per hour, your car will get pushed to the side. Then when a lean spell hits, you will suddenly have a burst of labor to pay for before they will proceed.

I would try and talk them into breaking the job up into phases with the overall estimate broken down for each phase. Also expect to pay more than the estimate and if it is less, then that is a bonus.
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charger_fan_4ever
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2012, 02:49:42 PM »

$20k with the parts ?
Typical second gen restoration needs $5k plus in metal parts alone.

Can you tell me what a typical second gen restoration runs (Exterior /interior)?  

I am not looking for a show car.  The car will be driven, and am thinking that the undercarriage should be undercoated rather than painted.  This is not an R/T.

The car has not been in an accident, but is dinged and the sides do not look straight.  It has rust in the usual places for an east coast, mostly garage kept 42 year old driven car.
My 70 has been skinned completely. Had to buy another rust free lid,door,fender,door hinge pillars,upper/lower cowl

AMD parts
both full 1/4's,roof skin,trunk floor with brace,extensions,inner/outer wheelhouses,front floor,footwells,tail panel and rear valance,valance corners,dutchman panel and lower plenum, legendary seat covers,door panels,carpet,headliner.
I've bought over 10k in metal new and used along with most of an interior. Still have not had chroming done or bought any new trim,weather stripping,suspension,brakes,dash stuff.

My 5k project will easily cost $35k done. I have a real deep discount on labour to boot. If i was paying full rates easily $50k to do the job with the parts.
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1BAD68
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2012, 04:03:46 PM »

You could also do what I do.
Just lower your expectations and tackle it yourself.
It won't turn out perfect but you'll learn a new skill, have some new tools and the satisfaction of doing it yourself.
Unless you own a high end #matching museum piece.
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XH29N0G
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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2012, 05:06:02 PM »

Thank you all.  This gives me an idea of what I might expect. It sounds to me like the cost issue is not something that I can know beforehand with my level of experience, but that I might get a better sense of this with a more structured talk with the shop and also as the project progresses.  All I know for certain is that there will be some metal that will need to be replaced so it wonít be cheap. 

I am not yet tempted to try to do this myself in large part because I donít have the space.   The garage I have is attached to a house built in 1952.  The cars were smaller in the 1950ís and I can barely squeeze the car in and out of the garage.  I can walk the length of the car on one side, but there is not enough room to open a door more than a crack.  The car also has to be within 3 inches of the back wall for the door to close.  I usually pull the car partly in, turn it off, get out and push it the rest of the way in.

For any that are interested, I will try post some photos of it on photobucket and leave a link when I get it figured out.

James
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Who in their right mind would say

"The science should not stand in the way of this."? 

Science is just observation and hypothesis.  Policy stands in the way.........

Or maybe it protects us. 

I suppose it depends on the specific case.....
XH29N0G
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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2012, 05:23:57 PM »

Let me see if this works for the images.

http://i1249.photobucket.com/albums/hh510/JFLJT/Charger099.jpg
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Who in their right mind would say

"The science should not stand in the way of this."? 

Science is just observation and hypothesis.  Policy stands in the way.........

Or maybe it protects us. 

I suppose it depends on the specific case.....
gtx6970
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2012, 05:24:07 PM »

I bill my customers weekly. And No money up front.
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XH29N0G
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« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2012, 05:36:56 PM »

OK,  For any curious about the car and its present state, try this.

http://s1249.photobucket.com/albums/hh510/JFLJT/

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Who in their right mind would say

"The science should not stand in the way of this."? 

Science is just observation and hypothesis.  Policy stands in the way.........

Or maybe it protects us. 

I suppose it depends on the specific case.....
68 Bullitt Charger
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« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2012, 05:01:36 PM »

I agree with Troy in that any shop that needs money up front and can not afford to purchase their supplies mean's most likely they will spend your money on other cars they may be doing. Stay away.

Also the shops going by the hour is not so good. When it comes to money and buisness trust no one. Everyone is FOS in this economy.

I would go worse case senario with the Shop Owner, agree on the price, pay nothing up front, and when car is halfway completed, give the shop half of the agreed amount. Once 100% completed, and you received what was agreed, pay the balance. There Everyone is happy and no B/S.

Just my opinion,
Joe C NY
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« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2012, 09:09:39 PM »

I bill my customers weekly. And No money up front.

The only way to make it in the rebuilding old cars business. All fine and dandy the customers say don't worry i got the $$.Then in the end its um i don't have it all something came up can we do payments ? ect . This is after you have sunk gazillions on man hours, and overhead costs for months.
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Scaregrabber
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« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2012, 10:34:28 PM »

Pay as you go.If you're not happy you can pull the car at any time and the shop is motivated to get something done so they can earn money from you. It's the only way to go. 30 years ago paying the $1k for a finished paint job when it was completed was reasonable, today expecting them to wait for $30k for a job on a $20k car is not reasonable.

Sheldon
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FLG
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« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2012, 12:28:58 AM »

I do a pay as i have the money schedule.

But the shop i brought it do i would trust with my first born, so when i give em x amount of money and tell them "go until theres nothing left" i know they really do go up until theres nothing left and arent short changing me. But these kinds of shops are few and far inbetween.
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Orange Bird
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« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2012, 07:30:53 AM »

I restore as a hobby on the side for pocket change to further my own project. My last project took 13 months. I have a milestone payment program and every step of the way there is communication, communication, communication. I have found ths works the best. I work with purpose toward every discussed goal. I have the customer purchase all necessary restoration parts/sheet metal and have it dropped shipped to me for just in time assembly. Upon milestone assembly, I take a draw on payment. I take an initial "kitty" at some point during a restoration for incidentals and as the project approaches the end the kitty gets bigger for the incidental stuff noone really thinks about. I work 2-3 days during the week after my day job and 2 weekends a month (most of the the time longer for progress).

Communication is the key and working the way you like to see things done. I dont cut corners and explain how things will be done (my way) otherwise I wont do it. I have learned long ago that the people who say they only want things to look good from 15 feet tent to inspect completed work at arms length. They never want to hear the arms length quote. That is the only way I quote now. I quote best and worst case on certain ares of work based on what may be concealed after work starts and only ask that customers keep an open mind when opening up a 45 year old car. All my work is done with a hand shake and discussions are detailed in email form to be sure what was discussed is conveyed properly.

Inquire about other customer cars both finished and in process to determine satisfaction with progress. Dont look for a shop just willing to "restore" your car as many paint shops only want bumper cover jobs. Make sure you car is one of many requiring the same work as what the owner has in the pipeline. The more cars needing the same work as yours may take longer to restore but at least the mind set of the shop is correct. A paint shop will push a restoration to the side for the quick paying jobs. Dont look at any specific milestone just overall progress if you choose to interview customers. Restoration is a very long process.
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« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2012, 10:21:51 AM »

OK,  For any curious about the car and its present state, try this.

http://s1249.photobucket.com/albums/hh510/JFLJT/



The car looks like it's in decent driveable condition right now. Do you plan to drive it while you restore it? Or leave it at a shop until it's finished? Nice Charger.
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XH29N0G
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« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2012, 03:53:35 PM »

Thanks.  I have been driving it, but I took it to the shop two weeks ago and appreciate all of the input I received (it helped).  The plan is for it to stay at the shop until the body is restored. 
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Who in their right mind would say

"The science should not stand in the way of this."? 

Science is just observation and hypothesis.  Policy stands in the way.........

Or maybe it protects us. 

I suppose it depends on the specific case.....
440
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« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2012, 08:57:37 AM »

What sort of deal did you end up agreeing on ?
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XH29N0G
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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2012, 12:42:24 AM »

We are doing installments with milestones.  It is probably not as structured as I would like, but I think it will be workable.  The shop has done considerable work for a a friend of mine so I am going in trusting.  Even though they don't specialize in mopars, the shop also only does restorations and the work they have done is very nice.  I am also not looking for something I will show. 
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Who in their right mind would say

"The science should not stand in the way of this."? 

Science is just observation and hypothesis.  Policy stands in the way.........

Or maybe it protects us. 

I suppose it depends on the specific case.....
HPP
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« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2012, 10:04:15 AM »

We are doing installments with milestones.  It is probably not as structured as I would like, but I think it will be workable.  The shop has done considerable work for a a friend of mine so I am going in trusting.  Even though they don't specialize in mopars, the shop also only does restorations and the work they have done is very nice.  I am also not looking for something I will show. 


This is a good start. Consider it like this, it is a project, no different than a project building software, or a house, or a machine, or anything else significant. You boss provides you with a goal, objectives, and milestones in the project. As you meet deadlines, work moves forward. Sometimes work is suspended or redirected and there are meetings to revise goals with new milestones.  Treat your car restoration the same way. Structure payments on objectives, when they meet the objective, make the payments, keep open communications, be open to revisions and, again, communicate.
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