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Old 05-20-2003, 10:36 PM
Stonehenge's Avatar
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Location: Wisconsin
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Stonehenge will become famous soon enough
I thought I'd post the legalese that's on the back of all of our contracts, in case it might be of help to anyone.

There are about a half dozen things I've been meaning to change and subsequently have reviewed by our attorney (which you should do if you decide to use all or part of this), but haven't had the time.


This is an agreement between "Customer", defined on reverse side of this page, and Stonehenge Brick Paving & Landscaping, Inc. ("Stonehenge"), 12345 First Street, Anytown, Wisconsin, 12345. Under the terms set forth below, Customer agrees to purchase the services of Stonehenge in preparing and constructing the landscaping and/or brick paving and/or retaining wall design as set forth in the Project Description, and Stonehenge agrees to render such services. As consideration, Customer agrees to pay Stonehenge the amount shown as “Total” in the Project Description (“Contract Price”) in exchange for performing the services described in the Contract Description. The parties further agree as follows:
All deposits are non-refundable. Customer will pay Stonehenge 20% of the Contract Price upon acceptance of the Proposal. Customer will pay Stonehenge 50% of the Contract Price the day work begins. Stonehenge will invoice Customer for the remaining 30% when work is substantially complete, as determined by Stonehenge. The invoice shall be paid by Customer within 15 days of the invoice date. If the total balance is not received by Stonehenge by the end of the 15-day period, interest will be paid on that balance by Customer at a rate of 1.5% per month. Failure by Customer to pay the remaining balance within 105 days will constitute breach of this agreement. Upon breach of this agreement, Customer agrees to pay all costs of collecting any remaining balances, including attorney’s fees. No warranties will be issued until full payment is received.
Stonehenge warrants that brick paving or retaining wall material used in this contract will be free from defects and the installation will be functional for a period of two (2) years from the date of completion of the Contract, provided the installation was used as was intended when the Contract was designed, and was not misused. Any repairs/replacements made to any installation after expiration of the warranty will be made at Customer's expense. Any repairs made to any installation by any party other than Stonehenge voids any warranties offered by Stonehenge.
Stonehenge will offer one-time only replacement of any tree, shrub, evergreen or woody vine that has died within one (1) year from the date of installation, provided the plant has been cared for as instructed, and not misused. Stonehenge will not replace plants killed by animals, rodents, insects, mechanical damage, neglect, natural disasters or other reasons over which Stonehenge has no control. This warranty does not cover annuals, small perennials, ground covers, wildflowers, seeds, bulbs, roses and non-winter hardy plants. An additional labor charge for plant removal and reinstallation will apply. Any repairs/replacements made to any installation after expiration of the warranty will be made at Customer's expense. Any repairs made to any installation by any party other than Stonehenge voids any warranties offered by Stonehenge.
Stonehenge installs lawns according to common industry practices, using quality grass seed, applied at a rate of at least that of the manufacturer’s recommendation. It is the responsibility of the Customer to ensure that rough grades have been established according to municipal drainage plans and within 2” of finished grade. Once seeded, Stonehenge has no control over weather, watering or other cultural practices of Customer. Therefore Stonehenge cannot guarantee the germination rate of seed, or general success of the seeding. Repairs done on a seeding project are done at the expense of Customer. Stonehenge also cannot accept responsibility for settling due to new construction, utility lines or any other excavations not performed by or supervised by Stonehenge.
Stonehenge will make reasonable efforts to complete the Contract as designed. Circumstances may arise beyond the control of Stonehenge that may prevent construction of the Contract exactly as planned. Stonehenge will make reasonable efforts to minimize this impact on the design and construction. Customer acknowledges this possibility and accepts the action Stonehenge will take to minimize the potential change in design. If Customer wishes to change any part of the installation after this agreement is signed, but prior to commencement of installation, which results in additional material or labor costs for Stonehenge or results in delays in the completion of the Contract, said costs will be added to the remaining balance of the Contract and billed as part of the original Contract. Any changes in the design or Contract, whether the changes result in additional time, cost, or neither, must be made in writing and signed by both parties, using a Change Order Form. Each change made by Customer during installation will result in a $100 charge, in addition to any additional charges for materials or labor that are incurred by Stonehenge as a result of the change. The $100 charge will apply regardless of the impact of the change on labor or material costs.
Customer is responsible for securing all necessary permits. Unless specified in writing, Stonehenge is not responsible for code violation made at Customer request.
An estimate of the number of days to complete the contracted work and an expected start date are provided as a courtesy. There may be delays in the beginning date and completion date due to poor weather or other circumstances beyond the control of Stonehenge. Those delays will not alter or invalidate any part of this Contract, nor will they entitle Customer to additional rights under the Contract.
This agreement may be canceled by Customer by mailing written notice to Stonehenge before midnight the third business day after Customer has signed this agreement. If after that time Customer wishes to terminate this Contract, Customer must give Stonehenge five (5) days advance written notice. Stonehenge will retain any monies paid by Customer up to the effective date of termination, and is entitled to any expenses for materials or other expenses incurred by Stonehenge.
Stonehenge will make reasonable effort to accurately estimate the materials needed to complete the Contract. However, Customer acknowledges that there may be differences between the estimate and the final price. If the actual price is less than the estimated Contract Price, that amount will be discounted on the final payment due Stonehenge. If the actual price is more than the estimated Contract Price, that additional amount will be added to the final payment due Stonehenge. Customer will pay Stonehenge that additional amount.

The failure of Stonehenge to enforce any right accruing under this agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of a subsequent right of Stonehenge to enforce the same or any other right, term or condition.

This agreement shall be interpreted and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Wisconsin.

Comments on this post
matt in maine agrees: great post!

Last edited by Stonehenge; 05-21-2003 at 10:42 PM..
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Old 05-20-2003, 10:36 PM
Stonehenge's Avatar
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Location: Wisconsin
USDA Zone 4
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Stonehenge will become famous soon enough
BTW, it'll only fit on 8.5"x14" paper, at something like 8 point font.
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Old 05-21-2003, 10:26 PM
GTX Advisor
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Location: Chicago
USDA Zone 5
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Paul is on a distinguished road
Here's one of ours. We use this for our standard work, for Park districts we use the AIA form.


THIS AGREEMENT made the ______ day of _______, 2003, by and between Nelson Group Inc., hereinafter called the Contractor, and ______________________________, hereinafter called the Owner.

Witnesseth, that the Contractor and the Owner for the considerations named agree as follows:

ARTICLE 1. Scope of Work
The Contractor shall furnish all of the materials and perform all of the work shown on the Drawings and/or described in the Specifications entitled Exhibit A, as annexed hereto as it pertains to work to be performed on property at __________________________________________________ _____________.

ARTICLE 2. Time of Completion
The work to be performed under this Contract shall be commenced on or before _______________ and shall be substantially completed on or before ___________________________. Time is of the essence. The following constitutes substantial completion of work pursuant to this proposal and contract: (Specify)

ARTICLE 3. The Contract Price
The Owner shall pay the Contractor for the material and labor to be performed under the Contract the sum of $_________________dollars, subject to additions and deductions pursuant to authorized change orders.

ARTICLE 4. Progress Payments
Payments of the Contract Price shall be paid in the following manner: Within 30 days after submission of Invoice to Owner, interest to accrue monthly at 1.5% thereafter.

ARTICLE 5. General Provisions
Any alteration or deviation from the above specifications, including but not limited to any such alteration or deviation involving additional material and/or labor costs, will be executed only upon written order for same, signed by Owner and Contractor, and if there is any charge for such alteration or deviation, the additional charge will be added to the contract price of this contract. If there are any credits due to written change orders or alterations agreed by Owner and Contractor, such credits will be applied to contract price. If payment is not made when due, Contractor may suspend work on the job until such time as all payments due have been made. A failure to make payment for a period of 30 days from the due date shall be deemed a material breach of this contract. In addition, the following general provisions apply:
1. All the work shall be completed in workman-like manner and in compliance with all building codes and other applicable laws.
2. The Contractor shall furnish a plan and scale drawing showing the shape, size dimensions, and construction and equipment specifications for improvements, a description of the work to be done and description of the materials to be used and the equipment to be used or installed, and the agreed consideration of the work.
3. To the extent required by law all work shall be performed by individuals duly licensed and authorized by law to perform said work.
4. Contractor may at its discretion engage subcontractors to perform work hereunder, provided Contractor shall fully pay said subcontractor and in all instances remain responsible for the proper completion of this Contract.
5. Contractor shall furnish Owner appropriate releases or waivers of lien for all work performed or materials provided at the time the next periodic payment shall be due.
6. All change orders shall be in writing and signed by both Owner and Contractor, and shall be incorporated in, and become a part of the contract.
7. The Owner shall at its own expense obtain all permits necessary for the work to be performed.
8. Contractor agrees to remove all debris and leave the premises in broom clean condition.
9. In the event Owner shall fail to pay any periodic or installment payment due hereunder, Contractor may cease work without breach pending payment or resolution of dispute.
10. All disputes hereunder shall be resolved by binding arbitration in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association.
11. Contractor shall not be liable for any delay due to circumstances beyond its control including but not limited to strikes, casualty, or general unavailability of materials, and weather delays.
12. Contractor warrants all work for a period of _____________ following completion.

ARTICLE 6. Indemnification
To the fullest extent permitted by law, the Contractor shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless _________________
______________________and its’ agents and employees, from and against claims, damages, losses, and expenses, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, arising out of or resulting from performance of the work or providing of materials to the extent caused in whole or in part by negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of, or breach of this agreement by, the contractor, a subcontractor, anyone directly or indirectly employed by them or anyone whose acts they are legally responsible.

ARTICLE 7. Insurance
The Contractor shall represent that it has purchased and agrees that it will keep in force for the duration of the performance of the work or for such longer term as may be required by this agreement, in a company or companies lawfully authorized to do business in the State of Illinois, such insurance as will protect __________and the owner of the site, if the site is not owned by __________, from claims for loss or injury which might arise out of or result from the Contractor’s operations under this project, whether such operations be by the Contractor or by a subcontractor or its subcontractors.
The Contractor represents and agrees that said insurance is written for and shall be maintained in an amount not less that the limits of the liability specified below or required by law, whichever coverage is greater. The Contractor certifies that coverage written on a “claims made” form will be maintained without interruption from the commencement of work until the expiration of all applicable statutes of limitation.
1) Worker’s Compensation $
2) Comprehensive General Liability with limits of not less than $____________ per occurrence.
3) Comprehensive Automobile Liability (owned, non-owned, hired) of $_______________ each accident.
The Contractor shall file Certificates of Insurance, naming the owner person hiring the contractor as additional insured, in duplicate, acceptable to all parties with ___________prior to commencement of work, which shall contain a provision that coverages under the policies shall not be cancelled or allowed to expire or permit material changes until at least ___________days written notice has been given to the additional insured.

ARTICLE 8. Additional Terms
The Contractor is responsible for contacting J.U.L.I.E. which is the underground utility locating service in Illinois. The Contractor shall not be held liable for property damage to all secondary underground utilities not marked (i.e. but not limited to, gas lines, irrigation lines, cables, underground electric, etc.) or any hidden obstructions.
The Owner is held responsible for marking all property boundaries.
The Owner is responsible for any extra costs due to hidden obstructions.

Signed this ____________ day of ____________, 2003.

Signed in the presence of:

_____________________________________ _____________________________________
Witness Witness

_____________________________________ _____________________________________
Name of Owner Name of Contractor

By: By:

_____________________________________ ____________________________________
Signature Signature
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Old 05-21-2003, 10:34 PM
Stonehenge's Avatar
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Location: Wisconsin
USDA Zone 4
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Stonehenge will become famous soon enough
Thanks for posting that Paul. Good info for those of us looking to get into commercial work. I noticed several articles that are to the benefit of the client (articles 6 & 7 in particular).

There's also some stuff in there that I think I'd like to add to my residential contract.

Thanks for posting that!!
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Old 05-21-2003, 10:41 PM
GTX Advisor
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Paul is on a distinguished road
To us Article 8 is where you can include other items that might effect the job site like soil problems Ect......
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Old 05-21-2003, 11:03 PM
Stonehenge's Avatar
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Location: Wisconsin
USDA Zone 4
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Stonehenge will become famous soon enough
I'm aware of the obvious problem with this thread - I tried to correct my spelling error in the thread title and ran into a slight problem. I've contacted our programmer and hope to have her look at this problem shortly.
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Old 09-04-2006, 12:59 PM
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Thanks a lot guys, your contracts will be a great addition to my own contract. I hope I never have to use the "fine print"!
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:26 AM
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Hi guys.
Just found the thread and thought id open it up again.
im doing a horticulture degree in U.k and have an assignment to do-this is all research.

could anyone else be so helpful and post some more about their own contracts.examples etc.
advice and guidance would be most appreciated.cheers.
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:40 PM
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Gardening contract

Greetings all!
A) Thanks for this amazing web site. What a resource!

B) I am in the early stages of staring my own "landscaping" company, which means design, installation and maintenance services.

Thanks to Stonehenge for posting the legalese.

I am learning on the fly and from various mentors about doing estimates, making contracts, and the like.

One I'm currently in is a huge amount of shrub pruning, and purchasing/installing a modest amount of perennials.
I estimated the pruning at 10 hours, and cover the work effort for the plants by marking them up 2.5 times.

There are of course variables. What if the plants cost a bit or a lot more than my estimate? What if it takes 14 hours to prune? Is there language to cover that my estimate may be more?

I read some of the thread on "contract" vs. "T&M" and still getting my head around it all.

Sample estimates or contracts for horticulture projects would be of immense help. I'm at

Humbly and gratefully,
Paco Verin
PLNA Certified Horticulturist
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:42 AM
Gold Oak Member
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USDA Zone 5
Posts: 36
RHPL is on a distinguished road
Here is what I have, which is mostly from a Landscape Ontario standard contract

Terms and Conditions:

1. RHPL shall perform the work and services described in this Agreement and in Drawings and Specifications issued by the Designer/RHPL and accepted in writing by the Owner (the “Work”) at the lands and premises municipally known as _____________________________________________ (the “Premises”). Once accepted by the Owner, the Drawings and Specifications are to be read into and form part of this Agreement.

2. Copyright for the Drawings and Specifications belong to the Designer/RHPL and shall not be used on any other project. The Owner may retain copies of the Drawings and Specifications for information and reference provided RHPL has been paid in full for services rendered under this Agreement. The order of priority of documents, from highest to lowest, shall be this Agreement, followed by the Drawings, followed by the Specifications.

3. Prior to the commencement of the Work the Owner/Designer will provide RHPL with information as to the location of property lines and all subsurface utility and service lines, including but not limited to electrical, telephone and gas lines and water and irrigation pipe-lines and conduits. RHPL may rely on the accuracy and completeness of all such information and shall not be liable for damages or costs resulting from any errors or omissions in that regard. Unless otherwise provided for herein, RHPL will be responsible for obtaining any municipal building permits required in relation to the performance of the Work.

4. Unless otherwise specified, all building materials provided shall be new. RHPL shall have total control of the Work and shall be solely responsible for construction means, methods, techniques, sequences, and procedures. RHPL shall comply with all laws, rules, regulations and building and fire codes which relate to the Work including applicable health and safety legislation and shall obtain any permits or licenses necessary for its performance as at the date hereof. RHPL will also be responsible for and shall restore at its expense all damage to the property of the Owner caused by RHPL in the performance of the Work. RHPL agrees to remove all debris and leave the premises in broom clean condition

5. RHPL shall submit to the Owner, prior to its commencement, a schedule for the performance of the Work. If RHPL is delayed in the performance of the Work by an action or omission of the Owner or by circumstances beyond the control of RHPL, then the schedule shall be extended for such reasonable period as is required to accommodate for the delay.

6. If subsurface or otherwise concealed physical conditions at the Premises differ materially from those indicated in this Agreement or from those ordinarily found to exist in the vicinity of the Premises, including subsurface utilities, boulders, tree stumps or construction debris, then the Contract Price will be adjusted to account for any changes required to this Agreement or in the materials or method of work required to carry out the Work. Any increase or decrease in costs to RHPL due to changes in taxes after the date of this Agreement shall also increase or decrease the Contract Price accordingly.

7. Should RHPL fail to comply with the requirements of the Agreement to a substantial degree, the Owner may notify RHPL in writing that RHPL is in default of its contractual obligations and instruct RHPL to correct the default within 5 business days. If RHPL fails to correct the default in the time specified or subsequently agreed upon, the Owner may correct the default and deduct the cost thereof from any payment due to RHPL or terminate the Agreement. If the Owner so terminates the Agreement, RHPL shall be entitled to be paid for the value of all Work performed to the date of the termination.

8. If requested to do so by the Owner, RHPL shall provide evidence of compliance with applicable workers’ compensation legislation in Ontario, including payments due there under. RHPL shall also maintain at its own expense Comprehensive General Liability insurance in the minimum amount of $ ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬3,000,000.00 per occurrence for bodily injury, death and property damage and Automobile insurance with respect to all licensed vehicles owned or leased by RHPL and used by RHPL in the performance of the Work. Evidence of this insurance shall be provided to the Owner upon the request.

9. This Agreement constitutes the whole of the agreement between the parties and supersedes all prior negotiations, representations or agreements. Neither party shall assign any part of this Agreement without the written consent of the other. No act or failure to act shall constitute a waiver of any right or duty under this Agreement nor constitute an approval of or acquiescence in any breach of this Agreement unless expressly agreed to in writing by the Parties.

10. RHPL shall indemnify and hold harmless the Owner from and against any claim for damages arising from an occurrence of bodily injury or the destruction of tangible personal property provided that the damages are caused by the negligence or breach of this Agreement of RHPL or anyone for whom RHPL is responsible in law and provided that RHPL is given notice of the claim by the Owner within a reasonable time following the occurrence but in any event within 48 hours of the Owner first acquiring knowledge of the circumstances of the claim. The obligation of RHPL to indemnify the Owner shall be limited to the limits of the insurance coverage described in Article 8, above. Notwithstanding anything in this Agreement, however, RHPL will not indemnify the Owner or be responsible for damage to irrigation systems in place at the Premises prior to the commencement of the Work or for water penetration into any building or structure on or adjacent to the Premises not caused solely and only by defects in RHPL’s work.

11. Changes in the Work must be approved by the Owner in writing. The price for a change in the Work must also be agreed to in writing. If the Owner and RHPL cannot agree to a price for a change in the Work the parties may agree in writing that the proposed change in the Work be performed on a time and materials basis where all required labour will be charged at a rate of $49.40 per hour and all material costs be subject to a 10% handling charge.

12. The Owner will pay RHPL for the performance of the Work the sum of $ _______________, plus G.S.T., as follows or in accordance with Schedule “A”, attached (strike out inapplicable section):
a. A Deposit of $ _______ payable _____________________________;
b. A Progress Payment of $ _______ payable _______________________;
c. A Progress Payment of $ _______ payable _______________________;
d. A Payment of $ ________ payable when RHPL has provided an Invoice advising that the Work is complete, subject to construction lien legislation; and
e. To the extent that the Owner has retained a holdback in accordance with construction lien legislation, the payment of the Construction Lien Holdback in accordance with that legislation.

13. Payment for change(s) in the Work will be made separately, following RHPL’s completion of the change and within 5 days of RHPL providing an invoice for same. All invoices are due when rendered and will incur interest at a rate of 2% per month, or 24% per annum. If because of climatic or other conditions reasonably beyond the control of RHPL the Work cannot be completed, payment in full for that portion of the Work which has been performed shall be made by the Owner and the Owner may withhold, until the remaining portion of the Work is completed such an amount sufficient and reasonable to cover the cost of performing such remaining work.

14. Should the Owner be insolvent, be adjudged bankrupt or default in any payment described in Articles 12 or 13, above, RHPL may give notice of said default to the Owner and should said default remain uncorrected for a period of (5) five days thereafter RHPL without further notice to the Owner may stop performance of the Work or terminate this Agreement such that RHPL’s obligations hereunder will be suspended or terminated without limitation, the Owner will have the sole responsibility to monitor and manage the safety and condition of the Premises and RHPL shall be entitled to be paid for the value of all Work performed to the date of the termination.

15. RHPL warrants the Work against defects in workmanship and materials for a period of one year for all softscape installations, two years for all Hardscape installations and 5 years for all interlock surfaces where Ultrabase has been used as base material. The warrantee takes effect from the date RHPL submits the invoice for final payment, provided the Owner has paid RHPL in full for all Work performed under this Agreement and subject to the following. The warranty does not apply if the Owner is in default of this Agreement or to the effects of normal corrosion, erosion or wear and tear or against damage or deficiencies caused by the faulty operations or maintenance of the Owner, including the failure to properly maintain, water or protect planting material. The warranty of plant material is limited to a one-time replacement per item within the warranty period and will not apply if salt or calcium chloride is used by the Owner on walkways at the Premises, in the area of those walkways or driveways. The warranty of plant material also does not apply to sod (turf), roses, annuals or bulbs. The warranty for all low voltage bulbs (lamps) endures a period of 90 days. Upon the Owner providing RHPL with notice of a proper warranty claim under this Agreement, RHPL will have 30 days to respond to the warranty, or such other reasonable period of time as is required in the circumstances.

16. RHPL shall have the right to access the site for the purposes of taking photographs in relation to the Work both prior to and after completion of the Work and shall have and retain all copyright in said photographs which may be used by RHPL at its sole discretion in reference and promotional materials, portfolios and/or publications.

17. Notices under this Agreement must be in writing and must be delivered in person or sent by registered mail postage prepaid and addressed to the Owner at _____________________ ___________________________ or to RHPL at 158 Oakcrest Drive, Keswick ON, L4P3H4. A notice will be considered to have been given or made on the day that it is delivered, or, if mailed, five (5) business days after the date of mailing. Either party may give notice to the other of a change in the address set out above and if such notice is given the address specified in that notice will then apply for the purposes of giving notices under this Agreement.

Respectfully submitted by:
Ryan Heath Professional Landscaping

Date: __________________________ Per: _______________________
(I Have the Authority to Bind the Corporation)

Date: __________________ ____________________________________
(Client owner)

A delay in acceptance of more than 30 days will require a review of the proposal and re-dating before the agreement becomes binding.
GST is applicable to all prices quoted. GST #891646002
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:12 AM
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Paul is on a distinguished road
RHPL in most states your #3 statement would be illegal. According to the new 811 calling system the contractor is the party that must call and register the dig number.
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:14 PM
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RHPL is on a distinguished road
I'm in Canada, but that is the one section that i'm working on changing. We arrange for locates, buit the homeowner is responsible for all secondary utilities (that run out from the house as opposed to into the house)

Thanks for pointing that out though

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Old 07-25-2008, 11:23 PM
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Ryan, in your warranty you mention "Ultrabase". What is that stuff?
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul View Post
RHPL in most states your #3 statement would be illegal. According to the new 811 calling system the contractor is the party that must call and register the dig number.
In the US, it's OUR obligation to call DigSafe, but there is nothing illegal about asking the client to provide information also. Even DigSafe isn't infallible - once they told me an invisible fence was at least a foot underground: in reality, less than 3 INCHES, and of course I clipped it.
Kate Kennedy Butler
Labour of Love Landscaping & Nursery

Life without music would be a mistake
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:13 PM
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Location: Wisconsin
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Stonehenge will become famous soon enough
I'm surprised you'd even get info about an invisible fence from a utility locate, let alone the depth of it. They won't give depths here, and they only mark utilities from the street to where they first meet the residence or structure, nothing more. Like dog fences. I think what Paul was saying is that term #3 would not be enforceable, should they rely on info the client provided, and the info proved to be inaccurate. The digger is always responsible for the dig.
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