All business transactions between individuals and companies for a service or product should have a Proposal for Work. Once signed, a Proposal can serve as an agreement for services, materials and payment between the buyer and the contractor or agent. Whether it is a wedding planner, caterer, or a roofing or site work contractor, you need a proposal!
A proposal should outline basic terms of the work, service or product. Quantities, the time for completion, a schedule, cost, provisions for additional services or products needed, provisions for payment terms, exclusions, and anything specific to be provided by either the purchaser or vendor should be outlined in a proposal, so everyone is clear on what is provided for the exact cost. A proposal can be signed as a binding agreement.
If you don’t have a proposal, how will you know what exactly is included for the price? Are you comparing apples to apples between vendors and contractors? Are you getting the same thing? Did someone overlook something that should be included, or was there a miscommunication as to what really was desired for the work or product?
Now, Dillon & Semenovich Inc. knows little on roofing or catering, so we will stick to discussing what you should look for in a professional site work contractor, and their proposal. There are many facets to site work, so we will cover some of the most common things we think you should be concerned about.
Insurance- Is your contractor insured? Large machinery can damage existing utilities, trees, and your driveway. Make sure your contractor is insured for damages they cause.
Utilities- Your contractor should know to call 311 for utility mark outs. Because some utilities are private, such as cable or even electric, most site contractors have their own utility locators for on-site locating. Hitting electric or sewer is dangerous, hazardous, and costly. Experienced equipment operators are less likely to damage unmarked utilities, because they watch for changes in the soil.
Permits- Does your municipality require separate permits for water and sewer work, clearing, or driveways? Building permits do not necessarily include these items. Bonds may be required for work on State highways, and on municipal utility lines. Fines for violating NYS DEC regulations can be severe. Find out if you, or your contractor will have to obtain the permits, and the costs associated with the permits and/or bond requirements. Pond and wetland work always need DEC approval.
Materials- It is a good idea to read over your proposal to be sure your contractor will be providing the correct materials, and the correct quantity. Are the materials of the same quality, or offer the same warranty? Some contractors cut costs by using cheaper product, or by “skimping.” You can eliminate skimping by requesting load tickets that show what was delivered and used in your project. If you know the footage of your project, the Internet makes it simple for a homeowner to research how many tons of asphalt or stone is needed.
Equipment- The condition of equipment and vehicles can be an indication of both quality and completion time for your project. There is nothing wrong with older, well maintained equipment. Vehicles and equipment that look poorly maintained are more likely to breakdown, and delay a project. Business owners who maintain their fleet pay attention to details on the job as well, such as daily clean up, scheduling, and quality.
Schedule- If you have a deadline for work, put it in writing. Some contractors will start, and then leave projects to come back at a later time. If you have a short timeline, a contractor might include working longer shifts, which is more costly. If a contractor seems “delinquent”, and you have a schedule in writing, your town or county consumer affairs department will usually assist a property owner.
Hopefully these tips help you compare apples to apples in selecting your next contractor! In my experience as a business owner and homeowner, the old adage “you get what you pay for” is often true. Having a written Proposal will help you determine what you are paying for, before you make your decision to hire!
Choosing the right business name is one of the most single important things when starting any business, whether you are opening a bakery or forming a construction company. A name identifies your business, but it also speaks to your clients about your services, products, and values. Do you have a specific product? Do you want a name that can grow with your business as you continue to offer new services? Do you want an industry specific identifier? Or perhaps your own name to represent who is providing the service and/or products for the business?
These are all questions I considered, and I decided after some amount of deliberation on Dillon & Semenovich, Inc. Being my last name is now Greer, I am often asked "Who is Dillon & Semenovich?" Truth be told, I did not want to be generalized by some typical name like "Hudson Valley Site Works." I wanted something that was symbolic of my commitment to integrity and honesty. The name had to represent the strength and perseverance of a woman in business, and one in the male dominated construction industry at that. So, "Site Girlz Contracting" wasn't going to cut it..... Then there was Greer, but that's really an assumed last name by marriage, and that didn't speak to me either.
Ann Dillon and Mary Semenovich were my grandmothers. Ann and Mary were honest. Caring. Steadfast, and unwavering in their ability and determination to do the right things. No matter the obstacles they faced in life. They were always kind, and always created happiness. And through them, I learned to do the same thing. These are my values. These are the values of Dillon & Semenovich. To be honest, diligent, to build relationships, and always do the job right, because we care about our clients and our work.
Dillon & Semenovich Inc.......That's what's in a name.