side work


an architect wants me to do side work for him. whats the best way to do this to assure i get paid. dont want to give him dwgs and then he says he doesnt like them but uses them down the road. also should there be a contract and a 1099?

Jul 11, 19 8:29 am

There should be a contract, and also you can print at kinkos/fedex.  He can mark up changes in front of you in a meeting (that he also has to pay for), and as long as the markups are light (less than half a day) you should be able to negotiate him giving you a check and you giving him the digital files (CAD/.pdf/whatever is agreed) by end of business.  

This is almost a decade back, but I did a lot of work in these conditions, and you're correct to be worried, even with contracts, if I handed many people everything before getting paid, the check never came.  Also, for anything over $5,000, I'd either set up a situation where you're paid weekly (more like an employee) or break the job into phases and get multiple payments for each phase.  This mitigates risk.

Jul 11, 19 9:05 am

I always stage all our work with new clients ( large clients too ) so that we either get a retainer or the first invoice goes out after a minimal amount of work is completed and then see how long it takes to get paid.  It might only be $500 - $1,000 but I use it as a measuring stick for the client's ability to pay and I gauge that against all the other projects in the office to determine the pecking order for priority in the office.  I have some clients who pay in a couple days and other where it's always 60 days.  Then I can use there lack of timeliness against them if they want something fast.

Sometimes with new clients you need to get the invoice into their accounting system and that can take a bit of time but I find it to be an important part of setting up any project.

Jul 11, 19 3:10 pm

Contracts are only as good as the lawyer you can afford to hire to try to enforce them. That is an absolute black hole in which you lose even if you manage to win.

Keep billing amounts within the local small claims limit and keep a paper trail including something written that documents the arrangement. These documents do not have to be signed, they just have to be evidence of the arrangement. Emails are fine. Document telephone conversations with dated memos to file and follow them up with emails.

Basically, you have to believe that you are going to get screwed and prepare the evidence you need to fight as you go. It truly sucks but for some, fucking people over is just business.

Don't release the work without payment. Cash and carry until you have established a relationship of trust.

The 1099 is how the architect gets a deduction for paying you.

Jul 11, 19 4:32 pm

Agreeing on the contract and Lawyer, if you don't have a lawyer to reinforce these contracts if something goes wrong you can try to deal with debt collectors of some sort but I have yet to find them useful. 

Any documentation of the interaction with the architect should be fine, I have used emails before without issue, but safer is always better. Also yes 50/50 is the safest way to make sure you get at least something from an exchange if something goes wrong, if they don't agree to it it may not be worth it. 

Jul 12, 19 3:46 pm

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