What is the industry standard for requesting deposits from the GC or Masonry Contractor on Public Works projects like municipalities, schools, counties & etc. I bid on 70 ft of radiused wall seat cap & 7 8" thick pier caps all in acid washed custom sizes for a local school district. The GC wrote the Masonry contractor back basically telling him that no deposits are ever paid and to find a different precast guy.

A lot of the larger precasters have gone belly up in this fragile economy selling the run of the mill standard sizes of wall cap etc. Are other folks getting deposits to start a job like this?

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In NC it depends upon your relationship with the GC. I have gotten $200K + deposits on public projects and I have also been told the same as you. I have also had the GC give a letter of Credit from their bank so we could see that they were reputable. Sounds like you are a 2nd tier sub and basically your contract is going to be with the Masonary Contactor. So you will want your contract with him and a deposit from him. If he can't do it then see about a letter of Credit from his bank and have your bank vet him.
You can ask, but you will probably be shot down. Public works jobs are bonded by the GC and sometimes 2nd and 3rd tier subs depending alot on the GC bonding company. Payment for subs should be laid out in the special provisions.If you are not pay per contract provisions you can go against the bond, and really no one wants that. Bottom line know who your bidding with, call around talk with other subs who have worked with the GC. Keep in mind when working with the Gov., paperwork shopdrawing and any work on site prevailing wage, cert. payroll and more redundant paperwork. It will be around 45 days before you see any money, and they hold 5-10% retainage. It's alot of fun!

you can't dictate the terms of payments, deposits, etc but you can dictate whether you want the business or not. After waiting 5 months for a payment (was expecting 60 days), I have not pursued any future business.

Many public work projects here in B.C. require YOU to give THEM a deposit ! Called a performance bond.

Kind of limits what small shops can get into .

If you are working for a sub contractor, then it's business as usual , 50% deposit, balance on completion, although sometimes they insist on a 10% holdback for 30 days. 

It may depend on your location and the policies in place. Just did a job and financed 100k for entire job. If it is public job you will likely get paid but you may have to wait. Depends how much they Need you. If you can show them you are the only game in town then your chances of getting a deposit just got a lot better.
Always material cost up front and labor when job complete. You are not a bank and should not finance a GC,s project. I personally think most GC are crooks and I am one. I would never ask one of my subs to finance a material cost for me. Sounds like if the guy makes a comment like know deposits are ever made to find another guy he is probably a jerk . Do you know how hard it is to get paid if a GC doesn't want to pay you? Its hard at least in AZ. I have subed out many times and it always is a pain in my ass.

Were talking public works? The GC is at the mercy of the owner of the project everyone must do their paperwork,It's hard for the GC to pay for things the GC hasn't been paid for by the owner. If you build something in shop, you can be paid for material on hand before it ever leaves your shop it's all paperwork. The GC is paying dearly for the bond which is the   guarantee the work will be paid for and completed.

You may want to let him find 'a different precast guy'. I've had only one experience with 'public' and it took forever to get paid. I mean a long time. Deposit was not a problem however. As an artisan I believe you have every right to DEMAND a deposit. If they refuse, you may want to pass on the job. For custom work It's not out of left field to demand a promise of payment. (in this case cash). Also, there is no way on Earth that you should have to  cover the cost of constructing these pieces, not now not ever.

Thanks to all of your for your valuable input. I just received a call from the Mason that was purchasing & installing the seat cap on the above job. Seems as if all of the larger masonry supply houses are really not really in the custom pre-cast business anymore. I suppose that they were having a tough time keeping a custom shop busy in this economic climate. Good sign for us smaller shops. Anyway, he and the GC are going to split the cost of the 50% deposit and have agreed to pay the rest by the 15th of Oct. Thanks again concrete friends. I really enjoy this site and everything that you all bring in to my shop.



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