Serious Dilemma

Ok, I was contacted by one of the top builders in the area, and they wanted me to clean some picture windows only, superintendent or guy in charge met me at the house, and gave me a fat contract to fill and sign, told me that I need $2M insurance and their name added in the policy, and kept telling me where all the houses they were building are located, and blah blah blah.

I asked him if if he wanted me to bid on all those jobs, and he said that once I sign the contract I’ll be the one they call for window cleaning. I was shocked and because my lack of experience I didn’t really knew exactly how to handle the situation so I went into “Listen only” mode and talked very little, explained my method and he asked me things about my company (employees, references, etc).

Now I got a call from him telling me that they “cannot” sign the scratch waiver … I need the job but I’m not in desperate need, but can see a lot of more doors opening after this, but at the same time I don’t wanna risk everything.

I told the guy that I was going to see my lawyer (that’s you guys) and give him an answer tomorrow, since we haven’t do no one job, even residential, without a signed waiver ,which is not true, even when I know that should be the way to do it, but I don’t want to open that can of worms now.

NOW, my question and/or plan …

Can I get some other insurance besides the GL of $2M (which I already have since Yesterday) to cover me in case that something happens on WHAT I’m working on ? I’ve read about something called “custody and care” or similar … is it worth it?

I don’t know yet the volume of work that this will bring to see if it justify all this, but I’ll discuss that with him … but my idea is, if the previous question seems viable, explain to him that I’m gonna have to do all that, hence my prices will be XX% more since I will have to use chemicals in order to remove all the silicone and stuff without using a scraper.

This is NOT going to be CCU as of now, but I’d “like” to do it in the future, is just residential cleaning on houses over $1M and $2M.

I hope that you guys with more experience can give me some advice and help see things that I’m sure not seeing clearly now. If you have dealt with these type of builders will be a plus.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the loooong post.


I’d be real carefull with this one. It could be that they’re looking for somebody with a nice insurance policy to replace just their picture windows!

Too much risk involved. Hold your ground on the waiver. If a waivers not in place, I’m not sure I’d step foot on the property.

Are you sure he really understands what fab. debris is? Did you give him a builder to glass supplier sample waiver?

Run Dont walk away from this one. They dont want to sign your waiver, but they want you to get 2 mil worth of GL in. industry standard is usually 1 MIl.
Something smells fishy to me. He wants you to put out the extra cost for the insurance, but wont allow you to protect your investment. I dont need the work that bad. Just my opinion

Micah, I explained to him but that builder to supplier waiver is something that I had no idea it existed … do you have a sample that I can have ?

I do understand what you’re saying, and all are valid points. This is one of the 3 top builders in Texas with an excellent reputation, which leads me to think that they are not trying to bait me to pay for scratched glass that the might already have. All this is standard for every contractor, and the $2M is standard for them too.

I’d have thoght the same if we were talking about a small builder with 3 or 4 houses a year … these guys have been Builder of the year 3 years in a row, certifications for everything, energy, “green” and all that jazz, so I would discard that scenario. I really believe that they are doing all this out of seriousness.

To be honest, I really want in, but leaning more towards to walk away .

i don’t know much about signing things but why did they need their name on your policy?

That’s what’s called Additional Insured, an endorsment in their favor.

I’m still really green at all this stuff, so I try to learn as I go.
Sorry if is not clear enough, but that is my perception of it too, not clear.

I’d probably hold them at bay for now until you get some more info’. Ask them which glass fabricators they use, how many windows have they replaced so far(not that they will give you the real answers). Put it to them that you would really like the work & then point them in the direction of Then they may see where you are coming from. If they brush you aside quickly - then you know it was a ploy to get your insurance to cough up for the bad glass.


This additional insured clause is pretty common. Its no big deal. It sounds like you have a million and they want 2? One way to do this is ask him if you can have 1 mill General Liablity and 1 mil umbrella. This is much cheaper than an additional 1 mil in general.

The waiver is very difficult to get signed. Since one is not signed I would not scrape anything.

We handle these and larger jobs all the time on my Union side of my company. My advice is to always have your attorney read anything you are going to sign as he is who you are going to call when things go bad. However, you will NOT get these guys or any guys to change their contracts because their attorneys have drawn them up to protect them.

If you want I would be more than happy to read over this contract for you. I am not an attorney (but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express Last night):slight_smile: No seriously I can tell you if its a normal contract or soemthing out of the ordinary.

I live in IL so I dont think I am a threat to you competition wise.

After reading this post…like the other guys I’m pumped that they want you to have the job…but if you aren’t comfortable not having them sign that waiver…I’d be walking away.
HOWEVER, I wanted to share with you this. It took me a number of visits with a builder to convince him about the waiver and why they should be signed. They’re one of the top custom builders in my area and had some ‘supposed’ awards. The homes that I cleaned hardly had any paint and were just dirty…some ‘woolin’ involved. Anyway, the guy had never heard of this waiver thing. I wasn’t surprised because they used ‘cheap labor’ to do the job…just like most of the ‘top builders’. I went on to educate him. Printed out some stuff and referred him to some websites.
I knew I may not get the job but I was keen on educating him what the risks were for me and for him and how it could end up saving his company money. I ended up getting some of his work three months later.
If you have it in you…perhaps you could bring a bunch of information from the internet and explain if he has the patience. They may want to use you sometime down the road.
Hope this helps.

This is standard procedure. Most commercial accounts want to be named as additonal insured.

What you are looking for is called “Care, Custody and Control”. It will basically cover you on[B] What [/B]you are working on. If you just have a general liability policy for 50 million, it really doesnt matter if glass get scratched. Its your problem. Chances are that if you didnt bring it up to your insurance carrier, you dont have it (kinda like a sneaky loop hole for them- you know they like those!). My advice to anyone is to check with your carrier and get it added ASAP.

As for builders, I used to do all kinds. Big, big homes most would walk from. I would take a look at some of their homes that are being built. If they use the “Sling Shot Painting Company” I would get a waiver signed or I would refuse the work. Remember, you are there to do a construction cleaning, not a restoration job. If the painters screwed them up royaly, now its your baby? I dont think so. Check out his subs. That in itself will give you an idea if its worth it.


Dont walk away you can do this. These type of things separate men from boys.

If they are the third biggest in Texas…they have been around. Find out who they used previously to clean windows and see if you can contact them to find out some information. I know how you feel…you dont want to lose a nice gig…because you know they will get someone else…but cover all your bases and feel good about it.

I wouldn’t walk. I’d persist tell I got the waiver signed.

Carlos, review and There is a sample of a “builder to supplier” waiver on the IWCA website. Encourage the builder to visit the website, explain to him it will save him money.

Education is key to getting the waiver signed. They need to know why they’re signing it. Otherwise, it seems like a “Get out of jail free” card to them.

Two things about this deal are fishy to me though, and that’s why I said to be careful. The first is of course, his refusal to sign the waiver. Second, a builder who flat out tells you if you sign this contract, we’ll use you, even before we see how much you charge.

I think you can do this, you just need to get the waiver signed. If there is NO possible way the waiver will be signed, it’s a good cue to what’s really going on.

Great amount of info and of an excellent quality, thanks a lot !

Will try to get with him tomorrow and get him as much info as I can gather tonight, and start over from there to see what happens.

Remember a couple of things :

1 - This guy is not the “top dog”, he is one of the superintendents, so I have to assume that he’s only a messenger, not the decision maker.

2 - As far as I know, there’s not CCU involved, so when I got together with him, I did explain how janitorial companys doing the house cleaning are often doing the window cleaning, without the knowdlege and proper tools. That leads to damaged glass, or a not so clean window. Once the window is dirty you cannot see if there are scratches on the glass, and I won’t go to every house and do a quick wash to remove dirt, so I can inspect the window … is stupid and make no sense, and I just made that up :slight_smile:

Again, the only house I saw was just dirty, a couple of silicone smudges and that’s it.
I would even do THAT house with no waiver since there’s not scraping or wooling to do, just scrubber and squeegee. I’m just trying to cover my butt for the future, but I see that I’m giving them everything and getting nothing from them, so is not “too good to be true” to looks fishy to me .

Mike Draper, will try to scan the contract and shoot you an email so you can review it as you offered (Thank you)

I do not have a lawyer, never needed one, but seems like if I want to turn this into a real business I’ll have to get one.

Thanks one more time to take this so seriously and share your thoughts.

You really need to keep in mind that there may be previous damage to the glass besides Fab Debris. Ive seen masonry workers wipe concrete off of the glass. Ive seen brick scratches too. Brick layers will bust bricks in half. Other half falls skimming the glass on its way down.

Ive seen roofers fling their scrap pieces from the roof. Glides down and skims across the glass- not pretty. Ive seen weld spots from landscapers cutting rebar for a paver patio- wrecks the glass- tiny hot pieces of metal burn themselves into the glass. Patio doors are expensive! These issues are the reason I only work with a handful of builders in my area. They all cover their stuff during the building process. I give them a fair deal and they give me basically a straight clean with a little spot scraping. Everyone is happy (especially Me:D).


I can receive a fax if you want to do it that way.

His refusal to sign the waiver is not fishy to me because most wont especially big companies. However you do raise an interesting point. Why the contract if there isnt any work. Might be nothing I have seen odder things happen but unless its a service contract I am confused. Also I dont think it would bind Carlos to anything unless there is a scope of work and address.

PM your fax Mike, I’ll fax it to you before I leave.
I have a “Social event” that I need to attend, no escape there.

Thanks for your concern Mike and everybody else.

So, CC&C covers scratches caused specifically by fabricating debris? Sounds easy for us WC’ers then… Or, does the agent/insurance company need to hear the details of the issue before deciding that they will either offer of exclude CC&C?