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Can I collect a payment for documents and schedules produced, prior to physical work start date?

CaliforniaCash Flow

We use a good, medium-detailed California Home Improvement Contract, and it has been working fine. I actually appreciate how it helps us be more diligent in the preconstruction stage, which in-turn helps our projects run more efficiently. However, one concern that has come up is that their does not seem to be any provision for preconstruction work in the Home Improvement Business code. There are way more regulations, requirements and codes to follow than when that code was enacted. Today, if a contractor wants to run a successful project that conforms to the business practices code, the local building code, the HOA and CALGreen requirements, the energy requirements, the drainage requirements, construction waste requirements, and air quality requirements (I am sure I am missing somebody), then project management and preconstruction is a necessary step. The amount of work that my office staff and myself have put into planning the current project is by far the most that we have ever done for a project this size. Meanwhile, since we haven't started physical work yet, we can't collect more than $1000. So my current plan is to include a Construction Administration amount on the first progress payment invoice, to at least catch up. The problem is that the job doesn't start for two weeks and the first payment is two weeks after that, and I already have been carrying some of the work for a month. Luckily i have other work for now. Anyway, my long winded question is this: Would producing construction specifications and construction schedules be considered tangible evidence of work where I could collect a payment now? Since we produced both of those documents and they are officially apart of the contract documents, along with the architects' plans, would they constitute work completed? For future, is it possible to charge for estimations using a letter of intent and still fall under Home Improvement Business code? What if I went in as a PM with a PM contract?

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