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It's the first time i'm dealing with this kind of thing, so it's probably a basic question, but I would still like to double check.

I found a contractor for a job in the house, but he's booked for the next few weeks. It's fine with me, but he's asking for a 50% deposit right now. Is that common?

Also, he didn't provide any contract to sign apart from a one page document stating a very generic description of what he was going to do. There's his license number (which I checked) and contact information, but that's pretty much it.

I used some legal software to generate a basic agreement, which he was ok with signing, but it was clear that it was unusual for him to do business in this way.

Is that something common -- to ask for a deposit without virtually any agreement in place and without a set date when the job is going to start?

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    If it's a good contractor it might be worth it. If they're booked out the deposit is your place holder (obviously); why would they reserve that time with no assurance you'll have the work done? The doc can be somewhat problematic. If it's too general anything that comes up will cost more. I would verify you've received a bid and not an estimate. They should be able to give a relatively accurate bid such that any additional charges would have to come from unknowable things. – ChiefTwoPencils Apr 24 '15 at 23:02

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