PDR Technician: How To Get Restoration Work Part IV
But what do you put in a contract? Everything! If you want the body shop to paint the car with all trim and panels on and all weatherstrips left on, than just put it in the contract and you will know what you will be getting with no surprises. If you want more, then be very detailed in the contract. I suggest the following information to be included in the contract.
- Put in writing everything that is in need of repair.
- Will the hood/doors/decklid be removed for paint?
- Agree on what trim will be removed and replaced for body and paint work.
- If new panels are to be installed, will new panels be “lap welded” or ‘butt-welded”?
- Will all panels look “factory” correct after restoration including factory seams?
- Agree on the panels that will be replaced vs. the panels that are to be repaired.
- Agree on the method of repair of panels. An example is a typical early mustang lower door where there is minor rust in the lower front and rear corner. Will the body shop grind the rust area and apply “bondo” (I hope not) or will they cut the metal out and weld in a new patch panel? (I hope so). Sure, it costs more but it will last much longer.
- Agree on the paint prep. Will the car be media blasted or sanded?
- Agree on the manufacture of the primer and paint that will be used.
- Agree on if the car will have single stage or base coat/clear coat paint.
- Agree if the body shop will “color sand” and wheel out the car prior to putting the trim back on the car or will they leave that up to you.
- Agree on an approximate timeframe for completion. Many body shops have a problem with this but you need to have some type of timeframe. Understand that there are times the body shop runs into unknown problems but they should be calling you when they find any. They should also call you if there are any changes to the contract price. If the longest timeframe is not met within reason, the body shop should refund some money.
- Agree on the times that you want to be contacted so that you can review the progress on the car, I would recommend after disassembly, after body work has been finished but prior to primer, prior to and after paint. Make sure the body shop will allow you to stop in unannounced to see progress on the car.
- Buy a disposable camera and ask the body shop to take pictures while doing the work. This is very important when you sell the car.
- Agree on if there will be any guarantee about the body and paintwork and rust repair.
- Agree on a price and payment schedule. NEVER pay in full up front.
Every car is different but the more specifics you put in the contract the better chance you have to in getting the car back the way you want it, when you want it and at a price that you agreed to. And if you like the work that was done, make sure you tell your friends. Good body shops are hard to find.