How to Write an Advanced Payment Letter Request for Construction

Zaid's picture
Zaid Rahman
October 26, 2021

Maintaining a steady cash flow is essential to the success of your construction business.

And sometimes, to ensure your next project doesn’t leave you in a hole, it is necessary to submit a request letter for advance payment for construction.

But your specialty skills as a GC or subcontractor don’t necessarily include writing a professional letter asking for payment in advance.

In this guide, we’ll address how to write an advanced payment letter request for construction and answer your common questions from…

  • What should you include in your request letter?
  • How should you word it?
  • How long does your request letter need to be?

…so you can secure advanced payment and ensure your next project’s success.

Table of Contents

Flexbase Is Your Answer to the Construction Industry’s Broken Payment System

With a Flexbase subscription, not only do our customers reap the benefits of automated AIA billing forms, but our integrative software also ensures you get paid sooner with tools like:

  • Project tracking
  • Payment applications
  • Legal reminders
  • And much more

On top of automating the entire payment process, you’ll have access to a sample request letter for advance payment for construction.

Because the requirements of a construction contract will be different for every county and every state, it can be confusing, and potentially risky, to attempt completing one on your own.

When you log in to Flexbase, you’ll be greeted by every available template, fully compliant with state laws, ready to be auto-filled.

You don’t need to worry about getting the legal jargon right or including all the necessary information.

Simply fill out a few boxes and send them to your client — no need to spend time:

  • Sourcing and downloading a random template
  • Filling out every line; and
  • Double-checking your state’s requirements to make sure your request letter is compliant with the laws.

Our automated template will do all of that for you.

Schedule your free demo to see how Flexbase can keep you on top of your cash flow and eliminate the need for advance payment.

Why Would a Construction Company Need to Send an Advanced Payment Letter Request for Construction?

Although down payments or upfront deposits are increasingly uncommon on construction projects, some contractors or suppliers do find them necessary at times.

However, if you’re thinking of writing a request letter for 50% down payment, be prepared to run into some obstacles.

Some states limit the size of the down payment on a home improvement contract, so be sure to look into your county or state’s laws before submitting your request letter.

A few reasons advance payment may be needed before starting a project include:

  • The cost associated with getting a new project off the ground
  • Materials purchase
  • Equipment rental or purchase
  • Capital needed to hire additional workers

As an incentive for supplying extra capital, the client may be given a discount on the final project amount.

How Do I Write a Letter Requesting Advanced Payment?

You can choose to write your own letter or rework a sample letter you find online.

The problem there is ensuring your request letter is compliant with state and county laws.

With a Flexbase subscription, you’ll get access to pre-populated request letters, taking the guesswork out of the equation.

Let’s dive into how to write an advanced payment letter request for construction.

What Should You Include in Your Advanced Payment Letter Request?

In your request letter for advance payment for construction, there are a few things you should include to make sure the client is aware and comfortable with the request (and therefore, more likely to agree).

Be sure to include:

  • How you plan to spend the advance payment or deposit (what specific materials or equipment you plan to purchase or rent)
  • Exactly how much money you will need
  • How the client will benefit (ie. schedule improvement, price of materials); and
  • The timeline of when the materials will be delivered and a promise for open and timely communication.
  • It will also be helpful to share your surety bond information and let the client know they’re able to require an advanced payment bond.

This will help make them feel at ease and confident in their deposit.

Advanced Payment Request Template

Keep in mind that the requirements for a legal advance payment request letter for construction will vary by state.

For a generic sample request letter for advance payment for construction, see below:

To _________ :

Please allow this letter to serve as our request to receive an advance payment from the

Brownfield Opportunity Areas State Assistance Contract (Insert contract #).

The __________________________ hereby requests a 25% advance payment, in the amount of $______________.

Please note that costs incurred and paid from the advance must be accounted for in the subsequent payment request. Furthermore, the advance will be deducted from the total amount of reimbursement requested.

If you have any questions or need additional information to process this request, please contact

___________________________ at (______)________________.

Sincerely,

________________

3 Tips on How to Draft a Business Letter Requesting Advance Payment for a Construction Project

#1: Issue Your Request Before You Need to

By issuing a request letter for advance payment for construction early, you will be able to gauge the client or developer’s acceptance or resistance to grant the advance.

Once you know which way they are leaning, you’ll be able to adjust your strategy.

For example, let’s say you ask a client for an advance of 10% of your total project to purchase materials.

You could position your request by highlighting the ongoing rate of inflation to the client.

If you’re able to purchase materials now at the current price, you could save the client money in the long run.

But, if your request is declined and you have to purchase the same materials later on, that delay could result in extra expenses because of a price increase.

#2: Over-Estimate the Amount You Ask for

Before you submit your request, be sure the amount you’re asking for is an amount large enough to avoid the need for future advance payments.

However, be aware that there may be some legal limitations to how much you can request.

Down payments for large projects typically fall between 20-40% of the total cost of the project.

While some states don’t have any restrictions on the advanced payment amount that you can request, there are a few states that require down payments to be no more than one-third of the total cost of the project.

In California, for example, the state has strict guidelines for down payments to building contractors: The legal limit is either 10% of the total cost or $1,000, whichever is less.

Doing your research and knowing the limits, if any, of advance payments will save you time and stress.

But, managing your cash flow and being able to estimate how much you’ll need in the first place can be a daunting task. Flexbase’s automated payment software integrates with your current accounting and project management software for a streamlined and flawless payment process every time.

#3: Use Your Reputation

Use your history of previous projects to assure the owner their advance payment is in good hands.

It’s a good practice to provide owners with the names and phone numbers of past project owners.

You could also consider material suppliers and subcontractors to give testimonials to your work.

When you can, highlighting exactly what the advance payment will be used for (ie. specifically what materials or purchases) will give the owner assurance that the funds will be used for their project only.

How Flexbase Helps You Draft an Advanced Payment Letter Request for Construction

With a Flexbase subscription, you’re getting payment automation at your fingertips.

Generate payment apps with:

  • Schedule of values
  • Lien waivers
  • Notarizations
  • Prevailing wage
  • Insurance documents
  • AIA forms

And because we already have access to all of your construction company’s payment data, you have already told us everything about your business that a lender would need or want to know.

This includes information like:

  • Your assessor’s identification number (AIN)
  • Who your clients are
  • Past AIA billing forms

Our software can assess all of the business owner’s payment history data and pass this information on anonymously to lenders so that they have a higher quality, more comprehensive amount of data on your company from day one.

That way, when you log in to the Flexbase platform, you’ll be greeted with several different lending options that you have prequalified for.

Wave goodbye to:

  • Gathering paperwork
  • Tiple checking; and
  • Headaches

The best part?

Instead of downloading a template you find online and filling it out yourself, your Flexbase subscription will give you access to a pre-populated request letter tailored to your client and payment needs.


Blogs you might like

Finally, a credit card built for construction companies.

Get 0% interest for 60 days.
Get pre-approved