On public projects (Governmentally owned) or large private projects protected by payment bonds, lien rights do not apply. Instead you must file a claim on the payment bonds that are their for your protection. All of the notice requirements remain the same, however, if and when it comes time to lien, you would file a Notice of Non Payment against the bond. The insurance company then steps in and pays your outstanding bills, although with considerably more red tape. Your bills, however, will be paid.
It is incredibly important that your do all of the paperwork necessary to ensure that the payment process flows smoothly. If you do not do all of the paperwork outlined below and if there is a dispute regarding your payment, the advantage will NOT be yours. Make sure you read all subcontracts prepared by others very carefully. If there is something you do not understand, ask questions before you sign.
If you don’t already then you need to:
- Get a signed contract outlining all of the costs and services and/or products you will provide. NEVER WORK ON VERBAL AGREEMENTS.
- Get a signed change order for all additional work over an above the scope of the original contract even if you are not charging for this extra work.
- Get signed delivery or work tickets for each day you worked or each delivery detailing what was done and what was accomplished or what was delivered. Try to be as specific as possible.
- If there is a delay in your work, get a signed document detailing the delay and what caused it. Most delays are caused by the GC or other Subs, but GCs or Developers try and hold this against you anyway. You need ammunition to fire back with if this should become a problem.
- Never sign a GC contract that signs away your right to file a lien.
- Take pictures of your work and/or materials supplied. Digital photography costs nothing and can only help you.
- Take pictures of damage to your work done by others