Construction on a home can be stressful. The planning, the mess, and not to mention the money that you pay are all things that can make or break a great experience. Whether it be a home addition, home remodel, a kitchen or bath remodel, trusting your contractor to have the best vendors for the job is part of what you pay them for. Most people just assume when you pay the contractor, they pay their vendors, but that is often not the case. If your contractor leaves town or ignores paying their vendors, you could be left with a pretty hefty “double bill” on your hands. That’s why, when selecting a contractor, make sure in your contract with them, they provide lien releases as the job progresses.
So, what the heck is a lien release? A lien release is a document provided by your contractor, meant to provide legal proof that your contractor has paid their sub-contractor(s) or material suppliers. It is meant to protect the home owner and the builder in the eyes of the law. Without this proof, the electrician, roofer, plumber, flooring, drywall, or tile vendors could come to you after the job and demand payment for work you thought you already paid for. It’s actually such a common thing we hear how people over pay, get caught hiring a unlicensed contractor, an interior designer who acts like a licensed contractor, or someone that just leaves the job. Stories like these have been all over Lake Mary, Heathrow, Maitland, Alaqua, Winter Park, Windermere, and all throughout Central Florida!
Another very important tip is to not pay your contractor more than 10% for a deposit when you sign your contract. Progress payments to your contractor, shall be based on work completed by the construction team, signed lien releases from the subcontractors and material suppliers who delivered materials to the job, and inspections “passed” if the contractor is billing for the work. You shouldn’t pay your contractor and his team, if they are not passing their inspections. Don’t pay 50% up front and don’t buy all of the materials, this is normally a sign of an unlicensed contractor. Be careful of the website’s out there that advertise licensed contractors to help with your construction projects. The majority of the so called contractors are unlicensed with the State of Florida DBPR.
Don’t let this happen to you! Make sure to hire a licensed and insured contractor that can provide you with numerous references. Then, do your homework and call these references. If you spend a few minutes on the phone calling some of the references you could save yourself thousands of dollars. If you want to learn more from an experienced contracting team, give us a call or drop us an email today!