Preliminary Notice and Mechanics’ Lien Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Preliminary Notice?
A Preliminary Notice is a document that is sent to construction project owners (and in some cases to construction lenders and general contractors). Graniterock is required by law to send this Notice to protect our right to file a mechanics’ lien against the property under construction if we are not paid for materials or services we provide. The purpose of the Notice is to advise the owner that Graniterock is supplying material or services to the job, so the owner can take steps to reduce the risk that a mechanics’ lien will be filed against the property. A mechanics’ lien is a legal claim against the property that could result in foreclosure if not resolved.
Is the Preliminary Notice a lien against my property?
No. The Preliminary Notice only advises owners of the potential that the firm sending the Notice may file a mechanics’ lien if that firm is not paid. The Notice itself is not a lien. It has no effect on title to property. Accordingly, Preliminary Notices do not have to be withdrawn or released. They only serve the purpose of giving the required notice.
Is the Preliminary Notice a reflection of the integrity or credit standing of any contractor on the project?
No. Graniterock sends a Preliminary Notice any time a customer places an order where the estimated value of our materials or services is projected to be more than $2,500. This is a routine business practice. It is not a reflection of the honesty, integrity, or credit worthiness of any of the contractors on the project.
The “estimated price” of materials in the Notice I received is different from my contractor’s proposal or billing for those materials. How can that be?
The law requires suppliers to include in the Preliminary Notice a reasonable estimate of the total price of the materials to be furnished. Graniterock makes a reasonable estimate from the information available to us based on our quotation or our customer’s initial order. It may be the case that our customer changes the quantity or type of materials, or places additional orders. We do not update the Preliminary Notice to reflect changes to the order.
I am paying my contractor on time. Should I be concerned about mechanics’ liens?
Yes. Payment to the contractor does not protect a property owner from lien claims from suppliers or subcontractors who have not received their payments. Even if you have paid your contractor in full, unpaid suppliers and subcontractors who follow all the correct legal procedures (including sending a timely Preliminary Notice) may have the right to place a mechanics’ lien against your property.
What should I do in response to the Preliminary Notice?
There are measures owners should take to keep their property free of mechanics’ liens from unpaid subcontractors and suppliers. A good source of information on ways to avoid the risk of mechanics’ liens is available from the State Contractors License Board
For more information about Preliminary Notices and Mechanics’ Liens, contact the Customer Service department at 831.768.2120.