FOR CONSUMERS

 
   
It’s Business Not Personal When Building or Remodeling a Home
  
  Business may have run on a handshake or a verbal contract to perform construction work years ago.  It sometimes happens even today, but is the worst thing a consumer can do when hiring a contractor.  No work should ever be done without a written contract.  It’s not personal, it’s just plain good business.  If a contractor is offended, consider it a red flag and move on to a different contractor.  It’s not worth the risk to operate without everything being conducted in writing from the formal contract to change orders.     
 
Even with the best contract in place, the consumer still needs to protect their interest by requesting lien releases from all sub-contractors and suppliers.  Not getting lien releases happens everyday and leaves home purchases and remodeled projects with the prospect of getting a lien notice.  YES, after you’ve signed documents and paid your general contractor in full, subs and suppliers can come after you for unpaid work or supplies used to build your home.  This will not happen if you receive lien releases from all the subs and suppliers.  How do you get lien releases?  Ask your general contractor for a list of all subs and suppliers and request lien releases from everyone of them.  If you are buying a speculative home, make sure you have title insurance that covers unrecorded liens. These are a couple of the ways the consumer can be sure that no one can come after them for unpaid bills.