Are Lien release/waivers used?


Jan 17, 2021
Getting so close to having a pool - yea! Do homeowners ask the PB for a lien waiver for the larger subcontractors?


TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
There are many things that you can do or verify to be extra careful when dealing with a contractor on a large project.

You can ask for many things, including:

1) Business license for the main contractor and all subcontractors.

2) Contractor’s license for the main contractor and all subcontractors.

3) Proof of insurance for the main contractor and all subcontractors.

4) Proof of bond for the main contractor and all subcontractors.

5) Proof of worker’s compensation insurance for the main contractor and all subcontractors.

6) A list of everyone who will potentially have lien rights, including all subcontractors and suppliers.

7) Lien waivers from anyone who would have lien rights on the pool as they are paid.

8) Quality control specifications for all materials and workmanship. For example, what constitutes “level” on a pool (+/- 1mm or +/- 2”)?

9) References for previous work completed.

However, coming at a contractor with all of these requirements can be somewhat off-putting as many customers don’t do this.

There will likely be contractors who would choose to ignore you if you approached with these requirements.

At the end of the day, the contractor’s integrity and reputation will be what determines the outcome of the project.

You can ask for any or all of these things if you feel like they are what you need to feel comfortable about the job, but they don’t guarantee anything, really.

In my opinion, all of these things are reasonable to verify, but many contractors would likely just decide that you’re going to be a difficult customer and not worth dealing with.
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TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
Depending on the size of the project and if you’re going to borrow money to pay for the project, you could also consider a construction security escrow account, which will have the funds deposited to an escrow account and then paid out on verification of completed construction and receipt of all waivers or releases of lien rights on the property.

If it’s a big complicated project and you are worried about various legal issues and protections, maybe consider consulting an attorney specializing in construction projects to help you make sure that the contract meets all of your needs and requirements.

Note that if a contractor is busy and does not necessarily need the work, they will likely ignore requests for proposals that come with a lot of legal requirements up front regardless of whether or not the issues are reasonable to bring up.

Note 2. I am just giving unqualified opinion. Do not rely on anything I say or suggest. Consult an attorney or other qualified professional expert if you need qualified help.
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