For construction professionals, one important step in managing your business is collecting the proper information on any job in order to issue invoices and collect payments. You also need this job information before construction work in order to file mechanics liens. This should be a fairly easy and streamlined portion of your business process that you follow every time you start a new project.
When you design your job information sheets, do some research about the mechanics lien laws in your state. You want to ensure you collect pertinent information such as the name and address of the property owner long before you might need it. You also want to make sure you get information on the prime contractor if you’re not working directly for the owner, the project start date, the address (physical and/or electronic) to which invoices should be sent, and any other information you might need.
It’s a good idea to have a filing system at your office to keep track of all your projects, invoices, outstanding receivables, and timelines. You’ll probably use a software program to handle these details, especially sending invoices and tracking deadlines.
How to Double-Check Job Information
If you want to double-check and verify the information on your job sheet, you can check property ownership with the county’s registrar of deeds office. Many counties across the country have online access to property records. County tax assessor’s offices also may keep online records, but they are less accurate as they only show who owned the property for the previous year’s taxes. IF there are any questions, you may want to check in person at the county offices as they may not keep the records online updated on a daily basis.
Why You Want to Collect Accurate Job Information Before Beginning Construction Work
Let’s say, for example, you’ve been contracted to do some improvements to a home, but after performing the work, you can’t get in touch with the person you were communicating with. When you check the property records, you discover the house was owned by another party who is not adverse to the work, but not in the financial situation to pay for the improvements. This scenario could have been prevented by checking property ownership up front.
When these situations do occur, a good construction attorney can often step in and help you negotiate an equitable solution to the situation and often help you recover some of your unexpected losses. Sometimes, this is best handled by filing a mechanics lien. Other times, your lawyer can simply call the other party and put their persuasive skills to good use.
If you want experience on your side, the team at National Lien & Bond would be delighted to help you understand the lien laws in your state, design job information sheets, contracts, and business processes to help keep you covered, and help you handle issues when they arise. With over 30 years’ experience, our team knows how to handle even complex and multi-state situations and help you get resolution and payment fast.