Mechanics Lien Waiver on Home Improvement Project

I'm replacing my HVAC system, $6000 or so. I have read that one should get a mechanic's lien waiver prior to final payment on a construction project. Is this a common thing? I'm guessing I would want protection from possibly the equipment supplier coming back to me saying the contractor did not pay him, as there is no subcontractor. I'm using a reputable licensed installer with 20 years in the business, its not like he's fly by night, just want to be extra cautious if it something I can require. Does the fact that he is bonded make it a mute point?
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It's mute only if you don't say anything about it...That the installer is bonded certainly goes a long way towards making the point moot, however. :)
You can always ask, of course. Whether you'll get it is another question. The key thing I think is that if he hasn't paid his distributor, for example, I don't think anything he signs prevents them from placing the lien anyway if they were to so choose, so not sure it would accomplish what you're trying to ensure...
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That would mean his bonding company is silent on the deal.
Meantime, ask him as it may be a moot point anyway.

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Never heard of such a thing; nor can I see how it would help you any.
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Unless you have some contract with the manufacturer, I doubt they can put a lien on anything.
Check out bona fide purchaser for value and holder in due course. On some items, usually smaller, there's a question about buying stolen goods, and you can't own what the seller didn't own and couldn't sell. But your AC wasn't stolen from the man. Even if the contractor doesn't pay his bill to the man. it was purchased, not stolen.
BTW, if he signs a lien waiver, it's only going to bind him, not the manufacturer.
If he were an agent of the man. that would be different, but he's not and if he were, your contract would be with the man.
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@bigfoot.com says...

The supplier can generally put a lien on a building for the value of materials purchased by a contractor to work on that building. It is assumed legally that the contractor is purchasing the materials on behalf of the property owner.
If the contractor doesn't pay the A/C equipment provider, you're liable to them for the equipment purchased by a contractor acting as your agent. Depending on your state's laws, you may get formal written warnings about this from the suppliers -- that doesn't mean they've filed a lien yet, it means they're warning you they can file a lien if you pay the contractor but he doesn't pay them.
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Well, thanks for writing. That's very good to know. I can also now see maybe why so many buy their own materials. I thought it was just that they thought they could get a better price.
Does this only cause problems when there is a big identifiable thing like an AC, or can it be a problem with wood and nails, or cement delivered by truck, etc?
Does anyone give a check made out to the vendor, to the contractor, to make it harder for him to keep the money, or is that just unsuccessful or too insulting?
What about calling the vendor and charging the material on one's charge card after the contractor has picked it out?
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mm wrote:

That's why people recommend you check references and use licensed, bonded service people and firms...fly-by-night businesses don't have such problems in general so you don't end up w/ the problem, either.
As for the "what", if there's a sizable bill, the vendor/supplier has recourse whatever the materials are--one place folks get in trouble is, in fact, w/ building supplies where an unethical or simply incompetent contractor uses one customer's payment to pay off previous jobs' bills and somebody down the line finally gets stuck when either the whole thing collapses or the time lag gets so long that the supplier finally takes action...
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@bigfoot.com says...

It can be any materials. At the moment I'm sitting on warning notices for 2x4s, Trex decking, and shingles. Not at all worried about it, my GC has 20+ years in business with good financials and a perfect bond history, his suppliers trust him and recommend him, and his progress billing is quite reasonable.
Not just materials, either, any subcontractor can lien for labor if the GC doesn't pay on time.

If I were that worried about the contractor, I'd hire a different contractor.
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