It's a shame that all folks don't operate in an honest and forthright way,
but the fact is that there are less-than-ethical people out there.
Contractors have to protect themselves with lien letters, both from
general contractors and homeowners who don't want to pay their bills.
Subs have to protect themselves from generals. Generals have to protect
themselves from subs. Homeowners have to protect themselves from all of
the others (and should always check with their state agency to ensure the
contractors are bonded and insured, not full protection but better than
If you have work done on your property, on the last check, type an
endorsement *on the back of the check*
that says simply: "Endorsement of
this check acknowledges receipt of payment in full for all labor and
materials." If you've doubt the contractor is paying their suppliers,
make it a joint check, but base that doubt on fact (call the supplier).
Anyone endorsing the check with that on it is subject to prosecution by
the court system if they, or their suppliers or employees, later try to
collect more if no more work has been performed.
As for relevance in this group, it could become relevant to those who
might be doing cabinetry work for sales to others which will be installed
in a structure (permanent improvement). Few of us will be doing that, but
for those who do, be sure you are protected if you should do a project of
My construction-related experience dates back to 1978 and includes writing
those lien letters at the beginning of a job, making certain subs paid
their bills, etc., as well as many other things that can become nightmares
to those who build and to those who are built for. That experience
includes some horror stories.
Just remember to put that endorsement on the back of the final check (just
above where they have to endorse the check to cash it) , *not*
front as it means nothing on the front.
If you have specific comments or questions, please email privately.