When a construction project is begun, it’s customary for the sub-contractors on the project to send preliminary notices to the project’s general contractor. What you might not know, however, is what a preliminary notice is.

That’s where this article comes in. Below, we’re going to cover the specifics of preliminary notices, discussing everything from preliminary notice rules to preliminary notice laws and more. Let’s go!

What Is a Preliminary Notice?

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A preliminary notice is a notice that informs the owner of a property or the general contractor of a project that you’re beginning work on the project. It’s sent to inform concerned parties about how much you expect to be paid. It also provides the general contractor with an opportunity to organize and plan.

Preliminary notices aren’t always required (although some states do require them by law) in order for a subcontractor to begin construction work. However, they’re generally required before the subcontractor can file a mechanics lien. A mechanics lien is a tool that subcontractors can use in order to be compensated in the event of non-payment.

How to Send a Preliminary Notice

We’ve discussed what a preliminary notice is. Now, let’s talk about how to go about sending one.

First off, you’ll need to send it either through certified mail with a return receipt or through registered mail. When sending, be sure to keep a copy of the notice, not to mention a copy of the return receipt. These will be needed in the event that you have to file a mechanic’s lien.

As far as the specifics of the notice go, you’re advised to research specific requirements for your state. Every state has different laws and rules that must be satisfied.


You could also employ the help of a lien service provider. These providers supply lien services for contractors and know exactly what to include in a preliminary notice.

Should You Send a Preliminary Notice?

Simply put, if you’re doing work on a construction project, you should send a notice. Not only will it likely get you paid faster but it will also ensure that your payment terms are agreed upon prior to work being done.

And if someone tries to avoid paying you, your preliminary notice will serve as the first piece of evidence when filing a mechanics lien. So, while it may be a pain to send such a notice, you’re still strongly advised to do so.

A Preliminary Notice Helps Ensure You Get Paid

When it comes down to it, a preliminary notice helps ensure you get paid. It alerts the general contractor that you’ve begun work on the project and enables them to better communicate and work with you. If you’re working on a project as a subcontractor, it’s vital that you send a notice.

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