A few months ago, someone asked a question through Avvo about whether spray foam installers on existing or new properties had the right to file a mechanic’s lien. I answered it at the time, but had earmarked the question as one I’d like to address on the Construction Payment Blog (read my answer).
First, the answer is yes. The general rule all across the country is that a party is entitled to file a lien if they are furnishing labor, materials, services or equipment to an improvement or property. While every state has its own nuances, if you fall within this general definition you’re pretty safely within the lien laws of any state, and spray foam installation falls within the definition of providing “labor, services, material,” etc. to an improvement.
Second, however, and the reason I wanted to post about this is because there are currently a lot of “green” or energy saving technologies being installed into properties all across the United States. Some of these installations include smart home devices, solar panels, insulation, water preservation systems, etc.
For whatever reason, I get the feeling that these companies feel like their improvements to the property are not the same as standard construction improvements, and therefore, may not qualify for a lien. However, this is far from the truth. Installing a solar panel or smart home wiring is no different from installing a kitchen sink or countertop.
In the end, just like more traditional installers or tradespeople, those making energy efficient improvements to properties (residential and commercial, new and existing alike), are providing “labor, materials or services” to an improvement. Therefore, they have the right to file a mechanics lien.