Two keys to a healthy construction project are communication and transparency. That sounds simple, and even a bit corny. But it’s true! When lines of communication are in place, problems can be anticipated, making it easy to keep small issues from snowballing into bigger ones. For this reason, we think it’s a good idea to send preliminary notices on every project and that contractors should love receiving them.
Unfortunately, some preliminary notices look pretty official and formal. Rather than sending a message of, “Hey! I’m here!” they might accidentally invoke apprehension. A recipient might think “Is there an issue on my project? Is this person going to file a lien?”
It’s a hard balance to split: a friendly introduction and the preservation of mechanics lien rights. However, we’ve found that sending another document might help foster a collaborative tone for the project. Enter, the Project Awareness Letter.
The Project Awareness Letter
So what exactly is a Project Awareness Letter? We’re glad you asked! We’re going to break it down to make things simple.
What is a Project Awareness Letter?
The Project Awareness Letter is the first step towards fostering collaborative relationships with higher-tier parties. It’s a friendly letter that simply lets the Property Owner and General Contractor know you’re working on the job to open the lines of communication early on.
Keep in mind, though – if your state’s lien laws require you to send a preliminary notice, a project awareness letter won’t fulfill that requirement. Instead, it’s more of an informal “Hello” that can be sent prior to the standard preliminary notice. Plus, for parties who don’t need to send preliminary notice, a project awareness letter offers a less formal option that still let’s everyone know you’re working on the job.
Who is a Project Awareness Letter sent to?
This might depend on the project role, but it’s a good idea to send both the Property Owner and the project’s General Contractor an Awareness Letter. Obviously, sending a Project Awareness Letter to the party who hired you might be a bit redundant.
But, depending on the project, it might be a good idea to send to other parties, too! For a sub, supplier, or laborer pretty far down the payment chain, sending a Project Awareness Letter to higher-tiered contractors and subs will help to provide a clear image of the payment chain. Plus, when someone receives your Project Awareness Letter, they’ll now have your contact information. So if an issue does arise, they can easily get in contact with you to sort everything out.
Why should I send one?
Collaboration and communication speed up construction payments – it’s that simple. When problems get solved quickly and smoothly – because everyone is on the same page – hold-ups occur less often.
When should it be sent?
Easy! To be most effective, a Project Awareness Letter should be sent at the outset of a project – right when you’re hired. But honestly, they can be sent at any time! Again, this letter is simple and it’s informal. When a preliminary notice is sent super early, recipients may raise an eyebrow. When Project Awareness Letter is sent early, the recipient is merely receiving a friendly, informative letter to foster project collaboration.