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As a homeowner on new construction, can I contract directly with tradesmen, instead of through Builder?

TexasConstruction ContractMechanics Lien

I am building a new house. I have a Builder that holds the Mechanic's Lien rights. I would like to contract directly with each tradesman instead of having those contracts go through the Builder. Is that allowed? I plan to secure Lien Waivers from each tradesman. In this case, I'd be listed for both "the person with whom you contracted" and as the "owner". Is it valid to have my name in two locations on the statutory lien waiver form (Texas Property Code Chapter 53)?

1 reply

Apr 3, 2018
This is a really good question. As a general matter, a property owner may contract directly with tradesmen for a construction project. Of course, each party who has a direct contract with an owner will be considered an "original contractor" under the Texas Property Code, and those parties would have mechanics lien rights just as an original contractor performing their work would have. Further, there's no prohibition in the Texas Property Code from a party appearing both as a hiring party and a property owner on a lien waiver - in fact, that's how information will appear any time an original contractor submits a lien waiver. Anyway, it's important to note that if tradesmen are already under contract with an original contractor, more considerations could certainly come into play if an owner wishes to contract directly with those tradesmen. If a contractor is "cut out" of a project and their contracted subs begin to work directly for an owner, legal claims might be available for such a contractor against an owner and/or against their subs (such as potential breach claims). Further, any sums owed the contractor for work already performed (or sums otherwise due under contract) may be due to a contractor, and they could potentially have claims for those sums as well.

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