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Can a subcontractor file a lien for "extras" if the work was performed without approval or an agreed upon price?

New JerseyChange OrdersConstruction ContractMechanics LienPayment DisputesRight to Lien

I hired a contractor to do work on a renovation. We agreed upon a price and I made all payments in full accordingly. 6 weeks after starting the job, he claims he underbid the job. After making final agreed upon payment, he handed me a bill for "extras" that is 2x the amount of the original agreed upon price. At no time during the job did he ever indicate which work performed was extra and how much the extras were going to cost, or receive approval to proceed. He is now threatening a mechanics lien. Is his lein valid?

1 reply

Jul 1, 2019
That's a great question, and it sounds a lot like another NJ question recently answered, which you can find here: "Can a subcontractor demand payment over and above agreed original bid if all payments were made in accordance with the original bid?" I think the information contained in that answer will be particularly helpful.

Further, it's worth noting that change orders, when properly executed, become a part of the original construction contract. However, if they aren't made pursuant to the construction contract, and if they aren't authorized by the proper parties, change orders are generally not lienable. This would seem to be especially true in a situation where the ability to file a mechanics lien is strictly tied to the contract price, which is the case in New Jersey.
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