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I need your opinion and hoping you could lead me in the right direction. I am a subcontractor in the State of Texas currently I am doing 318 apts in Texas for a company from TN. I have a contract to do the drywall and paint. The GC is telling me to do all the extras that he will pay me, but he don't want to sign any change order when I tell them I need to have a change order the superintendent refuse to sign because he tell me that he is not authorized to sign change orders. the PM tells me not to delay the job or he is going to bring another company to help me and they are going to paid the and deduct from my draw and retainage. back on May they hired another painter and use them to do touch-up in just one building and is all this time he refuse to tell me or give me details of how much is he paying this contractor he only tells me $46,000 a week later $125,000 then $168,000 I keep asking how can he pay so much to do t-up then he said they repaint the entire building. now the company they hired finish but the GC give me a touch-up list but I have to repaint the entire building again. is costing me another $30,000 I ask why I have to do the t-up for them he said because they did it by the hours. he told me last week that is not money left on the retainage of $230,000. Also is more to this they owe me $150,000 on extras. I just don't know if i have a case. other GC that I do business tells me to consult an attorney but to make sure is a construction lawyer. I am hopping you can guide me on the right direction. Thanks

1 reply

Jun 18, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that. It sounds like a tough, unenviable situation. On one hand, change orders should be made according to contract - and most contracts require them to be made in writing. Even when not required in writing, it's a good idea to put them down in writing anyway. It's worth noting that, in some situations, text message exchanges and email exchanges can suffice for a "writing" in the eyes of the law. Anyway, it's hard to predict how a situation would play out in the legal system. That's why it's a good idea to leverage mechanics lien rights - preserving lien rights, leveraging the right to file (via a Notice of Intent to Lien), and eventually filing (if necessary) is a cost effective way to make sure payments come as required. If the necessary monthly notices were sent in this situation (more on notice requirements here), a mechanics lien might be a strong option. If not, there are still plenty of other options. Particularly, sending a document such as a Notice of Intent to Lien can be effective even when the ability to file a valid mechanics lien does not exist. It serves as a warning shot - if payment doesn't come, a lien will be filed. Finally, there could potentially be a breach of contract claim or a claim under the Texas prompt payment laws. Ultimately, considering the amounts owed are so high, it would be wise to meet with an attorney for a consultation (many law offices offer free or reduced-rate initial consultations). They will be able to review the documents, communications, and circumstances surrounding your situation and advise you on how to move forward.
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