Common Document Types

Paperwork is what makes the construction world go round. Exchanging the right document, with the right person, at the right time is crucial for ensuring not only that you get paid quickly but get paid at all.

These are some common documents you should be exchanging every day to ensure fast payment – grouped into four categories based on where you are on the job:

  • Visibility documents – Notices and prelims
  • Payment documents – Invoice reminders and pay apps
  • Escalation documents – Notices of intent and notices to owner
  • Last resort documents – Mechanics liens

The Secret to Payment Success: Do This at the Start of Every Job

Here’s a further breakdown of the most common documents and frequently asked questions for each.

Document FAQs & Resources

Pro tip: Questions about what you should do if you miss one of these deadlines or whether you should send one at all? Visit the Ask an Expert Center!


Preliminary notices (AKA prelims) are crucial in getting setting your jobs up for success so you get paid quickly.

Some contractors don’t send notices on small jobs or to customers they’ve worked with for a long time. This is risky. Sometimes payment problems are out of anyone’s control but will still result in non-payment (such as bankruptcy). Learn more about this customer who realized it was actually the small jobs that were giving her the most trouble and what they did about it.

Pro tip: If you’re working with a new customer you can check their payment practices here.

Why you should send notices to every customer and how to explain them



Pro tip: Get more tools and tips on how to roll out a Notice policy to your team and customers here.

Notice FAQs & Resources

Video Resources

How to get paid faster with preliminary notices


Step-by-step Instructions

Invoice reminders

Invoice reminders are a great way to send a friendly reminder to customers with outstanding invoices before escalating to a Notice Intent or Lien. In Levelset, these messages can be customized based on urgency and age of invoice.

Invoice Reminder FAQs & Resources

Video Resources

Speed Up Payment with Friendly Invoice Reminders


Pro tip: You can save time by letting your lien waivers and payment reminders run in the background – without you having to worry about it. Learn how!

Lien Waivers

Lien waivers are documents exchanged at the time of payment in the construction industry. Typically, the party making payment requires the party receiving payment to sign a lien waiver. These documents are important to construction lenders, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and others.

How to Send a Waiver

Sending a waiver tells your customer you’re ready to get paid and waive your lien rights. Usually, it’s a good way to prompt quick payment! Here’s how to do it from your Levelset account:


How to Request a Waiver

You can also request waivers through Levelset to protect yourself against liens. Here’s how:


How to Customize your Waiver Template


Lien Waiver FAQS & Resources

Video Resources


Step-by-step Instructions

Notices of Intent

A Notice of Intent (AKA Intent Notice, Notice of Non-Payment, or Notice to Owner) is an escalation document that warns the property owner, prime contractor and/or other party that a mechanics lien or bond claim will be filed unless payment of overdue amounts is made within a certain period of time.

How to Order an Escalation Document

Having trouble getting paid on a job? Escalation Documents like Notices of Intent or Notices to Owner might help you prompt payment.


Notice of Intent FAQs & Resources

Mechanics Liens

Contractors and suppliers can file mechanics liens is a last resort document that can be used when unpaid on construction projects. Liens are the most common payment documents in the construction industry but not always the most effective for getting paid quickly.

How to Order a Last Resort Document

Tired of waiting to get paid? Generally, the filing a Mechanics Lien is powerful enough to prompt your payment. But in the case where you still do not receive payment, the absolute final step means enforcing the lien (AKA initiating a foreclosure lawsuit) by bringing them to court. Now that is very rare, but, to be safe, it’s important to keep tabs on your lien enforcement deadline as well because if you don’t initiate the foreclosure lawsuit by this deadline, the lien will expire.


Sign in now to send a document and secure your lien rights.

Mechanics Lien FAQs & Resources

Pro tip: If you’re working with a new customer you can check their payment practices here.