“Toolbox” is a collection of construction payment forms which can be used by direct contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers to enforce (or, in the case of owners, limit) their California statutory construction payment remedies.

California Private Works

California Public Works


26 Responses to “Toolbox”

  1. James Farley

    Garret can you recommend a quality pre limb /mech lien service for us to use? Also, should I use a local company vs. a national one? Does it matter?

    Although we file our liens in-house, I feel on larger projects it would give me peace of mind vs. doing it in house. Or just to have one for the days that our trained employee may be out sick etc.

    Love your blog by the way, please keep up the great work!


    • Garret Murai

      Thanks James. As you likely know there are a number of companies who provide preliminary notice and mechanics lien services. One company you may want to check out is The owner, Scott Wolff, is a knowledgeable guy.

  2. david

    i am a flooring contractor, did some work for a GC, just before finishing the work, they made excuses about quality of my work. and has paid $10,000.00 of $28,000.00 they owe. they have been running me around since. in contract we have agreed to arbitration.
    since they are not paying me, can i make a claim on their contractor’s bond?

    • Garret Murai

      Hi David. Yes, you can, but as a subcontractor you will be limited to a maximum claim amount of $7,500 on the license bond.

  3. Gerard

    Hi, Garret. Great article. Two questions: First, is an Unconditional […] on Final Payment considered a general (or blanket) waiver and release for a particular job, that is, it waives and releases any and all liens for work performed on a particular job site by a specific contractor? Second, must waiver and release forms be notarized? Thanks for your answer.

    • Garret Murai

      Hi Gerard. Happy holidays. Yes, an unconditional waiver and release upon final payment works as a blanket release. Note, however, that it only waives mechanics lien, stop payment and bond claims. They do not have to be notarized.

  4. vidal

    If a general contractor highers a subcontractor to build a swimming pool, when he is done the pool is 4″ out of level., the home owner wants a 10% discount.

    Who is resposible?

    • Garret Murai

      Hi Vidal. Legal disputes are often much more complicated than simple descriptions or hypotheticals make them out to be. The short answer is: I don’t know. The longer answer is: It depends. What was agreed to is important. Whether 4″ out of level is within the standard of care is important. What practical effect the out of level swimming pool has on the use and enjoyment of the swimming pool is also important.

  5. Mike


    Thanks for providing all of the information and forms that you have here. Do you know of any industry organizations or websites that provide form or sample contracts for general-sub agreements and/or general-customer agreements for general and engineering contracting?

    Thanks very much.

    • Garret Murai

      Hi Mike. There are several industry organizations I am aware that have form agreements although there is a fee to access most of their agreements. Among others there is the American Institute of Architects, Consensus Docs, the Associated General Contractors of America, the American Subcontractors Association and the Design Build Institute of America. There are others, but those are the biggies.

  6. Pat D.

    Garret, thank you so much for the prompt reply. I see that section 8190 (a) is under Title 2 (Private Works of Employment). I could not find a similar statute under Title 3 (Public Work of Improvement). Does this mean public entities do not have to serve this notice of completion and can instead simply record the Notice of Completion. Thanks again!

    • Garret Murai

      Pat. You are correct. There is no requirement under the 9000 series, applicable to public works projects, that a notice of completion be sent to the direct contractor and those who served preliminary notices. The notice of completion under “Toolbox” is specific to private works projects and references the 8000 series of statutes.

  7. Pat D.

    The document linked by the “Notice of Completion” tab under the category “OWNERS” contains a “PROOF OF NOTICE DECLARATION” page. This page indicates that the Owner must serve on both the direct contractor and claimants who have filed provided preliminary notices. I was hoping you could point me toward the authority (either statute or case law) that requires Owners to serve the Notice of Completion on the above referenced individuals. Thanks.

    • Garret Murai

      Hi Pat. California Civil Code section 8190(a) provides that: “An owner that records a notice of completion or cessation shall, within 10 days of the date the notice of completion or cessation is filed for record, give a copy of the notice to all of the following persons: (1) A direct contractor. (2) A claimant that has given the owner preliminary notice.”

  8. Discountmags coupon code

    Hello would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m going to
    start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    • Eulalio G

      what happen if i didn’t serve the preliminary, and the job was completed?
      is there any chances to recover any money from extras?

      • Garret Murai

        Hi Eulalio. If you were required to serve a preliminary notice, and the time for serving a preliminary notice has passed, you would be limited to filing a breach of contract claim.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: