Definitions

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Lien Definitions

"Abandon the Project" refers to a situation where you have stopped working on the project without an adequate legal excuse. In other words, you have stopped working at the project even though you are obligated to continue working. This is contrasted with the situation where an owner may not have made payment and you quit working. An abandonment occurs when the owner has properly made payment and otherwise complied with the contract.

"Commercial (Public Works)" and/or "Public works project" is any project where the ultimate owner of the construction project is a governmental agency such as the State of Texas, local school districts, University of Texas or city or county government. Common examples of public projects are construction projects that include public schools, universities, roads, government buildings, public utilities, or transportation.

For purposes of his website, it does not include federal projects at locations such as Ft. Hood or Ft. Sam Houston.

lien definitions

"Commercial Project (Private)"is any construction project that is not a residential project such as an office building, hospital, church, or store. This definition may include the construction of spec or tract homes or multi family or condominium buildings.

Office Building

Apartment Complex

Duplex

Fourplex

Store

Car Dealership

Church

Spec Home

Subdivision Construction

Coffee Shop

Medical Complex/Hospital

"Completed the Work" refers to the time when you completed your scope of work on the project including any change orders, reasonably related or contemplated under the original contract, but not including warranty or repair work.

"Contract" Written agreement- a written agreement between two or more people to do or not to do a certain thing. It is not a requirement that the document be signed. It is only required that both parties agree to the written terms. A series of emails may constitute a written agreement.
Oral agreement- a verbal or handshake agreement between two or more people to do or not to do a certain thing.

"Construction Project" refers to the construction or repair of a house, building, or other improvement to property. An improvement to property includes:

Abutting sidewalks in streets and utilities in or on those sidewalks and streets;

Clearing, grubbing, draining, or fencing of land;

Wells, cisterns, tanks, reservoirs or artificial lakes or pools made for supplying or storing water;

Pumps, siphons, and windmills or other machinery or apparatuses used for raising water for stock, domestic use, or irrigation; and

Planting orchard trees, grubbing out orchards and replacing trees, and pruning of orchard trees.

A construction project may also include the construction of a levee or embankment or railroad.

"Finally Settled the Work or Settled the Work" refers to a situation where you may have made an agreement with the owner that the work was complete or that you are not going to perform any more work.

"General Contractor"in the context of liens and bonds usually refers to an “Original Contractor” which means a person contracting directly with an owner either directly or through the owner’s agent. A “subcontractor” can be a contractor in this context if their contract is with the owner.

"Governmental Entity" means a governmental or quasi-governmental authority authorized by state law to make a public work contract, including:

The state, a county, or a municipality;

A department, board, or agency of the state, a county, or a municipality; and

A school district or a subdivision of a school district.

A university system (that is not a private university)

"Labor" refers to any labor used in the direct prosecution of the work for the project. In other words, the term labor is asking whether you or any of your employees performed any work (labor) at the construction project.
Generally speaking, the term “labor” is defined very broadly to include almost any work that was performed on a public or private construction project.

"Lien Release" is a document from a contractor, subcontractor, materials supplier, or other party to the construction project (the claimant) stating they have received payment and waive any future lien rights to the property (of the owner) for the amount paid.

"Lump Sum Project" refers to a fixed-price contract or agreement. If you agreed to perform a specific scope of work for a fixed-price (ie., not cost cost-plus or time & materials), then you have agreed to perform work for a lump sum.

"Material" means all or a part of:

The material, machinery, fixtures, or tools incorporated into the work, consumed in the direct prosecution of the work, or ordered and delivered for incorporation or consumption;

Rent at a reasonable rate and actual running repairs at a reasonable rate for construction equipment used or reasonably required and delivered for use in the direct prosecution of the work at the site of the construction or repair; or

Power, water, fuel, and lubricants consumed or ordered and delivered for consumption in the direct prosecution of the work.

The term “material” is asking whether you provided supplies or any sort of other tangible items that were included in the construction improvements to the property.
The term “material” is defined very broadly to include almost anything used or consumed on a public or private construction project. Examples of materials include nails, lumber, soil, fill, concrete, lumber, tiles, HVAC equipment, iron railings, steel, Tyvek, gasoline, masonry.

"Private Projects" are those in which the project owner is not a governmental entity. Common examples of private construction projects are office buildings, hospitals, churches, condominiums, houses, or stores. Occasionally, there are projects that are owned by a private entity that was created by a governmental agency. For example, the City of Austin may create a private corporation for the construction of a private building. In this situation, you should treat the project like a private project.

"Project Owner" refers to the person or company that initiates a project, finances it, contracts it out, and ultimately benefits from its output. This definition also includes an agent operating on behalf of the property owner such as a property manager or leasing agent.

"Public Works Project and/or Commercial (Public Works)" is any project where the true owner of the construction project is a governmental agency such as the federal, state, or city government. Common examples of public works projects are construction projects that include public schools, universities, roads, government buildings, public utilities, or transportation.

"Oral Agreement" refers to a verbal or handshake agreement between two or more people to do or not to do a certain thing (a verbal contract).

"Quit" refers to the situation where, rightly or wrongly, you have stopped working on the project before completing your scope of work.

“Residential Construction Contract” is very narrowly defined. It is a project for the construction or repair or remodel of a residence that includes an agreement directly between a builder and an owner. The term ‘owner’ refers to a person or persons who are actually going to own and occupy the property.

“Residential Construction Project” is very narrowly defined. It is a project for the construction or repair or remodel of a residence that includes an agreement directly between a builder and an owner. The term ‘owner’ refers to a person or persons who are actually going to own and occupy the property.

Due to the narrow definition of Residential Construction Project, most projects qualify as commercial construction projects rather than residential construction projects.

Generally only custom home projects, remodeling projects, and pre-purchased home projects actually qualify as residential construction projects.

Examples of residential construction projects: remodeling projects and custom home construction projects.

What about condominium and pre-designed (spec) homes? Condominiums and spec homes are only residential construction projects if they have been purchased by the person who is going to occupy them prior to the beginning of construction. In other words, the owner-occupier must have bought the property before the first shovel hit the dirt.

Examples of commercial projects: tract or pre-designed (spec) homes, apartments, condominiums that have not yet been purchased, dormitories, hotels, nunnery, nursing homes, assisted living, and other living space which is not actually owned by the person who is going to occupy it.

Residence means a single-family house, duplex, triplex, quadraplex, or unit in a multi-unit structure used for residential purposes that is,

Owned by one or more adult persons; and,

Used or intended to be used as a dwelling by one of the owners.

Retainage means the part of the payments under a contract that are not required to be paid within the month after the month in which the work or labor is performed or material is delivered under the contract.

Subcontractor means a person who has furnished labor or materials to fulfill an obligation to an original contractor or to a subcontractor to perform all or part of the work required by an original contract. For lien and bond issues, the term subcontractor does not include sub-subcontractors.

Substantial Completion refers to one of the following:

The stage of construction when the project is sufficiently complete so that it can be occupied or used for its intended purpose; or

The date when the final certificate of inspection or occupancy by the applicable governmental authority was issued.

Suspension of Work means that you have temporarily suspended work at the project for some reason such as lack of payment.

Terminated refers to the situation where the project owner or someone of the appropriate authority has terminated your contract and role on the construction project. Occasionally there is a dispute about whether you were terminated, quit, or abandon the project.

Unit Price Agreement refers to a unit price and/or time and materials agreement. If you agreed to perform a specific scope of work based on time and materials or based on some other unit of measurement (i.e., not a fixed-price agreement), then you have agreed to perform work on a unit price basis.

Work means any part of construction or repair performed under an original contract.

Written Agreement a written agreement between two or more people to do or not to do a certain thing. It is not a requirement that the document be signed. It is only required that both parties agree to the written terms. A series of emails may constitute a written agreement.

You Are Still Working on the Project, But Have Not Been Paid refers to a situation where you are still working at the project as agreed, but you have not been paid.