A subcontractor or supplier not in direct contract with an owner must serve a Notice to Owner within 45 days of initial furnishing to preserve construction lien rights. Of course, the notice of commencement should be reviewed to determine whether the subcontractor or supplier has construction lien or payment bond rights so that it knows how to best proceed in the event of nonpayment. Serving a Notice to Owner should be done as a matter of course — a standard business operation; no exceptions.
However, if a supplier specially manufactures or fabricates material for purposes of a construction project, it must serve the Notice to Owner within 45 days from the actual start of fabrication, and not from when the materials are delivered to the site. A reason for this is that a supplier of specially fabricated material can lien for the unpaid material even if the material is NOT incorporated into the construction project. This is different than a supplier liening for other material which does require the material to be incorporated into the project.
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