Construction Frequently
Asked Questions.

Please check the following FAQ's below to find the answers to common questions

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Preliminary Notice FAQ

An Idaho Residential Disclosure Notice is the only mandatory preliminary notice in Idaho, which details the rights of a homeowner as well as the relevant information of the subcontractors and material suppliers working for the general contractor.

Only general contractors working on residential projects worth over $2000 are required to serve the Residential Disclosure Statement.
All other construction parties are not required to send an Idaho preliminary notice.

The Residential Disclosure Statement must be sent before executing a contract with a property owner.

Failing to send a Residential Disclosure Statement will be considered as an “unlawful and deceptive act or practice in trade or commerce under the provisions of the Idaho consumer protection act, chapter 6, title 48, Idaho Code.”1

Intent To File FAQ

An Idaho notice of intent to lien is sent before the filing of a mechanics lien becomes necessary. Although only a number of states require that this notice be sent, many construction participants send a notice of intent to lien as an uncostly way to have payments for invoices settled.

No, it is not required to send a Notice of Intent to Lien in Idaho. However, you can still send an Idaho Notice of Intent to Lien to advise a property owner and/or your client that you are about to file a mechanics lien.

You may send an Idaho Notice of Intent to Lien at least 10 days before recording your Idaho mechanics lien.

Failing to send an Idaho Notice of Intent to Lien has no effect on your lien rights because this notice is not required in Idaho.

Mechanics Lien FAQ

An Idaho mechanics lien is an effective tool that can help make sure you will be paid for the construction materials and/or labor you supplied. It is a legal claim that can help contractors and suppliers recover their payment from a difficult client.

This means that if you have a valid mechanics lien on a project you worked on in Idaho, you have the right to enforce the lien through a lawsuit. This enforcement action can either prompt the client to settle or force the sale of the property. The proceeds of the sale will be used to settle your unpaid bill.

If you successfully file an Idaho mechanics lien, you have an interest in the improved property. When a mechanics lien is filed on the property you worked on, the property becomes collateral for uncollected payments.

“Every person performing labor upon, or furnishing materials to be used in the construction, alteration or repair” of a building, railroad, and other infrastructure is eligible to file an Idaho mechanics lien2.
This means that general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, equipment lessors, and other construction participants can file a mechanics lien in Idaho.

A mechanics lien in Idaho must be filed within 90 days of your last day of work, which is the day when you last furnished labor or materials to the project.

An Idaho mechanics lien is enforceable within 6 months after the day of filing. A claimant must therefore enforce a mechanics lien within this 6-month period or the mechanics lien expires.

The Idaho mechanics lien must have the following information3:

  • A statement of demand, after deducting all just credits and offsets;
  •  The name of the owner, or reputed owner, if known;
  • The name of the person by whom he was employed or to whom he furnished the materials; and
  • A description of the property to be charged with the lien, sufficient for identification.

The Idaho mechanics lien must also be notarized before filing.

Yes, you have 5 business days following the day of filing to serve a “true and correct copy” of the mechanics lien that you filed.

General contractors and subcontractors have to be licensed in Idaho in order to have lien rights. If you earned or renewed your license during the course of the project, your mechanics lien can only cover the work that you performed after being officially licensed.

Cancelling a mechanics lien in Idaho is usually done when the lien has been satisfied. It is done by filing a cancellation of lien form in the same registry where the Idaho mechanics lien was filed.

Note that cancelling an Idaho mechanics lien is generally not required, but it is a good business practice to release a mechanics lien once full payment has been made.

The “pay-if-paid” clause is enforceable only if the intent of the parties is clear, while the “pay-when-paid” clause is enforceable as a condition precedent4.


¹Idaho Code 45-525(4)

² Idaho Code 45-501

³ Idaho Code 45-507

Hoff Companies, Inc. v. Danner, 121 Idaho 39, 822 P.2d 558 (Idaho Ct. App. 1992) provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to contractors and others who are seeking information regarding preliminary notices, intent to file, mechanics lien, and other construction questions. These are provided for informational purposes only, and we cannot provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies.

Idaho documents

Mechanics Lien

Still chasing payments on a construction project? File a Mechanics Lien on the project to recoup unpaid labor and materials.