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Texas Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials: When and How to Serve

Texas Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials: When and How to Serve

March 17, 2020

A preliminary notice is one of the most important requirements that any construction professional must learn how to prepare and serve. In Texas, preliminary notices are very important and they can make or break a mechanics lien claim.

One of the most important preliminary notices in Texas is the Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials. This is a preliminary notice that applies to a specific type of construction professionals – those who create custom materials for a specific construction project. This guide explains the basics of serving a valid Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials in Texas.

What is a Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials?

A Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials is a preliminary notice in Texas that protects the lien rights of those who create special materials for a specific project. In Texas, all types of materials must be incorporated into a project in order for them to be covered in a mechanics lien.

This means that if you fabricate special materials for a project and the materials eventually do not get used, you may not file a mechanics lien to recover payment for the materials that you built. Serving a valid Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials protects your lien rights in such situations.

By submitting a Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials, your lien rights will be protected regardless of whether the materials end up being incorporated into the project or not.

Who must serve a Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials in Texas?

Fabricators of special materials in Texas must serve a Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials to protect their lien rights. Specially fabricated materials may include a specific type of tile, e.g. ceramic or terracotta, or special cut sheet metals. Anything that is fabricated for a specific construction project can be considered a specially fabricated material.

If you fabricate special materials for a specific construction project in Texas, you will have to serve a Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials.

When to serve a Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials in Texas

The Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials must be sent no later than the 15th day of the second month after you have received and accepted the order for the materials. If, for example, you receive and accept an order in January, you must serve the Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials by March 15.

What happens if you fail to serve a Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials in Texas?

The risk of failing to serve a valid Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials only applies if the materials do not end up being incorporated into the project. If you fail to serve this notice and the materials that you fabricated end up being unused, you may not file a mechanics lien if the property owners do not pay you for your work.

If the materials get incorporated in a project, you will always be allowed to file a mechanics lien regardless of whether you served a valid Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials in Texas or not. Serving a Texas Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials simply gives you a layer of protection in case your work does not get incorporated into a project.

How to serve a Texas Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials

1. Prepare the Texas Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials form
2. Serve the Texas Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials

1. Prepare the Texas Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials form

Your Texas Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials form must contain two important pieces of information:

  • A statement that the order has been received and accepted
  • The price of the order

You may also include other details, including the following:

  • Name and address of the property owner
  • Name and address of the general contractor, if applicable
  • Description of the project property location
  • Description of materials to be fabricated

There are no standard forms for a Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials in Texas, but make sure that the information you put in your form is accurate.

2. Serve the Texas Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials

The Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials must be served on the property owner and the general contractor, if applicable. You must serve this preliminary notice by registered or certified mail with return receipt requested, and it must be served before the 15th day of the second month after you received and accepted the order.

Best practices when serving a Texas Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials

1. Serve the Texas Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials as early as possible

You have around two months after receiving and accepting an order to serve your Notice of Specially Fabricated Materials, and it is best practice to serve this preliminary notice as soon as you can. Do not wait until the 15th day of the second month to serve your notice. The details required for this preliminary notice are fairly straightforward and preparing the form should not take time.

2. Serve the Texas Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials regardless of a guarantee from the property owner

A Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials guarantees your lien rights even if the materials do not get incorporated into a project. Sometimes a property owner or a general contractor may promise that your materials will be certainly used in the project, but you must still serve a Specially Fabricated Materials Notice in Texas even if that’s the case. You can never go wrong with having the protection afforded to you by serving a simple preliminary notice document.

3. Remember to file a mechanics lien if payment issues arise

If payment issues arise, do not forget to file a mechanics lien to recover your payment. A Notice for Specially Fabricated Materials is not the same as a mechanics lien, but it does protect your lien rights to ensure that you can enforce your mechanics lien if needed. Learn how to file a valid Texas mechanics lien to make sure that you recover the payment that you have duly earned.