Govcon Giants


Text 786-477-0477

Mastermind Monday: Stop Not Getting Paid in Construction

 In GovCon Tips

Not getting paid in construction? Learn how to secure your rights with Ariela Wagner!


Ariela C. Wagner is the President of SunRay Construction Solutions, a documents service company helping suppliers and subcontractors throughout the United States to secure lien rights. 

“It’s okay to make mistakes and to fall down, but it’s not okay to not get back up.”


Before everything else, sending these notices is really important because this is a way to protect yourself into getting paid. 

Aside from that, it’s a professional thing to do because it lets your customer know that you are serious about getting paid on your terms and not their terms. 

However, consider that the period of time before the deadline of these notices and the names might be different depending on your state or locality, so, check those first. 

Notice to Owner

A notice to owner (NTO) secures your lien and or bond claim rights and must be sent within a specified period of time.

For instance, if you are providing furnishing services in the state of Florida, you only have 40 days to send your NTO.

The best business practice that you should do is to send your NTO as soon as possible. 

Claim of Lien

Claim of lien is a legal claim that you can do on private property. 

In the state of Florida, if you are not paid, you have 90 days to lien a private project that needs to record one.

Also, as long as you have sent your required preliminary notices,  then you can record your lien.

With this in mind, you cannot lien any public projects in the country due to what’s the government called sovereign immunity which means they’re immune to civil suits and you can’t take away their property. 

Consider that in order for you to secure your lien rights, you must send the NTO, as soon as you start the project; then, the claim of lien 90 days from the last day of your project. 

Claim on Bonds

Claims on Bonds, or what Tennessee called a notice of non-payment, is a claim that you can use to get paid by the prime when working with public projects.

This is just a reverse one for the lien which is for the equity interest in the property you’re foreclosing.

What’s a good example for this is working in a VA hospital. You only have 90 days, in the state of Florida, to send this claim from the last day you’re on the project.

If you do not have a direct contract with the general contractor, you should be sending NTO or notice to contractor on public projects.

Consider that in order for you to have bond claim rights, you must send this NTO as soon as you start the project. Then, the claim on bond is 90 days from the last day of your project. 


1. You can’t ever take back your actions.

The biggest mistake you will never be able to take back  is your negative words and actions to a loved one when you’re stressed. 

You really want to be very cautious when you’re stressed out. Put yourself in a room, if you have to shut the door.

You just need to calm down because it’s just in a millisecond. Don’t be in a rush to say something or make a decision because a mistake can happen in millisecond, and you don’t want that to happen. 

“I can tell you that you’re going to make mistakes, but like I said in the very beginning, ‘You fall seven times, you get up eight.’ But you can’t take back with your loved ones, with your employees, with people who you’ve never met before. You can never take back your words or your actions.”

2. Ask others’ opinions.

You’re going to make mistakes in business, but certainly put together an intelligent plan. 

If you don’t know what you’re doing and you don’t know the answers to something, don’t make the decision on your own. Ask intelligent people to help you. 

“If you ask an idiot their opinion, you’re gonna get an idiot’s response. If you ask an intelligent person their opinion, you’re going to get an intelligent response.”


If you want to learn more about getting paid in construction by securing your rights, then check our full video with Ariela Wagner.

You can also visit the GovCon Giant website or the new GovCon Edu where you learn everything about government contracting!

Stop Not getting paid in construction??

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment