Colorado Mechanic’s Lien. When to file?
As is commonly known, a mechanic’s lien in Colorado is primarily for general contractors, subcontractors, laborers, as well as material/equipment suppliers. But it also covers architects, engineers, draftsmen, and artisans who have furnished designs, plans, plats, maps, specifications, drawings, estimates of cost, surveys, illustrating or superintendence, or who have rendered other professional or skilled service.
Suppliers of equipment are also entitled to a lien. As of 2000, Colorado also allows personnel agencies who provide laborers to a construction project, be entitled to a Mechanic’s Lien. If you are a supplier of materials, you get a lien only if the material is both delivered to and “incorporated” (in other words, consumed or used) into the actual improvement.
Note the time limits for recording a lien are expressed in terms of months and not days. Most states base the mechanic’s lien filing on days, so do not be misled by these special circumstances. There’s a big difference between filling a Colorado mechanics lien within four months and, for example, 120 days. So, if the project is completed on June 1, the last date to file the mechanic’s lien in Colorado would be October 1. If it were 120 days, the last date would be September 28.
If the last day falls on a weekend or a holiday, the time to record the lien does not extend (as with most states) to the next business day. That means you need to file the lien the business day before that weekend or holiday. So, if the project was completed on May 1, the fourth month thereafter would be September 1. But, because September 1 falls on a Saturday, you would have to file it the Friday before or by August 31.
For commercial projects, everyone, including the general contractor, subcontractors, and suppliers has for months after last furnishing labor or materials to file their mechanic’s lien. That four month period begins for a general contractor on the completion of the overall job. For subcontractors and suppliers, the time runs from the date in which they have last furnished labor or materials (not the date of the overall completion of the project). For example, assume you are an underground contractor and finish your work on May 1. The overall project is completed on December 1. The time begins running for the filing of your mechanic’s lien on May 1.
For residential projects, the general contractor has the same four months after completion of the overall project to file his or her lien. But for subcontractors and suppliers, the time is shortened–two months after completion of your portion of the work.
For laborers, the time is two months after completion of their work on both residential and commercial projects.