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Lien Anyone who has worked in construction in any capacity has probably heard of a lien but few people know what they are and even fewer people understand what they do. We occasionally have to lien properties to protect payment. We're glad to say it doesn't happen a lot, and many times it is not even the homeowner's fault. In today's post, we're going to discuss what a lien is, what it does, and why they are useful tools for contractors. We will also cover what to do if you have a lien placed on your property.

What is a Lien?

A lien is when one person, or company, has a legal right to keep possession of someone else's property until a debt is paid. There are several types of liens including bankruptcy, mortgage, mechanic, and car liens. In construction, we deal with mechanic's liens almost exclusively.

So what is a Mechanic's Lien?

Despite the name, mechanics liens are generally used by construction contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers and are filed on the property they work on. For instance, if our roofing company replaces a roof we can file a lien against the property where the roof was replaced for the amount of the materials and improvements made. If payment is not received once the lien is filed, the construction company can foreclose on the property in the same manner that a bank can when a mortgage doesn't get paid.

How do they work?

Lien laws differ from state to state; however, generally, a subcontractor or material supplier who does not have a contract with the property owner will have to provide notice to the owner that they are making improvements to the property. A party who has a contract with a property owner generally does not have to file any notice before filing the lien. They can file the lien and then foreclose on the lien as provided by state statutes. But this does vary from state to state so anyone needed to file a lien will need to check their state statutes.

But my insurance company owes the money?

We do a lot of restoration work in North Carolina and as I'm sure you can imagine this year we are doing a lot of work that is covered by insurance. The insurance companies are swamped with claims, so processing and check writing can be very slow. Now, technically the contract is between the construction company and the homeowner so the homeowner is ultimately responsible for payment but we know and understand that the homeowner is depending on the insurance proceeds to make payment.

However, state law usually requires construction companies to file liens within deadlines or they lose all their lien rights. For instance, in North Carolina, we only have 120 days from the last day of work to file a lien. Because of this, many times we have to file a lien when we have every expectation that the bill will be paid as soon as the insurance proceeds are received by the homeowner. Because of this, you do not need to panic if a lien is placed on your property. It is easily removed once payment is made and does not affect your credit unless the lien has to be foreclosed on.

So what happens when a lien is filed and a then the bill is paid?

Once payment is received, we file a release of lien with the same office where the original lien was filed, usually the county recorder's office. It's a very simple and quick process that usually will clear the property of the lien in 24-48 hours after filing depending on the county.

Liens are great tools that construction companies can use to protect payment but the requirements differ from state to state and must be filed carefully and judiciously. You may want to consult an attorney if you would like to file liens but have no experience with it. If you are going to utilize liens, it is also helpful to have an employee in place that can answer any questions about the lien and ensure the release is filed immediately after final payment clears.

If you have any questions or would like to request a Free No-Obligation Estimate visit our website at or call us today! We are headquartered in Wilmington but service from Raleigh to Myrtle Beach!

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Here at Patriot Roofing, we love shingles and we love to talk about the different kind of shingles. We can totally nerd out about shingles. Just ask our salespeople their favorite style and color and you might be in for a two-hour debate. We realize not everyone shares our enthusiasm for shingles, so we thought it might be a good idea to blog about two very common asphalt shingle types: three-tab and architectural. The most common type of shingle you will see in North and South Carolina are asphalt shingles.

Asphalt shingles are, as the name implies, made from asphalt. They are the most popular type of shingle because they are durable, affordable, and, at least in our humble opinion, really good looking. There are hundreds of different types of asphalt shingles and they come in every color you can imagine. They even make organic and Energy Star shingles. Cool, right?

Often our customers are switching from three-tab shingles to architectural shingles so we thought this blog would be the perfect place to discuss how they're different.

Three-Tab vs Architectural

The Look:


Three-tab shingles have a flatter more utilitarian look. The shingles line up next to each other similar to bricks. They are called three-tab because each shingle has three of the "bricks" you see above and the tab that lies underneath the three squares above.
Architectural Architectural shingles have a more dimensional shape and add texture to the look of the roof. Generally, people prefer The curb appeal of an architectural roof is substantially more interesting than the look of a three-tab.the look of architectural shingles.

Sizes and Shapes:

Three-tab shingles are all the same size and shape.

Architectural shingles come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes and are thicker than three-tab.


Because three-tab shingles are thinner they generally have a shorter life span.

Most architectural shingles have at least a twenty-year manufacturer's warranty because they are thicker and can withstand higher wind speeds.

Home Value:

Three-tab shingles are sometimes preferred by landlords for their lower cost but generally, homeowners are much better off investing in an architectural shingle.

Architectural shingles almost always increase a home's value because buyers prefer the look and longer life expectancy.

Three-tab shingles were almost universally used in the '70s and '80s due to its low cost and easy installation. Architectural shingles have gained in popularity in the last 20 years and are now the preferred choice of most homeowners and buyers because they are stronger, last longer, and look better. Which do you prefer?

If you have any questions or would like to request a Free No-Obligation Estimate visit our website at or call us today! We are headquartered in Wilmington but service from Raleigh to Myrtle Beach!

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insurance deductibleWe get it, at some point, someone has told you that some contractors will eat the deductible so that you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket. But here’s the problem with that, in almost every situation it is wrong. It is almost always morally, ethically, and sometimes even legally wrong. And in some cases, it is insurance fraud.  First, let’s cover the basics.

What is a deductible?

A deductible is an amount you contracted with your insurance company to pay in the event you claimed a covered loss on your insurance policy. This usually creates a contractual requirement for a homeowner to pay the deductible. When the insurance company writes your estimate, they specifically account for your deductible in the estimate. If the deductible doesn’t get paid, the money has to come from somewhere. Which usually means your project isn’t given the time, attention, or materials your insurance company paid for.

Whether it is legal or not will depend on the state the property is located, the contract you have, your insurance, and who is actually paying your deductible or how it’s getting covered. Sometimes, your salesperson eats the deductible at the end. Which, while it may not rise to fraud as defined by your state statutes, it isn’t exactly ethical either.

So, who does this type of thing? Usually roofing companies, contractors, and salespeople you do not want to contract with. Here is my answer when someone asks me about deductibles, “If your salesperson or company is willing to cut that corner, what other corners are they willing to cut?”  Insurance company rates for repair work or storm damage work is very low to begin with. If a company is also eating the deductible that is coming at a cost to you, you just don’t realize what it is.

Maybe they’re cutting safety precautions, maybe they don’t have adequate insurance, maybe they’re rushing and not taking the time to do your work to the standard it should be done, or maybe they’re usually substandard crews or materials.  Now, don’t get me wrong, like most rules there are exceptions and I’m sure at some time or another there has been a situation where a contractor legally and ethically somehow covered a deductible.

For instance, a lot of roofing companies (including ours) give referral bonuses to clients. So even though a customer pays a deductible they can earn it back (and more!) by referring friends, family, and neighbors. Odds are good that if you have an insurance claim, for a roof, gutters, or siding as a result of a storm, many of your neighbors probably do too. This is a perfectly ethical and legal way to earn back your deposit!  

We here at Patriot pride ourselves in working with every customer to get them a high-quality roof at a price they can afford without having to cut corners. As a general rule, companies that rely on doing work without a deductible from the homeowner are not the companies we’d want doing work on our houses. If you have any questions or would like to request a Free No-Obligation Estimate visit our website at or call us today!

We are headquartered in Wilmington but we service from Raleigh to Myrtle Beach!

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