Thankfully, there is an exception in the lien law for “specially fabricated” materials. If materials are specially designed and manufactured for a particular project, actual delivery of the materials to the job site is not required since the materials would have no useful purpose other than for that particular project. The exception does not include any design work, submittals, or similar work performed prior to the actual fabrication of the materials, so amounts tied to such work may not be included in a claim of lien. Note that if the materials could be readily adapted for use on another project, or if the materials were merely specially ordered from a supplier who typically sells the materials, then the materials do not fall within the “specially fabricated” exception.
Florida Statutes require that the contract price or value of the specially manufactured materials be separately stated in the claim of lien. Make sure that whoever prepares your claims of lien knows about the specially manufactured material and includes the required information on the claim of lien, as the omission of the price or value of such materials could invalidate the lien.
There is one additional trap for specially fabricated materials—the time period for service of the Notice to Owner begins to run when the fabrication of the materials begins, not when the materials are delivered to the site. This means that, if you are a contractor or supplier not directly contracting with the owner, you need to prepare and serve your Notice to Owner even sooner than you normally would—within 45 days of beginning fabrication of any materials custom-made for the project.
Furthermore, for government construction projects, Florida Statutes allow materials specially manufactured off-site and not yet incorporated into the property to be included in any claims against public project bonds.