We hired a GC back in Sept 2012 . He substantially completed work mid - October 2012 . We officially terminated him late October . We had a disagreement on the quality of work performed on three items ( one which was a code violation for electrical work ) and he withheld his sub to return to finish work . Our agreement stipulated 20% of the final payment is based upon satisfactory inspection by owner and completion of the last phase of work which was not completed . We received a notification from the GC stating he is filing a mechanics lien late February . My understanding is he missed his 4 month window as the mid - Oct 2012 date is used . Who determines the official day the clock starts ticking ? What recourse do we have now ? What type of attorney should we hire , construction or real estate ?