A mechanic’s lien filed on the title to real property that was the subject of the contractor’s work requires that (1) it incorporates a brief statement of the underlying contract that is the basis of the lien, (2) establishes the balance due after credits for payments made during the course of the contract and (3) a description of the real property itself. 770 ILCS 60/7. A critical aspect of a good mechanic’s lien (and its subsequent use in the litigation that follows) is making sure that the first prong is met and the brief statement of the contract at issue is made within the body of the mechanic’s lien that is recorded. It may sound silly, but you must make sure that the correct party’s names on the face of the lien. Get the correct dates on the lien (although an error here is not necessarily fatal for a claim). If you have a written contract state this. If you had an oral contract state that on the face of the lien – do not write it up as a written contract (when the judge asks you to produce it and you cannot then you LOSE). Write up a good synopsis of the work that was performed, materials that were furnished and describe any extras – no one will hold it against you if you put a few short paragraphs together just the recorder may charge a couple dollars more for the recording fee). As to extras it is often good practice to file a separate lien for additional work that the parties agreed to be performed after the commencement of work on the original contract, especially if these extras are of a different nature than the original work (the extras are to install windows and you were originally hired to replace the siding). Word to the wise if the contractor and the real property owner agree to additional terms for more work after the commencement of the original contract get it down on paper. Saves a lot of grief and money later. Call your attorney to prepare an amendment or a new contract. Takes a couple of minutes for a good practitioner to put together.