Neil Garfinkel is quoted in an article (March 2008) by Danielle Reed in Best Life (Men’s Health) – “How To Survive A Home Renovation”

An excerpt appears below:

Structure the payment schedule so that everyone working on your renovation has a financial incentive to show up for work. That means you make partial payments as different elements of the job are completed. “You have to make sure the remodeling crew keeps coming back,” says attorney Neil Garfinkel, a partner with Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP, in New York.

Also, he says, tell the contractor at the outset that you will be asking for lien releases from the subcontractors after each payment you make to the contractor. The releases are standard forms stating that the subcontractors have been paid and they agree not to put a lien on your property.