If no lien has been registered, pay the contractor the amount of the bill, less 10 percent. Withhold this 10 percent for 45 days after the work has been completed. After 45 days, check your title record at a private registry, and if no lien has been registered, pay the 10 percent holdback money.
** The Builders' Lien Act (Chapter B12, 15a) makes allowance for a "holdback". However, if you plan to withhold 10% of your payment for 45 days, you should mention this to your contractor when you are discussing the work to be done and prior to signing the contract.