Hire A Licensed Contractor

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Information You Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor

By hiring a licensed contractor, you will have peace of mind knowing that the project will be done by someone who has taken the time to acquire the appropriate education and the proper Workers’ Compensation and General Liability Insurance and who possesses the necessary experience.

It is extremely important to be cautious when contracting for home improvements and storm repairs. Educate yourself, become an informed consumer, and protect yourself from dishonest persons who will use your misfortune to their advantage.

Here’s some advice from Florida’s Construction Industry Licensing Board

* Don’t be victimized by someone making a door-to-door presentation offering to do repair jobs or home improvements “on-the-spot” and requiring a cash deposit.
* Ask to see their Florida state registered or Florida state certified contractor’s license.
* Get a written estimate from several licensed contractors. Make sure the estimate includes the work the contractor will do, the materials involved, the completion date, and total cost.
* Require a written contract with the contractor’s license number on it. Don’t sign if there are any blank areas and until you fully understand the terms.
* Don’t pay cash, don’t let payments get ahead of the work completed, and don’t pay the full cost of the job up-front. Make sure that building material costs are paid; ask for receipts and release of liens form all material     suppliers and all laborers.
* Check workers compensation coverage by requesting to see a certificate of insurance. If injuries occur on your property, you may be liable.

You can verify if a Florida contractor has a state license by calling 1.850.487.1395 or by visiting www.myfloridalicense.com

A Florida Contractor must have a license from “D.B.P.R.” Department of Business and Professional Requlation to perform roofing repairs or replacements, structural additions, air conditioning repair or replacement, plumbing work, electrical and/or alarm work. These jobs typically require a permit.  Be sure to check with your local building department regarding permit requirements for all of your projects.

D.B.P.R. does not license or have jurisdiction over concrete contractors, painters, drywall contractors, cabinetmakers, tile installers, or anyone doing minor repairs. Check with your local building department regarding licensure requirements for these trades. Remember to ask for references.

If you need more information and want to see a brochure from the Department of Business and Professional Regulations go to Protect Your Investment.