- Verify that the Contractor is licensed. Florida Law requires that a General Contractor or Home Improvement Contractor be licensed.
- Verify that the Contractor is insured. State Law requires that they carry workers compensation insurance. Ask to see a certificate of insurance. You may also want to ask for references and be sure to check them all out.
- Make sure all agreements are in writing. Be sure to reduce all change orders or contract amendments to writing. Make sure the Contractor obtains all required building permits and pass the required code inspections. Before making the final payment be sure to obtain a certificate of completion or certificate of occupancy issued by the Building Department.
Many citizens in Florida have fallen victim to dishonest, unlicensed, or improperly licensed contractors. Florida Statute 489 requires all construction contractors to hold a valid contractor’s license prior to engaging in contracting. Always require that a contractor show you a valid contracting license before you sign a contract.
Some indications that a contractor may be unlicensed are:
- Contractor requests a large deposit or all the money up front before any work has commenced
- Contractor asks you to pull a homeowner permit
- Contractor pressures you to sign a contract today or they can’t give you this special price
To verify license of contractor, you may call the State of Florida Department of Professional Regulation at (850) 487-1395. The City requires proof of license from contractors who pull permits for properties located in the City, so be sure to require that the contractor pull the permit in his name, not your name.