Tips on Choosing a Contractor
- Ask to see his/her license and call Contractor Licensing at 850-248-8350 to verify the status and insurance.
- Verify references from past customers.
- Check with Contractor Licensing, local Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, and Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations for any complaints.
- An occupational license is not sufficient in the construction trades.
- Beware of alleged contractors who ask to be paid in cash or ask for large payments up front.
After You Choose A Contractor
- Make sure your contractor obtains a permit and posts it on the front of the property.
- Do not make final payment until all "job finals" are signed off on the permit placard.
- Make sure your contractor provides you with copies of lien waivers from his subcontractors and suppliers.
Beware of Unlicensed Contractors
- If you are planning to build a room addition, add on a second story, begin remodeling on your home, or have work done that requires a building permit, take care to select a qualified person to perform the work. Under state and local ordinances, any person you hire under contract (verbal or written) to perform construction on your property must be a licensed contractor. The contractor must be state certified or registered. All printed advertising material such as business cards, newspaper ads and telephone book ads must show his or her state license number.
- Beware of anyone that asks you to obtain the building permit as an "owner/builder," this may indicate that they themselves are not properly licensed to obtain the permit.
- Also beware of people that claim that you will save quite a bit of money by not obtaining a permit. A permit will only lead to compliance with the appropriate building codes, these are only minimum requirements.
- Unlicensed contractors may not have insurance coverage. Any injury that occurs on your property may be a claim against your insurance.
- If you wish to check on the license of an individual you can call Bay County Builders Services' Contractor Licensing at 850-248-8350.