When interviewing potential companies or individuals to perform any type of improvement, addition, or renovation, be sure to stay aware!
- Ask for several references and contact them
- Ask whether they are a State Certified General Contractor license holder and verify the license number online
- Ask how long they have been in business and how many projects they have completed locally
- Ask whether a permit is required for the work to be completed
- Get a detailed written estimate and description of the job prior to agreement
Recognize These Early Warning Signs of an Unlicensed Contractor:
When a large down payment (more than 50%) is required before work begins
Down payments should only cover part of the work. In order to be licensed, contractors must demonstrate sufficient financial ability to perform the type of project which the license complements.
If the contractor displays only an occupational license
In order to be lawfully engaged in contracting, a contractor must be either state registered or certified.
If there are any requests for money during early phases of construction
As in the first example, the contractor should be solvent.
If a contractor is asking you to obtain a permit
A licensed contractor who is in good standing will obtain permits.
If the contractor only works on weekends or after hours
This is often a sign that the person is an employee who is moonlighting without a license.
If a company is not willing to put all terms in writing
Always a sign of trouble.
If the contractor does not have proof of insurance
Licensed contractors in Florida are required to have general liability insurance and workers compensation in effect at all times.
Advertising where only the telephone number appears
Licensed contractors are required to include their state license numbers in all advertising