Tips for Hiring a Contractor
If you have damage to your home resulting from Hurricane Ian, here are a few tips to help ensure you hire a reputable licensed contractor:
- Before hiring a contractor, ask to see a Florida state contractor’s license. Verify the license number with the Department of Business and Professional Regulations.
- Do not hire an unlicensed contractor. Hiring an unlicensed contactor can result in noncompliance with building codes, poor quality of work, no insurance coverage, potential litigation and a much greater likelihood of being involved in a scam.
- A city or county business tax receipt or occupational license does not qualify an individual to act as a contractor.
- Ask for references from three recent contracting jobs that the contractor has completed.
- Ask for a copy of the contactor’s workers compensation and liability insurance.
- Check out the Central Florida Better Business Bureau to see if the contractor has been responsive to resolving complaints.
- Ensure all services and costs are specified in a written contract. Do not rely on a verbal agreement for services.
- Ask for quotes from three different contractors.
- Most work involving a contractor will require a building permit. This includes the replacement of roofs, windows, doors, flood damage repairs, replacement of HVAC equipment and any structural work. Ensure the contract specifies that the contractor will acquire a permit and pass all inspections. A reputable contractor will not require a homeowner to obtain the permit.
- Never pay cash when hiring a contractor. Be wary of any contactor that wants all or more of the money up front. Get a payment schedule up front that documents when additional payments are required based on the work completed. Most contactors will ask for 10 percent down and then periodic payments during the project.
If there are any questions regarding if a contractor is properly licensed or if a building permit is required, please call the Altamonte Springs Building and Fire Safety Department at (407) 571-8433.