Are you hiring contractors to make after-storm repairs? If so, here are a few tips to follow:
• Be cautious of contractors soliciting door-to-door.
• Obtain estimates from at least three licensed contractors.
Ask for the contractor’s license number and verify their license with either Charlotte County or the State of Florida. To check if a contractor holds the appropriate license, please either call 941.743.1201, visit the Community Development Department’s “Online Services Citizens Access” found on our web page www.charlottecountyfl.gov
– click “Permitting & Licensing” in the Popular Links column or email BuildingConstruction@CharlotteCountyFL.gov
. You may also visit www.myfloridalicense.com
to verify State of Florida licensed contractors.
• Ask for and check references.
• Ask for proof of general liability and workman’s compensation insurance. If they do not have these insurances, you personally may be liable for any accidents on your property.
• Ask for a written estimate and read the fine print.
• Obtain a written contract that covers what work is to be done, when the work will start, the cost and payment schedules and the quality of materials to be used.
• Never make full payment up front. Don’t sign over an insurance settlement. Most reputable contractors will accept payment based on the percentage of work completed.
• Don’t make final payment until the job is completed. Obtain lien waivers so you don’t end up with bills from suppliers the contractor didn’t pay.
• Make sure that all work that requires permits and inspections is approved and officially closed out before final payment is made.