Tips on Hiring a Contractor in Florida

Here are Key Questions & Tips You Should Know When Hiring a Contractor in Florida.

  • Ask to see their Florida State registered or Florida state certified contractor’s license. Visit www.myfloridalicense.com or call the number below to verify that the license is valid.
  • Ask for references of work the contractor has completed in the area and fall up the references with a call and ask about the contractor’s quality of work.
  • Ask the contractor to produce a current copy of a general liability insurance certificate.
  • Require a written contract with the contractor’s license number on it. Don’t sign if there are any blank areas and until you fully understand the terms.
  • Never pay a contractor with cash, and never pay too large of a deposit on a job before the job is started. A good contractor doesn’t need a deposit when the contract is signed.
  • Check with the local Better Business Bureau and see if any complaints have been made against the contractor.
  • Require a release of lien from the contractor after the work is completed to insure that the contractor has paid for all of the materials used on the job and all of the subcontractors.

A copy of the lien law in Florida

713.015 f.s ACCORDING TO FLORIDA’S CONSTRUCTION LIEN LAW (SECTIONS 713.001713.37, FLORIDA STATUTES), THOSE WHO WORK ON YOUR PROPERTY OR PROVIDE MATERIALS AND SERVICES AND ARE NOT PAID IN FULL HAVE A RIGHT TO ENFORCE THEIR CLAIM FOR PAYMENT AGAINST YOUR PROPERTY. THIS CLAIM IS KNOWN AS A CONSTRUCTION LIEN. IF YOUR CONTRACTOR OR A SUBCONTRACTOR FAILS TO PAY SUBCONTRACTORS, SUB-SUBCONTRACTORS, OR MATERIAL SUPPLIERS, THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE OWED MONEY MAY LOOK TO YOUR PROPERTY FOR PAYMENT, EVEN IF YOU HAVE ALREADY PAID YOUR CONTRACTOR IN FULL. IF YOU FAIL TO PAY YOUR CONTRACTOR, YOUR CONTRACTOR MAY ALSO HAVE A LIEN ON YOUR PROPERTY. THIS MEANS IF A LIEN IS FILED YOUR PROPERTY COULD BE SOLD AGAINST YOUR WILL TO PAY FOR LABOR, MATERIALS, OR OTHER SERVICES THAT YOUR CONTRACTOR OR A SUBCONTRACTOR MAY HAVE FAILED TO PAY. TO PROTECT YOURSELF, YOU SHOULD STIPULATE IN THIS CONTRACT THAT BEFORE ANY PAYMENT IS MADE, YOUR CONTRACTOR IS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE YOU WITH A WRITTEN RELEASE OF LIEN FROM ANY PERSON OR COMPANY THAT HAS PROVIDED TO YOU A “NOTICE TO OWNER.” FLORIDA’S CONSTRUCTION LIEN LAW IS COMPLEX, AND IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU CONSULT AN ATTORNEY.


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