Hiring A Contractor

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    What To Look For When Hiring Plumbing Contractor

    The first thing to consider when hiring plumbing contractor is, does the contractor have insurance? Ask him or her for a certificate of insurance. If he or she is hesitant to comply with your request, think twice when hiring a contractor with this attitude.


    Be weary of contractors who ask for substantial down payments or request a check made out to a party other than the firm name on the contract and/or invoice.

    Contract – Never sign a blank contract!

    Make sure everything is in writing and keep a copy of everything you sign. Be sure you know exactly how much the job will cost before it starts.

    Waiver of Lien

    Insist on a “Final: Waiver of Lien” from each subcontractor supplying materials and labor for the job. If the general contractor doesn’t pay his subcontractors, they may be able to enforce a mechanic’s lien against your property and prevent you from selling it.

    Dangers of hiring an unlicensed person . . .


    Well where do I start?

    I am sure that by now someone has told you how you can hire cheap workers through your local Craigs List and save a lot of money on projects on your house and other things.

    What I am going to tell you now should alert you to be cautious.

    Most the time these people that you hire through Craigslist are not fully licensed (no permits = illegal additions. If you like your homes value now, add a few of these) Even if they are and they are moonlighting for some extra side cash, they are not insured for your repairs. What that means is that if something goes wrong they will not repair it for free like normal licensed contractors will.

    You have to be careful with some of the work you do on your house and your car. For instance what if they were to mess up the brakes on your car and you ended up getting in an accident? Or what if they were working on your house or your roof and a worker got hurt in some manner? YOU would then be held responsible for these unlicensed and uninsured workers.

    It has actually happened where the homeowner gets sued by the Craigslist contractor or worker that they’ve hired because they got hurt on the job and they were not covered by their own insurance. You can be held liable for a lot of money.

    Why You Should Hire a Licensed and Insured Contractor?

    There are a few things you should be aware of before you hire a contractor and begin a home renovation project. As a homeowner you are liable for any unlicensed or uninsured contractor that gets hurt at your home. You are liable for everyone who works on or provides material for your job and does get paid. You are also liable for any damage done to the city or county property as well as any environmental damage. This is why it is important to understand what “Licensed” and “Insured” means and why it’s important when hiring a contractor.

    About Licensed Contractors

    Hiring a licensed contractor offers many extra protections to the homeowner. A contractor cannot acquire a license without possessing a minimum amount of experience and must pass a business and law exam. The applicant will also have a criminal history background check, and must not have any unresolved contracting complaints outstanding. The state of Florida requires both residential and commercial builders and contractors to be licensed. There are separate licensing requirements for residential contractors, mechanical contractors, and general contractors. All are licensed through the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB), which also requires licenses be kept current. You can confirm a license is legitimate and current by visiting www.myfloridalicense.com. (Select “Verify a license,” and then search by license number or contractor name) The CILB also administers the Florida Homeowners’ Construction Recovery Fund. If you lose money on a project performed under contract where the loss results from specified violations of Florida law by a licensed contractor, you might be eligible for payment from this fund. (If you choose an unlicensed contractor at your home or business, you have no rights under the statute that created this fund) Should you experience the above problems with licensed contractor, you as a residential property owner have significant protections not available to persons utilizing an unlicensed contractor. Among them is the ability to file a complaint against the contractor’s license, in most cases, for a period of two years from the date of occupancy or date the last work was performed. This is your guarantee should the workmanship be below standard or in violation of existing codes.

    About Insured Contractors

    If the contractor is not insured, you are at risk. There have been instances where companies claim to be licensed and insured, and it comes to light after an incident that they have a business license and auto insurance on their work vehicle. Neither offers the homeowner any protection in the case of an injury or damage to your property. While the license is issued by the state, the insurance is backed by an insurance carrier. Contact information for verification purposes is listed on the insurance certificate, as is the expiration date of the policy. There are two insurance types on which to focus when selecting a contractor, workers’ compensation insurance and general liability insurance.

    Workers’ Compensation Insurance

    Workers’ compensation insurance protects homeowners from liability for injuries incurred while workers are present at their homes. If somebody is injured working in your home and is not covered by a workers’ compensation policy, you might be responsible for their lost wages and medical costs.

    General Liability Insurance

    General liability insurance (GL) protects the homeowner from bodily injury, property damage or personal injury. In the event there would be damage or loss to a home or structure due to a contractor’s negligence, your homeowner’s property insurance won’t likely cover the damage. Most policies explicitly exclude damages caused by contractors. It would be necessary for the contractor’s general liability insurance to cover this damage.

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