Choosing a Contractor
Choosing a contractor for a construction project may be intimidating, so here are some tips to help with the selection. It is important to understand that a contractor is a specific person and not a company, although contractors will often be associated with a company name.
Construction Contractors can be licensed either by the state of Florida or by Escambia County. All contractors need to be registered with Escambia County Building Inspections regardless of state or county license.
Tips on choosing a contractor:
After you choose a contractor:
Before signing a contract, be certain your contract includes:
Beware of unlicensed contractors:
- If you are planning to build a new home, a room addition, add on a second story, begin remodeling on your home, or have work done that requires a building permit, take care to select a qualified person to perform the work. Under state and local ordinances, any person you hire under contract (verbal or written) to perform construction on your property must be a licensed contractor. The contractor must be state certified or registered. All printed advertising material such as business cards, newspaper ads and telephone book ads must show his or her state license number.
- Beware of anyone who asks you to obtain the building permit as an "owner/builder." This may indicate that they themselves are not properly licensed to obtain the permit.
- Also beware of people who claim that you will save quite a bit of money by not obtaining a permit. A permit will only lead to compliance with the appropriate building codes; these are only minimum requirements.
- Unlicensed contractors do not have insurance coverage. Any injury that occurs on your property will be a claim against your insurance.
If you wish to check on the license of an individual, you may call the Escambia County Contractor Licensing Section at 850-595-3509. Additionally, you can contact the Escambia County Building Services Department at 850-595-3550.