How to Choose a Contractor

Woods Insurance Wants You to Know...

As a protection for you, the following 10 rules should be followed when choosing someone to do work on your home:

  1. Be suspicious of contractors who solicit business over the phone or door to door. Avoid doing business with someone who quotes a “today only” price that will increase tomorrow or next week.
  2. Ask neighbors or friends to recommend a contractor who has done good work for them. The contractor should also be asked for references. Choose an experienced person to do the work.
  3. Make sure the contractor is licensed. To check a Florida License, Call 850-487-1395. The contractor should be bonded and insured. Ask for certificates of insurance for workers Compensation and General Liability policies the contractor should have.
  4. Always have a written estimate from the contractor stating exact work to be done, breakdown of costs including materials and labor. Any oral agreements should be included in this estimate. There should be no charge for this estimate.
  5. Obtain 3 estimates plus contact information of two former customers of each contractor. Call these customers to see how the work was done. Also contact the Better Business Bureau website to check for any complaints filed against the contractor.
  6. “You get what you pay for”. The lowest bidder’s work may be lacking in quality.
  7. Be wary of a contractor who asks for the total amount of the job before any work can be done. Standard practice is 33% of the job initially and the balance upon completion.
  8. Maintain a copy of building or roof permits. Make sure the products used for hurricane mitigation credits meet the current Florida mitigation code requirements and save the supporting documents on each of those improvements.
  9. Obtain a copy of the contract with start and end dates, specific work to be done, payment arrangements and any warranty information.
  10. The contract should include a “hold harmless” clause in your favor. A hold harmless clause specifies that the contractor will indemnify the homeowner concerning the homeowner’s liability should a member of the public get injured or incur damage of their property during the course of the contractor doing work on your home.