Posted by: Mr. David Wolfe on 04/07/2017

Hiring a Sarasota Contractor

Hiring a Sarasota Contractor

Hiring a Sarasota Contractor 

Building or renovating a home here in the Sarasota-Manatee area can be exciting, but involves responsibility and risk.  A great contractor will have equally great reviews.  They will also take into consideration all the ways to minimize costs while achieving the results you desire, as the owner.   Below are some steps you may find helpful in the process of planning your home improvement project.

  • Seek Referrals: Confide with your close friends, neighbors, and owners of projects like yours.  Talk to people her in the Sarasota and Manatee area where the project will take place.

Browse professional listings online and surf through the listings of Sarasota contractors in your area. Check out their reviews and ratings. Beware of contractors that others are unfamiliar with.   A lack of reliable referrals could also mean the use of poor quality building materials – and the beginning of problems you do not want.     


Contact the Manatee Chamber of Commerce at 941-748-3411 and ask for information they can provide you on the Contractor’s business.

Don’t Choose a Contractor with Lowest Price: This could mean low quality material or that they are new in the market.  Hiring a low-cost contractor could prove disastrous down the road.   Make sure you feel comfortable with the type and frequency of communication you and your Sarasota contractor have. Avoiding your calls, dodging specific questions, and not being available for consultations are some of the warning signs that you may not work well with a contractor.


Verify License and Insurance: To perform any work on your property, it is necessary to confirm that the contractor is qualified and licensed. Appropriate licensing demonstrates a company’s best practices management, but hiring a licensed contractor will also protect you.


License: This simple step is an easy way to judge his or her skill set and credibility. Before hiring a contractor, request to see their license. Make sure that the license is currently valid.


Insurance: Florida Contractors must be insured so that any claims made, shift from your personal insurance to their general liability insurance instead. This way you are not held personally responsible for claims made. For example, worker's compensation insurance is a contractor’s responsibility, not a property owner’s, but that's not the case if a contractor is not licensed or does not carry proper insurance.


Verify with the insurance company that the contractor has adequate coverage to complete the work contracted for.


Always have yourself added as an additional insured to the contractor’s general liability policy.


Include in your written contract that the contractor is required to maintain adequate general liability coverage and that their insurance is to be the primary carrier, should any claims get filed in the future.


If the contractor has employees of their own, view their current worker’s compensation insurance certificate


Look for Experience: Experience speaks for itself. Select a Florida contractor who is experienced with the type of work you need done on your property.


General Contractors – Manage all aspects of a project, including the hiring and supervising of subcontractors, getting building permits, and scheduling inspections.


Specialty Contractors – Install specific items such as cabinets and bathroom fixtures.


Architects – Designs homes, additions, and major renovations involving structural changes.


Designers – Can consider only design or refer contractors providing both, designing and building services.


Get Everything in Writing.   A written contract is a must.  The content between you and the contractor should include quotes, the contract itself, date of expected work, estimate date project will be completed, payment terms, and more. If you don't know the first thing about contracts, look at samples online.


You can compare your contract with others, or use online samples to draft your own. This may seem obvious but do not fall prey to a contractor who refuses to put anything (and everything) in writing.


Whether it’s to save money or save time, choosing a contractor that isn’t right for you can and probably will have long-term repercussions. The more time you take now to properly document all details - the better off you’ll be once work gets underway.  


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