Tips for Choosing a Contractor

Choosing a contractor for a home improvement project can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help you.

  • Verify that the contractor is properly licensed with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board. An occupational license is not a construction license.
  • The license number must be displayed on all advertising, including vehicles, websites, business cards and contracts.
  • Get several written estimates. Estimates should include a detailed description of the work, the start and completion dates, payment schedule, list of materials, the total cost of the job and any warranties.
  • Check out the complaint history of the business with the licensing agency, Pinellas County Consumer Protection and the Better Business Bureau.
  • Ask friends and family for recommendations.
  • Ask the business for references and be sure to verify them.
  • Beware of contractors who ask to be paid in cash or request large down payments.
  • The contractor should obtain all required permits.
  • Make sure to stick to the payment schedule. Don’t make the final payment until all the work and final inspections are completed.
  • Make sure your contractor provides you with releases of liens from his subcontractors and suppliers with each payment and a contractor’s affidavit at the completion of the job. This assures that everyone involved with the job has been paid.
  • For more information, contact the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board at (727) 582-3100 or Pinellas County Building and Development Review Services at (727) 464-3888.