Hiring Licensed Contractors - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Hiring Licensed Contractors

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If you need someone to do repairs around your home where do you look?  Who can you really trust?  Not doing your homework before you hire, could bring unforeseen problems.  Here is helpful information to remember in this News 13 Problem Solver report.

As we told you last week, Pam White of Panama City wishes she researched more before she called on a Bay County air conditioning repair service to come to her home.  She had to pay out of pocket up front for repairs and the problem was still not fixed three weeks later.  After notifying News 13, we were able to assist her with licensed, reputable repair services.

Before you hire a contractor, you might begin your search here at the Bay Building Industries Association.  Executive Officer Josie Ferraioli says the BBIA , the Bay County Building Department and law enforcement are working together to tackle the issue of unlicensed contractors.

According to Ferraioli, "It is no different  than you going out and getting doctor or a lawyer…you are going to need a license for that professional service our members have."

Hiring a licensed contractor to do work around your home may cost a little more But the BBIA says in the long run, it is worth it.  BBIA President Curt Hartog says,  "We have had issues before where if work is not done correctly, the homeowners have no recourse…they cant go to the state, cant go to the city.  Since there is no licensing done, they really have no recourse to go after that person's license try to get him out of business".

Hartog says the homeowner also should not have to go the extra mile to get a permit to perform a construction/upgrade job.  A licensed contractor will be able to handle that process.

Another consideration with hiring unlicensed contractors is the liability factor.  Curt Hartog says, "If you hire unlicensed people probably no liability insurance anything else.  If they have license they have to have liability insurance they have to have workmans comp."

Be sure to ask to see the contractor's license…dont take their word for it.  The Bay Building Industries Association offers a free service when you call.  You can also check online at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to verify a contractor's license.