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Finding the right contractor is essential

Hiring the right contractor for a major project at a housing development or condominium can seem overwhelming, but you can do it. All it takes will be some planning, detective work, a take-charge attitude and decision-making.

It's critical that you bring on board the right team. You want someone whom you can trust and has a record of solid work filled with satisfied customers. What's the alternative? Would you rather be stuck with an incompetent builder who may be dishonest, relies on a team of ill-prepared workers and continuously delays completion?

Guide to selecting a contractor

When seeking a contractor, here are a few of the things to consider:

  • Research the business. Find out how long the company's been around. The Florida Department of State's site will help you determine if the company is incorporated and for how long.
  • Meet with the contractor in person. Describe the project and listen. Ideally, you hope to have a good rapport with the contractor, and this is one way to find out. Also ask for references.
  • Check the contractor's references. Contact at least three references from the past few years and find out if they were happy with the work done. If possible, take a look at the work done, too.
  • Make sure the contractor is licensed. Check the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation's site, which can help verify most licenses.
  • Find out whether the contractor has had his or her license revoked or suspended, and whether any unresolved complaints may be on their record. Check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Request from the contractor a list of subcontractors. Find out about their experiences. Did they have any safety concerns? Were they paid promptly?
  • Contact the contractor's suppliers and listen closely. Find out how long the supplier has worked with the contractor. Does the contractor pay the bills on time? Would the supplier hire this contractor?

Reputable contractors will understand your thoroughness, and shouldn't take offense to your questions. They want your business, but know that they won't get it if a bad professional reputation hovers over them. You want to feel comfortable and assured with your decision, so do it right.

Once you have found the right contractor for your project, before signing a contract you should have it reviewed by a construction law attorney.

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Tannenbaum Scro, P.L.
1990 Main Street
Suite 725
Sarasota, FL 34236

Toll Free: 866-615-4543
Phone: 941-444-9092
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Tannenbaum Scro, P.L.
214 S. Lucerne Circle
Orlando, FL 32801

Phone: 407-956-2184
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Tannenbaum Scro, P.L.
970 Lake Carillon Drive
Suite 300
St. Petersburg, FL 33716

Phone: 727-287-1018
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