USE ONLY LICENSED CONTRACTORS TO PERFORM WORK ON YOUR HVAC SYSTEM
June 1 through November 30 marks hurricane season in Florida. Being prepared before the storm is wise, but how can you protect yourself after disaster strikes.
Home and Business Repair & Contractors
One of your most critical post-disaster recovery issues may be the hiring of a competent, licensed contractor. The Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (RACCA) offers the following suggestions:
- Watch out for “ﬂy-by-night” contractors who take deposits and do not do any work. Never deal with any contractor soliciting work at your house.
- Deal only with licensed and insured contractors. Verify that the license is current and active by calling the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board at (727) 582-3100 or you may call the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (RACCA) at (727) 209-5745. We will check for current license and insurances.
- Ask for and check references of previous customers.
- Get at least three estimates. Be certain the estimates are itemized and for the same work.
- Avoid a contractor who asks for advance payment in full. Pay upon completion or as the work progresses. Always avoid paying in cash.
- Avoid contractors who ask you, as the homeowner, to obtain the building permit, or state they can save you money by not obtaining a permit for replacement equipment. Remember, a 3rd party inspection to ensure installation was per building code is a service provided with the permit. It’s for your protection.
- Beware of any contractor who tells you that extensive or structural repairs do not require a permit.
- Take your time when signing a contract and consider asking a knowledgeable friend, relative or attorney to review it before you sign. Make sure the warranty information is included in the contract.
- Require the contractor to supply a ﬁnal afﬁdavit indicating that all subcontractors and suppliers used on the job are paid in full. Ensure that the work is inspected by the building department before ﬁnal payment if a permit was required.
- Understand that during a declared emergency, anyone who does work without a license may be subject to prosecution for a 3rd-degree felony and fines of more than $5,000. Contact the local licensing board, the State of Florida, Department of Business and Professional Regulation (www.myfloridalicense.com) or the RACCA office (727-209-5745 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you encounter anyone soliciting your business that is not licensed.