1. Am I licensed?
As a general contractor, no, I am not. In the state of Florida any improvements to real property which do not fall under a given building code do not require licensing. My 'niche' is small jobs or 'grocery lists' of minor repairs inside and out. I've avoided getting a general contractor's license so I wouldn't be tempted to step out of my niche and take on jobs that would require hiring employees or subcontractors. It just isn't what I do.
My business is licensed with the state of Florida as a 'Limited Liability Company' or LLC.
2. Am I bonded?
No, I am not. Typically a bond is required of a construction company to ensure that either a large job will be completed as contracted, that one's employees are verified with background checks, etc, or to give the state licensing board a source of revenue to penalize a contractor who allows a construction code violation on a job.
All the work I do, I do myself. I don't hire employees. I prefer to operate using word of mouth from people who are happy with the work I've done for them, and are happy to refer me. Do I complete my jobs so that you are happy with me and my work? This is what I shoot for, and I've got a long list of satisfied customers who are happy to talk to you about me and my work.
3. Am I insured?
Yes, I carry a total of $600,000 in general liability insurance with Marks Insurance in Tallahassee, Florida. You may reach them at 850-668-6162 or at MarksInsurance.com.
4. Do I belong to the Better Business Bureau?
No, I do not. The Better Business Bureau is a for-profit organization which charges, in my case, roughly $350 per year to be a member.
While they do perform a very valuable service, again I prefer to rely on actual word of mouth from customers who I've done work for.
However, you can call North West Florida Better Business Bureau to see if a complaint has been filed on me or any other home repair company. If you've had a bad experience with a home repair company I recommend that you do file a complaint with the BBB.
5. Will I pull permits?
"Pulling a permit" means to obtain from the appropriate city or county government agency a construction permit, or permits, which cover the particular work you want done. Having obtained a permit, the work will need to be inspected by the inspection department where the permit(s) came from.
The purpose of this is to ensure that the work is done to applicable building codes before the work can be completed. It is a complex subject and permits are mostly required for a general contractor, or a plumber, electrician, or certain other tradesmen, to do any major work on your home.
As I am not a general contractor I cannot pull permits . But again, if the job is so large it requires pulling a permit I wouldn't be taking it on anyway. If you have a job that is larger than what I can do, I have a list of general contractors who I'm happy to recommend to you.
6. Do I smoke?
No, I don't smoke. I won't be littering your yard or driveway with cigarette butts, nor coming into your home smelling of cigarette smoke.