ORLANDO, Fla. — Census data shows a lot more people are moving to Central Florida, and if you're looking to spruce up the home you just bought, there are some simple tips to make sure you don't get swindled.
- Tips to help you hire a legitimate contractor in Fla.
- Watch for red flags, know your rights as a consumer
- Have a tip to making life easier in Central Florida? Let us know!
- RELATED: Get more Spectrum News 13 Insider tips
In Florida, there is a one-stop shop to make sure who you're hiring is legit. Just go to myfloridalicense.com. You can search by the contractor's name, license number, city or county, or the type of license.
The contractor's information comes up with when the license expires, along with any history.
The Better Business Bureau's website at bbb.org is also a good tool to see a contractor's rating, and any concerns from others.
Here are the four red flags to watch out for when dealing with a contractor:
- The contractor makes you feel rushed
- The contractor only gives you a verbal estimate
- The contractor gives you an incomplete contract
- You’re told you have to pay in cash or upfront
The Better Business Bureau says contractors should also know that being a contractor in Florida is different than other states. That's because of the hurricane codes that were developed after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, but also because of the moisture and high temperatures we have.
When it comes to the license number, the BBB says you should always have easy access it.
"It should be on their business card, it should be on any sort of estimates. Often times it's also on the vehicle," said Holly Salmons, President of the BBB in Central Florida. "If a contractor doesn't readily provide you their license number, that's a red flag."
Additionally, know your rights as a consumer:
- Get everything in writing
- Get several quotes
- Get a detailed contract
- Find out about a deposit
If you have to pay a deposit, make sure you know the percentage and find out what it's going to be used for.
If you know of a "life hack" or a tip/trick that helps make your life in Central Florida easier and want to share it, head to www.mynews13.com/insider and let us know by filling out the form.