In Florida, we have lots of contractor licenses which can be complicated. Most people do not fully understand what a general contractor’s license is or what it means. We have Division 1 and Division 2 contractors. Division 1 consists of General Contractors which are unlimited in scope, where Building Contractors are limited to three stories and Residential Contractors which are limited to two habitual residential stories. They also come as State Certified or County Registered contractors, State contractors can work anywhere in the state where County Registered are usually limited to the county they are Registered in.
Division 2 licenses are plumbers, electricians, air conditioning (mechanical) and roofers.
- Alarm Contractor
- Alarm II Contractor
- Aluminum Specialty Structure Contractor
- Demolition Contractor
- Drywall Contractor
- Electrical Contractor
- Electrical Sign Contractor
- Excavating / Land Clearing Contractor
- Fencing Contractor
- Floor Covering Contractor
- Floor Covering with Tile Contractor
- Framing Contractor
- Garage Door Contractor
- HARV Contractor
- Irrigation Contractor
- Limited Energy System Contractor
- Marine I Contractor
- Marine II Contractor
- Masonry Contractor
- Mechanical Contractor
- Painting Contractor
- Plumbing Contractor
- Roofing Contractor
- Sheet metal Contractor
- Solar Contractor
- Storm Shutter Contractor
- Stucco Contractor
- Swimming Pool Contractor
- Swimming Pool Finishing Sub-Contractor
- Swimming Pool Service Contractor
- Underground Utilities Contractor
- Window and Door Contractor
When contractors advertise or provide an estimate they must provide their license number. When most unlicensed contractors advertise they will simply state they are licensed and insured. Those licenses should be check and insurance should be verified. Unlicensed contractors can cause huge financial problems for homeowners. If you are in the Space Coast Area we can inspect the work or even just help you verify a contractor. Like many things, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Verify all licenses through the county or www.myfloridalicense.com.
As the top inspection company in Brevard County, we do more termite inspections than anyone else in the area. Termite inspections are done usually at the sale of a home, yearly or more when under a termite bond, and at the request of a homeowner. Our inspectors are trained at the University of Florida, Pest Management University on the latest techniques and learn time tested processes for finding evidence of termites. Evidence can be found in many ways including galleries, exit holes, frass, wings, mud tubes and of course, termites. For most inspections, there are limitations to what can be seen or inspected. Sometimes the owner’s belongings will be blocking access and we just might not fit in an area of the crawlspace or attic. We use knowledge of conducive conditions and sounding wood with other techniques to find the evidence. Once we find the evidence we report it and make recommendations. Depending on the type of termites there are several treatment options. Treatments can include fumigation, local treatments of an area, chemical barriers and baits. The question usually comes up, should we treat? The answer is not always simple but unless there has been a recent treatment then a preventative treatment is advised. Termites can go unnoticed even with a great experienced inspector so preventative treatments can make sense. We do offer chemical treatments but only when necessary. In many occasions, we recommend Sentricon® bait stations for Termite Colony Elimination. This works without pouring chemicals around your home and comes with a bond for years.
Many times permits have not been properly closed and it has created issues for home buyers and sellers. Effective October 1st, 2019 there are some changes to building permits in Florida. A shortened summary is listed below taken from analysis from the State of Florida.
The seller’s property disclosure form now includes questions about active or open permits on the home which have not been closed by a final inspection. In paragraph 12 of the contract, the seller is required to resolve open or expired permits and obtain permits for any unpermitted improvements up to a certain dollar amount. The seller must assist the buyer with closing permits. The closings may be delayed.
The changes in the law provide clarity with open and expired building permits, give procedures to close permits and establish notices for local agencies and owners to utilize.
An open permit is defined using a combination of comment notice information, permit issuance dates, and determinations of whether and when permit inspections or final inspections occurred. An open permit that expires without a final inspection is considered an expired permit as provided in the Florida Building Code.
A permit is closed when:
A final inspection demonstrates that all permit requirements have been satisfied;
No work is started under the original contract within six months of permit issuance.
A current property owner and the local enforcement agency may enter into a mutual agreement to engage specified licensed contractors to fulfill closing requirements.
Absent a mutual agreement, the permit may be closed by the homeowner by:
Retaining the services of the original, licensed contractor to complete work within the scope of the permit;
Hiring an active, licensed professional engineer or architect to inspect the construction work and provide local enforcement agency sealed affidavit certifying compliance with all the requirements of the permit;
When selling the home the owner can resolve certain open permit issues and the owner is not required to reside in the home for one year.
A contractor hired to complete the original contractor’s work is not liable for any existing defects or requirements and is only liable for their work.
Affidavits submitted by an engineer or architect are deemed to satisfy permit closing requirements unless the local enforcement agency conducts its own final inspection within seven business days of an affidavit receipt and discovers code or permit violations.
A local enforcement agency may not deny a building permit, issue a notice of violation, or otherwise penalize or sanction a purchaser of property for an improperly closed permit within five years of a recorded commencement notice or its last amendment. If no commencement notice was issued, the period increases to within seven years after a building permit is issued. A local government agency’s other rights and remedies against the property are not affected by the bill.
Any permit issued by a local enforcement agency, including an individual trade permit, may be closed six years after issuance of the permit if there are no documented code violations or safety hazards.
If a building permit is issued but not closed within one to three years, the local enforcement agency must send an advisory notice to the property owner regarding proper permit closing procedures. Failure to receive a notice does not relieve the property owner or contractor from closing the permit. Additionally, the bill: Permits a contractor to hold an unlimited number of active permits.
These changes should help to resolve many of the open permits that are found when a property is sold and inform homeowners when they are left open. During our home inspection process we research permits and find many that are open or voided. Hopefully this will help eliminate the problems that develop because of them.