Here are 10 things you should check before hiring anyone to do work at your home:
Check to make sure they are a legitimate business in Duval County. Every business must have an active, unexpired business license and you can verify any license by clicking on "Business Tax" at https://duval.county-taxes.com/public/search/business_tax.
If you can not find a business license, your search should end here as anyone conducting business in Duval County must have a business license. But if you do find a license, then check to make sure the business has an active, unexpired license with the state in the field of trade they are claiming to represent. For example, if someone is advertising plumbing services, they should hold a plumber's license. You can conduct this search at www.myfloridalicense.com.
Once you've verified their licenses, ask for references. You can also search for reviews online at various sites such as Google, Yelp, Angies List, Facebook, etc.
Check the business standing with the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org.
If you are satisfied up to this point, then ask the business for a copy of their insurance policy. Then call their insurance company to make sure it is still an active policy.
If the business has helpers or employees, make sure they also have worker's compensation for everyone who will be on the job and ask for a copy of the policy.
Ask for a written, itemized estimate. The estimate should include a start date and estimated end date, what the estimate includes, and what it does NOT include.
Ask what, if anything, you need to provide.
Ask about a warranty.
And never, ever pay upfront in full. If the job is large enough where a deposit is warranted, use a credit card that offers protection should the contractor not complete the job.