Each area is regulated by different offices (county or city). In most cases you will need a permit when changing or adding electric, plumbing and structual items. There are other things that require a permit as well. Not getting a permit can more than double not only the fees but the cost of the entire job.
If a permit is to be pulled you will need plans in most cases. It’s always wise to have a set of plans to help explain to the contractor what you want.
To find a contractor in Lakeland, FL that you can trust, it’s best to ask friends and family members for their recommendations. If a friend recently decided to remodel her kitchen or build a deck in her backyard, find out who she worked with and what she thought of his services.
If no one is able to provide you with a recommendation, then take your time and do your own research. If you don’t know where to find contractor reviews, a great place to start is with websites such as Angie’s List and Yelp. These websites allow you to search for contractors who are located in your city. Then, you will be able to read through detailed customer reviews of different types of contractors, including remodeling contractors, electrical contractors, and other construction professionals in the community.
Use these reviews and recommendations to create a short list of names. Then, begin calling each of the contractors to learn more about their services. If you have a specific project in mind, talk to them about it to make sure they are qualified to do it. If you just want to do something as simple as install hardwood floors or paint your kitchen cabinets, any contractor should be able to handle these tasks. But, if you want to do something like build a garage or shed, talk to each contractor to see if they’ve done this type of work before.
Keep in mind you should never hire a contractor without a license or insurance. Before hiring a contractor, make sure you ask to see proof of contractor licensing and liability insurance.
When a contractor provides you with an estimate, it typically will include the cost of construction in addition to the cost of the contractor’s services. For these services, most contractors will charge customers a percentage of the total cost of construction. For example, if the cost of your remodel is $10,000 and the contractor company charges a 10% fee, you will have to pay $1,000 for the contractor’s services.
It is up to the contractor to decide whether he is willing to negotiate with you. Most building contractors are willing to negotiate on the percentage that they charge for their services. But, it’s important to note that they won’t have much control over the cost of construction, so they cannot go below a certain number, or they will end up losing money on the project.