Saturday, October 20, 2007

Working with Marine Contractors- Stay Safe!

Working with Marine Contractors-

People that own a lakefront home need to maintain thier seawalls, retaining walls, bulkheads, boathouses, boat docks, boat lifts, decks and railings on a periodic basis or they will fall apart. This situation is compounded when you have waterfront property. If you are really lucky, you or your spouse is skilled in performing repairs and making improvements around the home. For even the most skilled homeowner however, there will come a time when they need a contractor to work on their property. The following is my advice on working with contractors or handy-persons on your property:

If you are approached by a local handy-person and you know they don’t have Workman’s Compensation Insurance or Liability Insurance, then be aware that you will be liable for their injuries or death. The best way to go is to get contractors with the insurance coverage to protect you from losses and litigation. When you are considering hiring a contractor and I refer to any person or company that comes onto your property to perform work for you as a contractor, get a Certificate of Insurance coverage from them. The Certificate would be sent to you by the insurance company and not handed to you by the contractor. You would be listed as additionally insured on the certificate. If the certificate comes from the insurance company, then are assured that the contractor does in fact have insurance and that you are covered in case he or his workers get hurt on your property and you have liability coverage for his operations. If you are listed as additionally insured on the certificate, then if the contractor does not pay his premium or is canceled for another reason, you are notified normally 30 days prior to the cancellation that the contractor will not have coverage by that insurance company after that date. In this way, you will know that they either need to finish the project in that time frame or they have to have another Certificate of Insurance sent to you before the date of cancellation of the original certificate. Workman’s Compensation Insurance is statutory and is the same for all contractors. However, Liability Insurance coverage varies between contractors. Most contractors that have Liability Insurance coverage will carry at least $100,000. Some will carry $1,000,000. Cloud 9 Services, Inc. carries $2,000,000 worth of coverage because some of our commercial marine projects require that level of coverage.

A lot of contractors will ask for a deposit from you before doing any work. Sometimes a deposit is warranted such as in the case of a home addition or major repair. Deposits should not be given if there is not permitting or engineering involved or if there are not special materials that must be purchased by the contractor prior to starting the work. If a deposit is being required by a contractor, make sure it is covered in an agreement with that contractor. In fact don’t allow any work to be performed on your home valued at over $100.00 without some kind of written and executed agreement. There are always questions that will arise when performing the work on a project and having something in writing helps avoid disagreements and lawsuits.

Make sure the contractor is licensed appropriately for the work they are going to perform for you. Make sure they are State Certified Contractors if you are doing any kind of construction or repair that requires a building permit. Get their license number and make sure the license is for either the contractor himself if a sole proprietor or for his corporation. You can get this information through This is important in that if you hire someone that says that they are a contractor but they have another licensed contractor pull the building permit, it is an illegal act. It is called aiding and abetting an unlicensed contractor. If you want to go after the entity that you entered into the agreement with and he is not licensed, you will not be able to go after his license since he doesn’t have one. Also, do not pull a permit as the homeowner for a contractor to perform the work. This is also illegal and if something goes wrong on the project, you are left in a bad situation.

If you give a contractor a deposit and they fail to perform or if you are having a problem with a contractor failing to perform in any way, if they are licensed, you will have some recourse. The Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board has a program to reimburse homeowners for damages caused by licensed contractors. If you call the FCILB or file a report on the contractor through the internet, the FCILB will contact the contractor and then you will most likely get a call from the contractor trying to resolve the problem. The FCLIB is very strict about making sure licensees/contractors do not harm the public and they will suspend or revoke a contractor’s license if they don’t walk the line.

The following is an excerpt from one of my standard agreements for dock or seawall construction. This clause is required to be contained in the proposals offered by licensees on residential projects.

Construction Industry Recovery Fund: Payment may be available from the construction industries recovery fund if you lose money on a project performed under this contract, where the loss results from specified violations of Florida Law by a state-licensed contractor. For information about the recovery fund and filling a claim, contract the Florida Construction Industry licensing Board at the following telephone number and address: Department Of Business and professional Regulation, Construction Industry Licensing Board, 7960 Arlington Expressway, Suite 300, Jacksonville, Florida 32211-7467. Telephone: (850) 727-3650.

Cloud 9 Services, Inc. specilizes in residential and commercial marine construction. We build docks, decks, boathouses, seawalls, bulkheads, retaining walls, pergolas, trellis and many other custom marine structures. Visit our website at

Cloud 9 services, Inc. serves all of Central Florida including Altamonte Springs, Casselberry, Geneva, Lake Mary, Lake Monroe, Longwood, Oviedo, Sanford, Winter Springs, Alafaya, Apopka, Bay Lake, Belle Isle, Christmas, Doctor Phillips, Eatonville, Edgewood, Lake Buena Vista, Maitland, Oakland, Ocoee, Orlando, Tangerine, Windermere, Winter Garden, Winter Park, Zellwood, Campbell, Celebration, Kissimmee, Poinciana, St. Cloud, Auburndale, Bartow, Davenport, Dundee, Eagle Lake, Fedhaven, Fort Meade, Frostproof, Haines City, Highland Park, Hillcrest Heights, Indian Lake Estates, Lake Alfred, Lake Hamilton, Lake Wales, Lakeland, Mulberry, Nalcrest, Polk City, Providence, Winter Haven, Altoona, Astatula, Astor, Bassville Park, Clermont, Eustis, Forest Hills, Fruitland Park, Groveland, Howey-In-The-Hills, Lady Lake, Leesburg, Mascotte, Minneola, Montverde, Mount Dora, Mount Plymouth, Okahumpka, Paisley, Sorrento, Tavares, Umatilla, Yalaha, Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, DeBary, DeLand, Deltona, Edgewater, Holly Hill, Lake Helen, New Smyrna Beach, Oak Hill, Orange City, Ormond Beach, Pierson, Ponce Inlet, Port Orange.

Cloud 9 Services, Inc hold State of Florida Certified Underground Utility and Excavation Contractor, General Contractor, Mechanical Contractor and Plumbing Contractor's licenses.

Rick Fender
Cloud 9 Services, Inc. 407-481-2750


lauragreen said...

Marine Civil Engineering Services Companies with legal registration are the most trustworthy.

Giovana said...

I think it's good to know how to make sure that your contractor is licensed and what to do if he or she is injured. You can never be too careful. Make sure that you know all this information before hiring someone.