Acting As Your Own Contractor
Florida Law requires all construction work to be completed by licensed contractors; however, there is an exemption that allows owners to act as their own contractor. This is referred to as an “owner/builder” permit. Below are some important things to consider when obtaining an "owner/builder" permit:
- is considered the contractor of record and assumes responsibility for the overall job; Learn More
- is responsible for performing all work or hiring licensed contractors; Learn More
- is responsible for employing and providing direct supervision of any individuals who do not hold a license; Learn More
- is responsible for scheduling all work and obtaining all required inspections; Learn More
- should always be cautious of unlicensed contractors or "consultants";
is considered the contractor of record and assumes responsibility for the overall job;
As the owner/builder, the property owner is the contractor and has the same responsibilities of a licensed contractor such as obtaining required permits and ensuring that the permits are posted at the job site before construction begins. Starting construction without a permit is a violation and subjects the owner/builder to fines and penalties.
is responsible for performing all work or hiring licensed contractors;
The owner/builder is working under an exemption to Florida’s construction contractor laws, and is the contractor of record. All work is to be done by the owner/builder. If necessary, the owner/builder may hire licensed contractors for any portion of the job,but must supervise and coordinate all work. Family members, neighbors, or friends are not allowed to work on the project unless they are direct employees or hired through an employment agency.
is responsible for employing and providing direct supervision of any individuals who do not hold a license;
Any work performed by anyone other than the owner/builder or a licensed contractor, must be a direct employee of the owner/builder. This means the owner/builder is responsible for providing worker’s compensation insurance and withholding Social Security, Federal and State Unemployment Insurance Taxes, and Federal Income Taxes from the wages of employees. If using day labor through an employment agency, the owner/builder is responsible for ensuring that the agency is supplying the proper taxes and insurances. These items are not covered under Homeowner’s Insurance.
is responsible for scheduling all work and obtaining all required inspections;
The owner/builder is required to oversee and supervise the job as well as coordinate work schedules for the project. This includes scheduling all required inspections at the appropriate stages of construction and making necessary corrections before proceeding to the next stage of construction.
should always be cautious of unlicensed contractors or "consultants";
Unlicensed individuals claiming to be contractors often prey upon homeowners, promising to guide the owner/builder through the process for a consulting fee. These individuals are breaking the law and may cause the owner/builder financial harm. Some warning signs of unlicensed contractors are:
- The homeowner is asked to obtain the permit.
- A large down payment is requested before work begins.
- Verbal contract only; the person is not willing to put all terms in writing.
- The individual does not have proof of insurance.
- The individual is only willing to work on weekends or after hours.
- There is no license number on vehicle, business card, contract or ad.
- The homeowner is asked to make checks payable to an individual or make payments in cash, or make checks payable to “cash”.
- The individual says he is a “handyman”.
To find out if an individual is properly licensed call Hernando County Building Division at 352-754-4050.