How do I find & hire a contractor to build my dock or seawall?

Hiring a Marine Contractor | Jason Nix LLC | Lakeland, FL

First, be warned:

All local Building Departments are allowing uninsured or underinsured contractors (this area of construction requires very a very specific insurance classification) to pull dock and seawall permits. This is in violation of State Workers Compensation laws, but unfortunately this is part of the broken system we currently have. So YOU, the homeowner, must verify the credentials and insurance of any contractor you hire or you will be liable for any injury or death on your property.

The easiest and quickest way to find a suitable (and qualified) contractor is to visit the Florida Marine Contractors Association to discover licensed & insured contractors in your area. If the contractor/company is a member of this association, you can rest assured that they are qualified. FMCA properly vets all members. If your contractor is not a FMCA member, you can check their credentials and insurance using the following links:

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation

A State Certified Contractor is qualified, tested, and held to a higher level of accountability than County Certified Contractors. If you would like further material on this topic check out my “‘Licensed and Insured’ Defined” article.

Verify a Contractors Workers Compensation Coverage

Here, you can determine whether or not your potential contractor is providing coverage for his cp employees. If the Governing class code is not “06006,” then the employees are not covered for your project and you will be liable, just as if the contractor is uninsured altogether. When signing a contract, have the contractor add you as an “additional insured,” and the insurance company will email you a current certificate of insurance. If this request is a problem for your contractor, then DO NOT hire this particular contractor/ company as YOU WILL BE LIABLE FOR ANY OF HIS EMPLOYEES’ INJURIES OR DEATHS.

Better Business Bureau

You’ll also find the Better Business Bureau reviews are a useful tool. Here you can read the reviews of other customers who have used a particular contractor in the past.

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