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Look for the license
February 17, 2017

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To better protect homeowners, the city of Cape Coral has made it a lot easier to report possible unlicensed contracting.

The Code Compliance Division now has a dedicated phone number and email address that residents can use to report suspected illegal contracting and construction activity, a release from the city announced this week.

The number to call is 239-242-3783, and the email is unlicensed@capecoral.net .

The new report options are in addition to the city's long-established Website link that allows homeowners looking to check contractor licensing to do so on the city's Website at etrakit.capecoral.net/etrakit3/Search/license.aspx Searches may be conducted by name, license number, locations, business type and more.

We thank the city for its efforts - unlicensed contracting can cost homeowners much more than the price of a higher bid from businesses that comply and provide the proper insurance for those coming onto your property to do the job you need done.

Who needs a license?

The state Department of Professional Regulation provides a good guideline: "A Contractor is someone who demolishes, subtracts from, builds or improves any building or structure for compensation. Examples of compensation are cash, goods, services, etc. Essentially, if you pay someone to construct a building or a structure, make structural alterations to load bearing walls, or perform services such as plumbing or air conditioning work, that person has to have a state contractors' license," the agency's Website states.

Homeowners may also check for state licensing - and filed complaints - at myfloridalicense.com . Or simply call the city's Licensing Division at 239-574-0613 to verify both city and state licensing compliance.

We strongly urge anyone contemplating a home improvement project to check whether the person or company performing the work needs a license and whether they, in fact, have one.

We understand licensing is not a guarantee that you won't get ripped off. It is, however, a good place to start before signing a contract or handing over any cash for a major project that should be inspected to make sure safety codes are met.

Don't be penny wise and pound foolish.

- Breeze Newspapers

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