The Difference Between a Licensed vs. Unlicensed Contractor in 30A

The Difference Between a Licensed vs. Unlicensed Contractor in 30A

Destin and Miramar Beach are amazing coastal cities in South Walton County in the gorgeous Florida Panhandle. With iconic beaches overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, these alluring communities are highly sought-after destinations for luxury living. Aligned with an active lifestyle, residents and tourists can enjoy numerous recreational activities, such as fishing, boating, kayaking, golfing, and more. Destin and Miramar Beach offer a laid-back way of life and a great sense of community that both full-time residents and vacation homeowners desire.

When you embark on the journey of building your 30A luxury home in Destin or Miramar Beach or undertaking a remodeling project, it is essential to hire a licensed contractor. At first glance, an unlicensed contractor may seem more affordable, but their lack of certification can lead to costly mistakes and roadblocks. In contrast, a licensed contractor provides the experience, knowledge, and legal protection necessary to ensure that your project is completed on budget, on time, and to your satisfaction.

What is a licensed contractor?

A licensed contractor is a professional certified by the state or local jurisdiction with the relevant legal permits to provide construction services. Such credentials are only given upon passing rigorous tests that assess skills and knowledge of building codes, safety requirements, and trade practices.

As licensed professionals, they are held to a higher standard and must abide by specific regulations and codes designed to protect the consumer. Licensing is essential because it proves that a contractor has the expertise to handle complex building projects and understands the rules and regulations of their industry.

Working with a licensed contractor offers peace of mind because you know they will follow safety standards, delivering high-quality work and exceptional results.

What is an unlicensed contractor?

An unlicensed contractor refers to any individual or business that doesn’t have the legal certification to offer construction services. They can provide their services at a much lower price than a licensed contractor, but there are inherent risks involved in working with them.

An unlicensed contractor isn’t held to the same standards as a licensed contractor, increasing the chances of poor workmanship, improper safety protocol, and legal repercussions if you hire them for jobs they are unqualified for. Working with an unlicensed contractor may seem like a cost-saving measure, but it may be more trouble than it’s worth.

Why some are tempted to work with an unlicensed contractor

Unlicensed contractors are an attractive option for homeowners seeking cost-effective services. One of the main reasons unlicensed contractors have lower costs is their lack of overhead expenses. Unlicensed contractors do not have to pay for the permits and insurance that a licensed contractor would require; therefore, their services are often cheaper.

Unlicensed contractors may have less experience than licensed professionals and cut costs by using lower-quality materials or taking shortcuts in their work. However, these short-term cost savings often lead to long-term expenses due to shoddy work, resulting in costly repairs down the line.

When considering this, it’s important to note that your renovation project may involve some tasks that don’t require a licensed contractor. These tasks might include setting up cabinetry in the kitchen, replacing tile, or installing countertops. While state licensure is not required in these instances, contractors should still be registered locally.

Why you should only work with a licensed professional

When planning your construction projects, it is essential to prioritize safety, quality workmanship, and legal compliance. That’s why it is crucial to only work with a licensed professional contractor for your endeavors. Licensed professionals are legally allowed to provide construction services and have the knowledge and experience to ensure your project is completed to the highest standards. A Destin luxury home is a significant investment, and it is not the time to cut costs or risk your construction quality.


Licensed contractors must have liability and worker’s compensation insurance and should be able to provide proof of insurance to prospective clients. These insurance measures protect the client from potential financial liability related to workplace accidents or injuries that may happen when the workers are on the job.

If you work with an unlicensed contractor and an injury occurs on your property, you may be responsible for the medical bills and other expenses related to the accident. Therefore, hiring a licensed contractor provides extra protection for the homeowner and ensures that the project will be completed safely and professionally.


Licensed contractors are also required to have bonding, which is not required for unlicensed contractors. Bonding is essentially a form of insurance that protects the client from financial loss if the contractor fails to complete the project or meet other contract specifications. In other words, bonding guarantees that the contractor will complete the project to the agreed-upon standards according to licensing regulations.

A licensed contractor pays a bond company, adding to their overhead expenses, which is how clients can recuperate their investment if the contract conditions are unmet. As a result, working with a licensed contractor not only provides a guarantee of expertise but also offers financial security.

Interview contractors in Destin and Miramar Beach

After exploring Miramar Beach homes for sale, you may choose to build a custom home or extensively remodel a property to create your dream home. Finding the right contractor for the task is critical. One way to ensure you select a licensed and experienced contractor is to interview local candidates. Ask about their experience with similar projects, licensing and insurance information, the timeline and process, their scheduling and availability, and their communication preferences. Detailed information about their services and professional work will showcase their expertise and help you make an informed decision.

Get started on your custom-built home or luxury remodeling project

When you are ready to make your dream home a reality, working with a professional licensed contractor is a must. Whether you are planning a custom build or remodeling project, having a team of experienced professionals on your side will make all the difference in your final results. Don’t settle for less when creating your luxury home.

If you’re seeking a talented, licensed 30A home builder in Destin and Miramar Beach, you’ve come to the right place. JP Boswell Consulting offers unparalleled results for beautiful custom homes. This highly esteemed team is well-versed in orchestrating luxury home builds and stunning remodeling projects. If you’re ready to bring your oceanfront home to life, reach out today to get started!
Recommended reading: How To Search For A Licensed Miramar Beach Contractor

*Header photo courtesy of JP Boswell Consulting

Work With Us

We pride ourselves in providing personalized solutions that bring our clients closer to their dream properties and enhance their long-term wealth. Contact us today!

Follow Me on Instagram