November 2004

Working after the hurricanes | Focus

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Working after the hurricanes

by Ambika Puniani Bailey
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As Floridians begin the task of resuming their day-to-day lives, many will find it difficult to have their roof systems repaired in a timely manner. Some homeowners have reported three-month waiting lists for receiving estimates, which means many roof systems may not be repaired until spring.

Roofing contractors in Florida are swamped with work, obviously, and the state is in dire need of help from contractors in other states. But there is a catch: Florida's licensing law requires all roofing work to be performed by licensed Florida contractors, and the state's requirements for licensing are fairly rigorous and include passing an exam. Out-of-state contractors can earn licenses in Florida, but they cannot perform work as subcontractors for licensed Florida contractors. The law has left the state in a bind: It must either relax its laws or face the fact that many of its residents will have to live and work in homes and businesses in disrepair.

Recognizing the plight, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush issued two executive orders in an attempt to get roofing work completed more quickly. The first allows licensed residential, building and general contractors to perform roof system repairs and reroofing applications (the order does not include metal or tile roof systems) in counties affected by Hurricane Charley. The second order allows local jurisdictions to issue limited specialty roofing licenses to in-state and out-of-state contractors who present affidavits of competency from their respective jurisdictions' building officials and prove they have Florida workers' compensation and general liability insurance. The 90-day license applies to installation of wood shakes and asphalt shingles.

NRCA and the Florida Roofing, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (FRSA) believe that though Bush's executive orders will help the situation, more can be done. NRCA's Executive Vice President Bill Good sent a letter to Bush urging him to make it even easier for out-of-state contractors to perform work in Florida during...

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