What You Need to Know if You’re Renovating a Home in Miami

Renovating your home can be an exciting prospect. However, it can also quickly become stressful and complex. In some cases, you need to involve the homeowner’s association, or you may need to obtain building permits. Here is everything you need to know before renovating a home in Miami.


Avoiding Legal Issues

Renovations can inadvertently cause legal issues. Therefore, knowing how Florida construction, real estate, and HOA state laws work is imperative to avoid costly and unnecessary legal issues when renovating your property.

Contractor Issues

When hiring a contractor to renovate your home, check them out thoroughly. Florida requires that contractors be state-licensed to perform upgrades and repairs on the property. If you live in a condo, your homeowner’s association may need to review your contractor and approve who performs the work. If you have any doubts about whether your contractor is registered to work on your home, you can contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (“DBPR”) or the local building permits department of your city/town.

Renovation Contracts

Before beginning any work, ensure you and your contractor sign a legally binding agreement. It’s essential to have this contract reviewed by your construction lawyer to ensure that your interests are protected. Carefully review the legal requirements. Florida law requires that construction agreements contain the licensee’s number, insulation rating, energy details, and construction lien provisions. Construction contracts should also include specific details about the property, the work you are having done, payments and bonds, warranties, and indemnification. Often, a homeowner’s association will need to review and sign off on a renovation contract before work begins.

Construction Liens

Your contractor, subcontractors, and others who work on your property in conjunction with your renovation project may have the right to attach a property lien for payment of work and materials until they are paid in full. Liens involve a few key documents, and you must know how each of them works. Your construction attorney can help you with this part of your renovation project. The typical documents are:

  • Notice of Commencement
  • Notice to Owner
  • Claim of Lien


Florida law does not limit how much a contractor can request for a down payment or how progress payments should work. That is between you and your contractor. However, you should not put down a deposit that is more than 10% of the full contract price. Your initial payment should only cover materials the contractor must purchase before beginning the work. If you put down more than 10% of the job, your contractor will be legally required to obtain the building permit and begin construction on a regulated schedule. The laws concerning contractor payments are very strict. If you pay too much upfront and something goes wrong, you could end up with a serious legal issue.

Haber Law Can Help

Even the simplest of renovations can quickly turn complex. It’s essential to have your construction attorney review everything before your contractor begins work. Contact Haber Law today for help with your renovation project.