Michael John Enterprises, Inc.

The Tampa Bay Area's leading provider of
quality addition and remodeling services to
Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco
counties since 1984
(813) 684-4126       (727) 447-2000

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There is no such thing as a stupid question and the only question that can possibly hurt you is the question you never ask. Our best customers are informed consumers so please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions. In the meantime, here are short answers to just a few of our most frequently asked questions.  Select a question from the list to go directly to that answer or simply scroll down to review all questions and answers.


 Why is it important to hire a licensed contractor?


Every licensed contractor in the State of Florida must pass a thorough examination demonstrating their knowledge of the profession.  To maintain a license, every contractor must attend a specified number of industry-related continuing education classes annually.  In addition to the State of Florida certification, contractors are also routinely credentialed by local municipalities for your protection and, for example, must regularly provide proof of liability and workers compensation insurance coverage.


For your protection, the State of Florida has also passed legislation requiring homeowners to only use licensed contractors for construction work. Knowingly hiring an unlicensed individual(s) to perform work on your home can result in a fine of up to $5,000 per day plus other applicable costs (e.g., court costs, investigation costs).


A good place to start when confirming the status of your contractor’s license is at the website for the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation.


 Is a permit required for my project?


The short answer to this question is yes.  Although there are some very minor home improvements you can do without a permit, most projects of any size and effort do require a permit.  Initiating a project without an appropriate permit can result in substantial fines and delays.  Local authorities can require you at your sole expense to redo work completed without a permit or even remove an entire structure.


For your protection, every permitted project requires a series of on-site inspections by local authorities.  These inspections give you independent verification during the project that work is being completed in accordance with the required building codes and approved plans.


 Can/should I pull my own permit?


Although it is possible as a homeowner to pull a permit for work to be performed on your own home, doing so should be avoided at all costs.  If you do pull your own permit, you assume all responsibility and risk for the project and relinquish many of your rights and protections granted under Florida law (e.g.,  Construction Industries Recovery Fund).  Among other things, you assume responsibility for all insurance (liability and workers compensation) and even federal taxPulling an Owner/Builder Permit is Risky Business! reporting and withholds for anyone that works on your project.  Anybody that is asking (or requiring) you to pull your own permit is not a licensed contractor or should be questioned about their motives.

If interested, you can learn more about the risks associated with pulling your own permit by reading the brochure "Pulling an Owner/Builder Permit is Risky Business!" developed by the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation.


 What is your cost per square foot to build an addition?


Every project is different and there is absolutely no way to define a standard cost per square foot price that works in every situation.  There are many cost variables in building an addition that don’t apply to new construction (e.g., tie-in to existing roof, amount of demolition required, property layout and accessibility, access to plumbing/mechanical, etc.).  The only way to determine an accurate cost for your project is to meet with you at your home to discuss your needs and inspect your existing residence first-hand.  After that meeting, we should have all the information we need to prepare a very specific price for your project.


An important distinction for Michael John Enterprises is that we will give you a price for your project, not just an estimate.  Unless you change the project, the price we contract for is what you will pay.  In contrast, many contractors employ tactics that allow them to give you a lower price to get the work knowing full well that the amount you will pay for a completed project will be much more.  


 Do I need to have architectural drawings before involving a contractor?


No.  In fact, we prefer to get involved with you in the planning process before you invest a significant amount of money, time and effort in having plans drawn.  For a variety of reasons, we often see these plans needing major revisions to move forward or, even worse, never becoming anything more than paper plans. Draftsmen and even architects are good at listening to you and drawing what you ask for.  However, there is often more than one good way to get what you want and that can impact cost.  Your plans may not consider these alternatives or may be exactly what you want but cannot afford to build.


Our professionals have a great deal of design experience and a thorough knowledge of the building codes and specific requirements for your location.  In addition, we also have in-depth knowledge regarding the cost of specific design choices.  Beginning with our initial meeting, we provide free design services to turn your ideas into reality.  We will suggest alternatives to help you get the most value for your investment and will even use state-of-the-art software to develop 2-D and 3-D drawings to help you visualize your project – all at no cost to you.


Signed and sealed architectural drawings are required to obtain a permit.  If you choose to work with us, we include the cost to have an architect develop plans from our drawings and specifications in your contract price.  The benefits to you are threefold:  1) Your cost for drawings is greatly reduced because we have done a significant portion of the work,  2) You don’t pay for drawings that can not or will not be used,  3) You can proceed with confidence that your plans balance your needs, wishes and budget.


Of course, we can also work with your prepared architectural drawings as well.


 Should I build up or out?


The decision to build on with a ground-level addition or second-story involves many key factors to consider. Without a doubt, it is always less costly to add on the ground level where possible.  However, certain restrictions (e.g., setback requirements, views, flow, etc.) may suggest or even dictate that a second-story addition is warranted.  Besides cost, there are other key factors that must be considered (e.g., placement for stairs if not already present, additional disruption during construction, etc.).  Our professionals can discuss these factors with you to enable you to make an informed decision on whether to build up or out.


 Do you require substantial money upfront?


No.  As part of our contract, we incorporate a payment schedule tied to completion milestones specific to your project with a final payment due upon substantial completion.  Tying payments to completion milestones protects your investment and also serves to further align our incentives – you want your project completed and we only receive payment when the project is progressing.


We strongly recommend you find a different contractor if you are being asked for a substantial amount of money upfront.  We receive calls on a routine basis from homeowners who can’t find their contractors after writing a large check.


 Do you provide financing? 

No.  However, because of our reputation and business contacts, we can help you in your effort to secure attractive financing for your project. If you can be qualified for financing, we can help you get the best terms.  In many cases, our contacts have been able to secure financing for homeowners where others have failed.

 Have you completed projects in my area? 

Yes, the odds are good that we have.  To-date, we have completed many projects in each of the individual municipal authorities across Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties, including:





Although there is a single Florida Building Code, each municipal authority interprets the code in its own way, maintains different forms and processes and requires different inspections.


 Besides remodeling and room additions, what other services do you provide?


Additions and remodeling are the core of our business and have been since 1984.  However, we also provide other home improvement services including replacement siding and replacement windows.  In addition, we are also licensed to provide commercial services and do provide some commercial construction and buildout.