Working in Florida? Not Without a License
July 14, 2011

Contract glaziers in Florida are now required to have a license, according to legislation passed recently. The law also applies to glaziers outside the state who wish to perform work in Florida. Previously, this was a voluntary license.

On June 24, Florida’s HB 849, which dealt with a number of issues related to the state’s building code, was signed into law, taking effect July 1.

Fred Poynor, chairman of the Southeast Glass Association’s (SEGA) board, says this change is a “badge of pride” for the state and that it also brings a new level of professionalism.

Bruce Kershner, executive director for SEGA agrees this new law is a positive move for the state, especially given its hurricane-prone location.

“Protecting the openings of a building is critical in a wind-event, such as a hurricane. If the doors and windows fail then the chance of the structure failing or sustaining major damages is also high,” says Kershner. “This law helps ensure professionals are licensed and competent to install the glazing systems in the state of Florida.”

According to Kershner, the state already had 240 voluntarily licensed contract glaziers and they will not be affected by the change.

“They will be moved to the certified glass and glazing statute,” he says. “For those who did not get a voluntary license, they now have to take the exam to be licensed in the state.”

Previously the exam was only given three times a year, but two additional dates have been added, one in August and one in December.

Kershner says the law was passed June 24 and effective July 1, so he does not expect it will be heavily enforced to start.

“There was not adequate time for all contractors to come into compliance,” he says.

 Poynor, who is also the president of Area Glass Inc. in Panama City Beach, Fla., adds “Doors and windows are as important as any other part of the building.” He says one of things the state learned from Hurricane Andrew was that a major part of insurance costs included the contents of the building.

“If the roof collapses, then the walls come down and the contents of the building are ruined,” Poynor says. “So the doors and windows are an important part of the components and cladding. [Licensing] helps make sure these products are installed correctly—and that’s as tested and approved.”

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