It seems like we had a very long winter, skipped over spring and jumped right into summer. Hurricane season is already here and we have already had one named storm, Alberto.

I recently attended an industry meeting in Florida, and the predictions are for another very active hurricane season. Florida has recovered from the housing crisis and is in full swing with remodeling.  With hurricane season starting, I recently interviewed a Florida dealer about the differences of selling in Florida vs. the northern markets.

Here are some of the items they brought up.

Selling in Florida is a very different type of selling process. The codes are constantly evolving and sometimes you get a notification about the changes, while other times you do not get a formal announcement.  It is up to the dealer to understand and implement the code changes regardless of being made aware of the updates or not.

Florida is an immense state geographically, and there are many differences in code requirements depending on where you are located in the state. A dealer must be able to translate their specific requirements into their business and provide the correct product application to customers.

You also need to have a Florida contractors’ license, which involves months of study and passing the Florida contractors test that can last up to 8 hours.  In addition, with any license, there are also continuing education requirements. You need your Florida contractors’ license to pull permits, which is an absolute must in Florida.

The selling process is also much more technical with a strong focus on impact zones and design pressure ratings. In addition, meeting the Florida energy codes is just as important as having an impact product.

Understanding the product size and structural requirements by application is also critical in the sales process, due to differences in construction (stick framing to concrete block), and variations on where the job is actually located in relation to the Florida coastline.

Finally, Florida has many advantages for home improvement companies.  However, Florida contractors are closely monitored by the state to ensure that proper product, installation procedures and requirements are being met.  With billions of insurance dollars at stake, Florida has lots of codes, but if navigated properly, it is a tremendous state to do business in.

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