What you need to know before you hire a contractor

Contact 13

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - Most of us are willing to take on a do-it-yourself project if it means saving some money. But sometimes even the smallest job at home requires an expert. Contact 13 talks to one homeowner, with a warning for anyone hiring a handyman or contractor.

"I just want to get the word out to other people," says Shane Chadwell.

He says he feels taken advantage of. He wanted to install an accent wall like this in his home, using reclaimed wood. So back in June, Shane says he hired a company he found on Craigslist called, 6 King's Wood.

"He quoted me about $800 for the square footage and then because I was a veteran, he deducted 10%. So it came down to $720 for the install," says Shane.

This receipt shows Shane put down a $400 deposit. The 1-day install was scheduled for the following week. But Shane says no one showed up. So he made a call.

"He responded that there was a family emergency," says Shane.

Shane says he understood and they rescheduled. But on that day... 

"11:00 came, no show. 11:30 called again, no answer," says Shane.

When Shane finally heard back, he made it clear he wasn't rescheduling again.

"I was like, we just want our money back," says Shane.

Shane says he was promised a full refund. But months later he's still waiting. That's when Shane reached out to Contact 13. We found there's no record of a business license for 6 King's Wood Company, either with the state, county or city.

So what do you need to know when hiring a contractor or handyman? First, look for a business license. It's public information you can find online for free.

If the job is under $1,000 in value, the handyman is not required to have a contractors license. But it's probably best to hire someone who does. 

"We encourage that, because you receive 4 years of protection should something go wrong. If your contractor fails to do the work, if they do poor workmanship, or there's other issues involved," says Jennifer Lewis with the Nevada State Contractors Board.

And it's important you get everything in writing. 

"You have something to bring back should something go wrong, as proof there was work to be performed, and the value of that work that you paid for," says Lewis.

As for Shane's case, we made multiple calls to 6 King's Wood Company.

"We want to get both sides of the story. This is our 4th message we've left you," says Tricia.

Unfortunately, no one returned our calls. Our Contact 13 Producer even stopped by a home address for the business owner.

"Okay. Thank you," says Contact 13 Producer, Daniel Gutierrez.

But we were told the person we were looking for didn't live there. Shane says he's learned his lesson. He never looked into the company's licensing and never saw a contract. So now he has this warning for anyone looking to hire a contractor or handyman.

"You need to find a properly contracted, licensed individual," says Shane.

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