LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A couple of local businesses looking to renovate say their remodeling didn't go as planned. Now they're coming forward to warn the public.
13 Action News anchor Tricia Kean has the four rules you need to know when hiring a contractor.
"There's no electricity. There's no running nothing in there. The walls aren't up," says business owner Jameesa Wallace.
She says her portable kids salon is out of business. It's supposed to look like a pink paradise for girls to get their hair or nails done.
She hired contractor, Steven Jones, back in June to do electrical work, drywall and flooring.
"I met Steven on Facebook. On a black-owned business page," says Jameesa.
But Jameesa says Steven never finished the job.
MADE THINGS WORSE
"He made things worse," says Jameesa.
Now, she doesn't know when she'll have the money to get back up and running.
"I gave him $1,500 down. Then I ended up paying $1,300 for the material and he used to call and ask for more money... So in all, over $4,000," says Jameesa.
It turns out another business is unhappy with Steven. He was hired last October to paint and install new flooring at Mai Ling Beauty Bar on East Charleston, near Fremont.
"He was very unprofessional. Some days he wouldn't even show up to work," says Myisha Davis of Mai Ling Beauty Bar.
A video shows Steven painting the shop. Myisha says the walls look great, it's the flooring that's an issue.
"We thought the flooring was really good when we walked in at first... However, a couple months later we noticed a couple areas started lifting," says Myisha.
She says Steven was paid $7,000 and she was left with a major safety issue.
"My clients were really tripping, coming inside, getting to their appointments... We can't have it like this. So now we have to have someone else come out and redo the whole entire floor," says Myisha.
13 Action News reached out to Steven for answers. He agreed to meet with us, but never showed up for our interview.
"I just wanted to see if you're on your way. We've been waiting for you," says Tricia over the phone.
But Steven never came through. So we did some digging and discovered there's no record of Steven having a contractor's license.
"To our knowledge, he is not licensed in Nevada," says Jennifer Lewis with the Nevada State Contractors Board.
CHECK FOR LICENSE
She says the very first rule to hiring a contractor is to check their license.
"By taking that simple step just to verify your contractor has an active license before you sign a contract, that affords you four years to file a complaint with our Board," says Lewis.
Contractor license information is available for free online. Be sure to look at classification details to see what kind of work someone can legally perform, like roofing, electrical, or plumbing.
GET IT IN WRITING
Rule number two; get everything in writing.
"If you have specific materials that you want to use, make sure those are listed in detail. Understand the labor costs. Understand the time schedule," says Lewis.
TALK TO CLIENTS
Rule three; talk to former clients. Find out what their experience was like; did the contractor stick to the budget and did they communicate well?
Finally rule number four; don't pay in full. The Contractors Board recommends putting down a thousand dollars or 10-percent, whichever is less. Then make scheduled payments as work is completed.
"If you're being asked to write a check to an individual versus a company, that's a red flag you're probably dealing with an unlicensed contractor. Because we only license construction entities," says Lewis.
It's good advice these ladies wish they had before hiring Steven Jones. Now they're taking time to warn others.
"Definitely do your research. Definitely read reviews," says Myisha.
"Even if the work they do and the work they present is very beautiful and very nice, do a little bit more research," says Jameesa.
Another benefit to hiring a licensed contractor is the Residential Recovery Fund. It's financial support awarded to eligible victims of bad contractors.
Whether you've hired a licensed or unlicensed contractor if you have an issue be sure to file an official complaint.