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CONTACT 13: What to know when hiring a contractor

Posted at 11:48 PM, Dec 21, 2016
and last updated 2018-11-21 17:35:02-05

Contact 13 reports on what you need to know when hiring a contractor. When something goes wrong while working on a home, you want to make sure you're protected.

Carlus Nedd hired contractor Frontier Builders to build a new patio and deck in his backyard in November of last year.

"According to the contract once the permits were issued, it's supposed to be completed within 90 days," he said.

But more than a year later, work continues and the cost of the nearly $50,000 is climbing.

"It's adding up to almost another $25,000," Nedd said.

Nedd wasn't getting any answers from the contractor so he reached out to Contact 13.

Frontier Builders told 13 Action News there have been a number of problems.

"We were waiting for engineers, we were having to have all of this approved," said LaVar Short.

He says the issues are out of his control.

"You're dead in the water on these jobs, if you can't get your inspections," Short said.

But he takes the blame when it comes to poor communication.  

So what do you need to know if you're hiring a contractor? First, always get three bids for a job -- three estimates from three different contractors. Second, ask for references. And third, make sure they're properly licensed with the Nevada State Contractors Board.

If need be, you can file a complaint with the Nevada State Contractors Board, which will take a look at the case.

"We'll order your contractor to repair those issues. And if they fail to do so, we'll take them to a disciplinary hearing," said Jennifer Lewis with the board.

From there, a contractor's license can be suspended, revoke or the homeowner could get restitution.

In addition, it's good to get everything in writing when hiring a contractor. For major jobs, your contract could include time frames for getting work done and payment schedules.

If a contractor requires a down payment before work begins, the board recommends paying 10 percent or $1,000, whichever is less.