Unlicensed Contractors on the Rise in the Area

“The Nevada State Contractors Board recently cited eight alleged unlicensed contractors for violating statutes of contracting without a license and advertising without a license during a February sting operation.”



Click to visit the NSCB

Heads up Northern Nevada.With the added growth in the market, we’ll also begin to see unscrupulous service providers popping up all over. Just this week, the RGJ reports the Nevada State Contractors Board cited eight violators in February.

What does this mean to you? Very simply put, always make sure the person offering services has a license to do the work they’re selling you. Ask for a license on paper. And be diligent if they can’t quickly come up with documents of proof. You have time to make sure they have the skills, resources and licensing to do your job right, so exercise your right for validation. This goes for landscapers of course, but all other trades as well. The end result could be catastrophic for your home or business if issues arise – and they typically do.

Search NSCB Database for Company Name

Why should I hire a licensed contractor?

  • Unlicensed contractors do not carry Workman’s Compensation insurance, so if they get injured on your property, you could be held liable.
  • Homeowners who use unlicensed contractors are not eligible for the Residential Recovery Fund, and by law a contract with an unlicensed contractor is null and void.

The NSCB encourages anyone who comes across unlicensed contracting activities to report the information to NSCB’s unlicensed contractor hotline at 702-486-1160 or 775-850-7838. Details to provide include the unlicensed contractor’s name, address (business and/or physical location where work is being performed), phone number, vehicle description, license plate, business card and/or advertisement, contracts signed by the unlicensed individual, etc.


Ten Tips for Making Sure Your Contractor Is on the Level

  1. Hire only licensed contractors.
  2. Check the contractor’s license number by utilizing our Online Contractor Search or by contacting the Nevada State Contractors Board:

9670 Gateway Drive, Ste 100
Reno, NV 89521
Phone: (775) 688-1141
Fax: (775) 688-1271
Hours of Operation – Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm

  1. Get three references and review past work.
  2. Get at least three bids.
  3. Get a written contract and do not sign anything until you
    completely understand the terms.
  4. For pool contracts, pay 10% down or $1,000 – whichever is less, if a deposit
    is required.
  5. Don’t let payments get ahead of the work. Keep a record of all payments.
    Don’t make a final payment until you are satisfied with the job.
  6. Don’t pay cash.
  7. Keep a job file of all papers relating to your project.
  8. Check the contractor’s record with the Better Business Bureau in your area or visit their website at www.bbb.org

Signature Landscapes now offers military discounts

A Military Discount is our way of expressing our sincere appreciation for all who have served honorably OR are currently serving in our Armed Forces. We offer a 10% Military Discount on all lawn maintenance, tree care services and Christmas Light installation projects.

Note: Our only requirement is you need to show either a valid Military or Veterans Affairs ID card for a customer discount.

Additionally, we encourage ALL Americans to patronize businesses who Support Our Troops by offering a Military Discount.


Reasons to offer a Military Discount:

  • Opportunity to give back
  • Say Thank You for your service
  • Americans support businesses that Support Our Troops!
  • We must remember that freedom isn't free and that someone has to pay the price...and that is those in our Military

We’d like to thank our friends at  Helsel Construction Operations for inspiring all local businesses to support all of those serving or have served. We hope you enjoy the Signature Landscapes Military Discount for our Armed Forces!

Second Annual Cal-Neva Border Blitz Nets 16 Phony Contractors

Individuals on probation for theft and burglary were among those who bid on the Lake Tahoe area projects.

via Second Annual Cal-Neva Border Blitz Nets 16 Phony Contractors.

We cannot stress enough, the importance of hiring legitimate, licensed and bonded companies for your landscape (or any other work) projects.

The decks are stacked against you the minute you agree to let them on your property. If you have any concerns about a current contractor working for you, give us a call. We’ll try to help you out of any pickle you find yourself in.

Call us at (775) 857-4333 to learn more about the benefits of a reputable, licensed landscape company, like Signature Landscapes.

Hiring a landscape contractor Q&A

Question: I’m evaluating a landscape contractor who has a current
contractor’s license. That’s all I should be concerned about, right?

Brian Dean, ISA Arborist, ASCA

It’s a common misconception that a contractor’s license relieves you, the homeowner of liability should a worker get hurt while on your landscaping job. Unfortunately, that’s far from the truth. A contractor’s license only stipulates qualifications to perform certain work. It doesn’t mean the contractor has provided his workers all the necessary insurance as required by law.

Without workers comp and liability insurance, homeowners are often shocked to find themselves the target of lawsuits by injured workers.

When considering a landscaper, always be certain:
  • Your contractor is actually the person named on the license.
  • Workers compensation and liability insurance are in place and both are current. Insist on viewing the documentation.
  • Request references and contact them.
  • Get a written estimate with timeline.
  • Insist on Landscape Industry Certified technicians.
“You don’t really purchase a landscape. You buy the services of a landscape contractor to install and construct the project you want.”

When shopping your next landscape project, you’ll likely find a substantial gap between the highest and lowest bids. If this is the case for you, begin by asking questions specific to insurance and liability. If the contractor fails to provide reliable answers, you’ll be smart to move on. There are ample highly qualified and respectable landscape contractors in the Truckee Meadows. This talent pool will allow you to make a choice based upon the integrity of the contractor rather than the lowest price freelancer.

The bottom line: As with any major construction project, solid due diligence always pays for itself. Licensed contractors are regulated by laws designed to protect the public, are bonded, and must successfully complete arduous testing to acquire a license. Unlicensed persons, typically, are not bonded and may not have liability or workers’ compensation insurance. If you hire an unlicensed person, you may be financially responsible if injuries, fire, or other property damage results.