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 READ RGJ ARTICLE

nscblogo

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 OFFERS PREFERRED PAYMENT FINANCING

YOUR LANDSCAPE DREAM IS ONLY A CALL AWAY

No Payments  | No Interest  |  No Cash Down

  • Why Wait? Same-As-Cash financing up to $55,000 OAC
  • Your home improvement dreams are only a call away.

Why space your dream landscape project out over years when your outdoor living projects just became more affordable? Don’t delay, with our new preferred payment program for homeowners and commercial partners, you can complete your entire outdoor landscape or improvement now rather than later.

Introducing the Signature Landscapes Preferred Payment Program

Belgard Hardscapes Authorized Contractor

With our same-as-cash program, you can create the backyard of your dreams without having to prolong a project due to budgetary constraints.

Signature Landscapes’ Belgard Preferred Payment program offers homeowners and commercial partners 100% unsecured financing from $4,000 to $55,000 on approved credit. And the application is a quick and safe toll-free loan-by-phone process!

  • 100% unsecured financing from $4,000 to $55,000 on approved credit
  • No payment and no interest on approved credit.
  • No application fee, no closing cost and no prepayment penalties.
  • A quick, easy and safe toll-free loan-by-phone application process
  • A fast credit decision in about 10 minutes
  • No paperwork!

WHY WAIT? Schedule a FREE consultation to find out if our Same-As-Cash program is right for you!


Signature Landscapes is an offical Belgard Authorized Contractor and can help you. For more information, just call us at (775) 857-4333 to schedule your FREE on-site consultation.
The program is only available through Signature Landscapes, your participating Belgard Authorized Contractor. To schedule a FREE on-site consultation, talk with your Signature Landscapes professional today and begin enjoying your beautiful new outdoor living space before the end of summer! Just call our (775) 857-4333.

You’ll enjoy peace-of mind because you provide your personal financial information directly to the bank and not to your Signature Landscapes specialist or over the internet.

With Signature Landscapes as your professional landscape contractor, you can our attractive same-as-cash payment option makes your decision easier.

 

Let’s get planting!

At last, spring really is just around the corner and it’s about time to plant the first seeds of this year’s garden.

Depending on the altitude and whether you have a warm southern exposure, you could get outside and plant as early as next weekend

Here’s what you need:

  • Soil that’s warm enough to till – such as a southern exposure. The south side of a building that provides reflected heat will warm up for planting sooner than other areas of a yard.
  • A cultivating tool to even out the soil.
  • Soil that was composted and tilled last fall – or compost to till in now to prep the soil.
  • Seed packets or seed tape which is a strip of paper with seeds placed along along it. Using the tape guarantees a straight row of plants.

What can you plant early?

  • Green Onions
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Carrotts
  • Peas

Once planted, all of these seeds will stay in the soil quietly waiting to germinate. Some will germinate at a soil temp of about 40-45 degrees and others may need a bit warmer temperature. The good news is that the seeds can sit still in the soil until conditions are right.

Snow and frost shouldn’t bother them and snow will give the soil needed moisture. If there’s no precipitation after planting, watch the soil and if it dries out, be ready to water.

If you’d like to add improvements to your garden irrigation system, call Tina, our Installation Coordinator to schedule a free consultation. We’ll make sure your garden will grow healthy and hearty with a simple to manage watering system. Call Tina at (775) 857-4333.

Vegetable-GardeningDepending on the weather, your veggies should be ready to harvest sometime between the end of April and early May. Then it will almost be time to plant the warmer season crops.

If you want to extend the growing season, you can do what commercial growers do and place strips of black plastic about 18 inches wide on top of the soil. On sunny days, the plastic will absorb heat and bring up the soil temperature faster than if left alone. At higher altitudes where the growing season is even shorter than along the Sierra, this procedure can give an earlier start to the growing season.

When it’s time to plant, simply poke holes in the plastic and install the plants. This procedure is especially good for warm season crops like tomatoes, egg plant and peppers. Using walls of water – the plastic towers filled with water – around plants will also add to the warmth and help protect tender plants against frost damage.

Signature Landscapes completes Elko Guard facility

Signature Landscapes has just completed the landscape design/build project for the Elko County Guard facility located in Carlin, Nevada. The new 5,400 square foot readiness center building will house offices, storage areas, a vault and a locker room.

Nevada State Assemblyman from district 33, John Ellison, said he was pleased the Guard was taking over portions of the facility. “This location has endless potential and it’s going to be beneficial for Carlin, Elko and the state of Nevada for years to come.”

Link to Elko Daily Free Press article for more information

 

Signature helps wounded hero and family enjoy a new home

Defenders of Freedom Home

A Northern Nevada soldier & family enjoy new home in Somersett

Signature Landscapes Defenders of Freedom work

Signature crews installing landscape

In May of this year, a group of volunteers including Signature Landscapes raised the support walls for a Reno house being built for Sgt. Thomas “Trey” Humphrey and his wife, Lindsey.

Humphrey, 29, a graduate of Foothill High School in Henderson, suffered severe leg, arm, facial and brain injuries when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in November 2010. His squad was trying to maneuver on an enemy machine gun position at the time.

The 1,739-square-foot home, valued at $275,000, is being donated to the couple as the first such project sponsored by the Reno chapter of the Texas-based organization Defenders of Freedom.

Some 40 local companies and individuals have donated more than $200,000 in cash, supplies and services for the Reno home to date.

houseduringconsructionDefenders of Freedom ~ Northern Nevada is a local organization that was formed to build fully compliant homes for our American heroes with physical challenges faced as they return home. Defenders of Freedom is a nonprofit (501c3) organization. All donations, grants, and in-kind services are 100% tax-deductible. One Hundred Percent (100%) of all monies contributed support construction of the homes.


 

 

Basalite Nevada overstock inventory sale April 20th

BASALITE HARDSCAPE PRODUCTS

Basalite Nevada has an overstock of selected inventory!

They are looking to reduce these quantities significantly.  

Because they’re so serious about reducing inventory, there will be fantastic deals to be had.  They’ve lowered the price up to 80% off the regular price on selected items!  There is a large array of products such as the following:

  • Clay Brick
  • Mailbox Columns
  • Patio Block
  • Natural Stone
  • Garden Items
  • Lipped Retaining Wall Block
  • Structural Block
  • Interlocking Pavers
  • Segmental Retaining Wall Block
  • Manufactured Stone
  • RoxPro Products
  • Precast Concrete

Basalite Country Cobble offers the warmth of the summer sun

  • All of this material and more will be available at Basalite-Carson City (2500 Boeing Way, Carson City, NV 89706) on a first come basis on Saturday, April 20.  There is a no return policy on this material.  Material can be picked up that day or a delivery can be scheduled.  Standard delivery charges/rates will apply for all material delivered by Basalite.
  • CLICK LINK for SALE SHEET 

Talk to Jeremy Anthony | Plant Manager

BASALITE CONCRETE PRODUCTS, LLC

MAP: 2500 Boeing Way
Carson City, NV 89706

Office: 775-882-9336  |  Fax:     775-283-3477  |  Cell:     775-690-803
email:  Jeremy.Anthony@paccoast.com

Signature Welcomes Back Carson Medical Center

After a three year hiatus with in-house operation, Signature can call
this world-class organization a client once again!

Cancer Center Fountain designed and installed by Signature Landscapes.

In December 2005, Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center opened the doors of its new expansion to the public. Soon afterward the facility was acclaimed for its innovative and functional landscape design, hardscape features, and practical application of the healing environment concept.

Signature Landscapes is extremely proud to have been the primary landscape services contractor for the medical center since day one. With more than 15 miles of irrigation and multiple landscape awards, the 80-acre campus continues to thrive, just as the healthcare provider continues to serve the community. And Signature is proud to have helped in its development along the way.

This month, Signature Landscapes is pleased to announce the medical campus’ decision to move the role of landscape management to an outsourced program led by the Signature team, previously an in-house operation since 2008.

Managed by Signature Landscapes from breaking dirt through 2008, the hospital took the maintenance duties in-house in an effort to reduce expenses. During this time, the landscape company continued to help develop numerous projects along the way, including the award winning Cancer Center’s Chartres Labyrinth and rose garden, as well as care and maintenance of several related properties such as the Sierra Surgery Hospital and the Cancer Center.

The Signature team would like to publicly welcome such a wonderful partner back into the exclusive club and hope the innovative collaboration in landscape excellence continues for years to come.

Best Residential Landscape 2011

Functional elegance forms this large landscape – White’s Creek Area

Bare dirt & boulders transformed into a beautiful family home

The Rowe’s residence is a large stucco Tanamera home built in the shadow of Mt. Rose/Galena area of South Reno. The bare-dirt footprint was almost one-half acre, surrounded by large scrub brush, randomly placed pines, and some cottonwood growing in a ditch behind the property. So overall, this was a blank canvas suitable for any design.

Our instructions were initially simple; use as much color as possible, create a unique landscape feature, and make sure a mountain theme rolls through the entire design.

Our team, lead by our designer, Brian Dean, broke the project down to three production pieces. In 2011, we have seen completion of the first two important phases and have turned this standard home into a showcase property for the owner as well as Tanamera Development.

Due to the large square footage of the driveway and entry walk, we chose an older-style of paver in a muted but colorful pattern to match the surrounding environment – the look was to mimic that of an older dirt/DG driveway.

PHASED DEVELOPMENT

Two first two phases have integrated color wherever and whenever possible. Flowering plants as well as foliage in greens and reds were used to accomplish this natural but vibrant palette – colors that will provide substance during the winter as well. Taking advantage of the property’s large boulders, and to continue the mountain theme, two aspen groves and Austrian pines were integrated into the front yard.

The backyard area was designed for entertaining and privacy. A functional vineyard on the east side gives a wine country feel to the viewer, as well as an untraditional whimsy not typically felt in a Truckee Meadows property. A third patio within the vineyard is designed for the phase three, slated to begin in early spring 2012.

Using natural boulders around the entire property helped to set the home within the Mt Rose scenery perfectly. Drip irrigation was key to keeping the water-usage numbers reasonable. Limited turf still allows cooling to the house in hot summer months, while keeping the largest water consumer at bay.

Overall, this landscape showcases how a colorful and complex outdoor environment can be attained without breaking the bank, can be simple to maintain for years following installation, and will deliver immediate satisfaction for the homeowner and guests for generations to come

REDUCE AND DIVERSIFY WITH X-E-R-I-S-C-A-P-E!

Reducing turf areas, lowering water costs and bringing a more organic look to the landscape was the big ‘to do’ for us in 2009. In other words, Xeriscaping was back into favor with homeowners, designers and contractors. I have a good feeling it’s going to top 2010 project list again.

Now, before you get the idea this translates to a few cacti, scotch broom and a cover of river-rock mulch, you just might want to take a new look at Xeriscaping. At its most basic, this is a practice designed to help make low-water-use landscaping an easily recognized concept. Here in the Truckee Meadows, water costs, mandatory watering schedules and plant deaths have demonstrated Xeriscaping is a smart choice and can look magnificent.

Xeriscaping represents a multi-step approach to incorporate soil amendments, compatible plant material and efficient irrigation into a well thought-out design. Try to look at your landscape in a simpler way and choose appropriate plants, native and naturalized, for our area. Use plantings that will survive and thrive Northern Nevada’s climate. And think organically at all times; part of your overall earth-wise gardening solution will conserve water with native and adapted plants and consume less synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, while reducing emissions from lawn equipment.

Planted veggies line a walkway

You don’ have to sacrifice style and grace to create a beautiful Xeriscaped garden. Instead of roses, peonies and Hydrangeas in flower beds, showcase the plants in a pot or urn that can be appreciated close up and maintained easier. For a green, clipped European-themed garden, you can spend a lot less effort, money and water using native plants to achieve the great designs and the first place to start is by asking questions of your landscaper or nursery. They have the professionals on staff with the native plant knowledge to steer you in the right direction.

 

 

 

Xeriscaping can reduce landscape water use by 60 percent or more and increase property values by as much as 15 percent, according to Colorado WaterWise – an agency focused on promoting water-efficient landscaping


Be Water Smart

Drip irrigation is gaining popularity in our state as we’ve begun to experience more drought and watering restrictions and should be part of our commitment to the intelligent use of water. Drip products are made of control zone components that control water flow (valves, filters and pressure regulators), distribution components that get water where it needs to go (blank tubing or dripline emitter tubing) and emission devices (drip emitters and low volume microsprays).
Drip systems are often the perfect solution for sparse planting schemes. Applying water directly to the plant roots without watering the areas in between, you not only cut down water use but also help prevent weed growth. It’s also ideal for plantings near buildings and paved areas, greatly reducing runoff and overspray that are wasteful and can ruin wooden structures – such as your fence or the side of your house.

Grass is still OK!

Xeriscape garden does not have to look dry and desolate, and it doesn’t require the absolute absence of turf grass. We loves turf and use it frequently in moderation as in a ‘turf medallion’ in an arid-type garden, or as a focal point, a destination or a way to set off the plantings that surround it. Your landscape will still benefit from turf’s summer cooling properties and even more exciting, the sizeable water expense savings.

Also, you might highlight interesting architecture and use brightly painted yard art, urns, stones and plants with colorful flowers, foliage, fruit and bark to lend year-round intrigue to a Xeriscape.

For any questions about how you can produce a wonderful Xeriscaped landscape, give your landscape professional or nursery a call. They’ll spend the time to provide you with smart, affordable ideas on how you can transition your old-school yard into a stylish, sturdy outdoor environment designed for Nevada.

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.

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