Acting as a construction contractor without a license is illegal in Nevada. While state laws prohibit soliciting and performing construction work without the right license, they can also lead to homeowners hiring such workers facing serious problems of their own.

As Nevada’s State Contractors Board (NSCP) warns, those hiring contractors who aren’t properly licensed for the work they’re doing may find they’ve signed an unenforceable contract. They could also be liability for injuries and other problems arising on the job. Civil lawsuits are often their only option for relief for work not done or done improperly.

Getting bids and checking references

The NSCP reminds homeowners that a license is not a guarantee. For example, the board urges anyone considering hiring a contractor to get at least three estimates for the completed job and use caution toward surprisingly low bids. The candidate contractors should see accurate plans for the completed job.

The references should be in writing and include enough information to enable asking the earlier customer about their satisfaction. Inspecting earlier work in person is also a good option.

Hiring a licensed contractor

All advertising, commercial vehicles, bids and contracts must include the contractor’s license number. It allows easy confirmation of a valid license and lacking it is warning sign. Using caution is wise in either case, as fraudulent contractors sometimes lift an unrelated contractor’s license number to trick prospective customers.

Laws bind licensed contractors to certain standards

Licensees must meet many other requirements, such as carrying workers’ compensation insurance for their workers and only signing contracts they have the financial means to complete. Licensees must also be bonded, meaning that if a homeowner files a claim, a bond will exist to cover the cost.

Nevada contractor licenses come in classes A (general engineering), B (general building) and C (specialties like roofing, air conditioning, electrical, landscaping, etc.). Contractors should carry their “pocket card” help you tell if they’re a licensed contractor of the right class and are adequately covered.

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