Are you protecting your business investment?

All business owners are likely to face construction needs at one time or another.

Before soliciting bids, it is important to have a defined scope of work for the project you are preparing to undertake. This will ensure more consistent and complete bids from contractors to review and compare to the anticipated budget costs.

While you will have an overall allocation for the project, it is important to also consider the anticipated cost for each trade’s work.

If only one or two trades are required, you can solicit work individually. However, if your project includes more than two trades, you are required to hire a general contractor to coordinate and oversee the work being performed. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that any construction managers hired are properly licensed.

Before soliciting bids, you can submit your full scope of work in writing to the Nevada State Contractors Board for review, at which time you will receive a written response indicating the license classifications necessary to perform the work. This information will help save you time in requesting proposals from the appropriate licensed contractors for your job.

Before you sign a contract to hire, verify contractors’ license numbers on the board’s website, The license printout will provide you with the status of the license, business contact information, monetary limit, license classification, owners and qualified employees, bond information, and disciplinary history. Be sure to review the details of the license carefully and make note of any red flags or questionable details that may be of concern to you, such as an inactive, suspended or revoked license status.

As the contract terms are being developed, be firm on your requirement to include all details of the project in writing. Any changes or additions are considered change orders, and they should be in writing and signed by both parties. Attach all change orders to your original contract.

During the course of the construction work or up to four years after the work is performed, you can file a workmanship complaint. Doing so allows the NSCB to open an investigation, perform a jobsite visit, review contracts and related documents, and validate workmanship items that do not meet industry standard or the contractual terms.

This recourse action helps hold contractors accountable for their work. It is when someone hires an unlicensed contractor to perform work on a business or home that the board no longer has jurisdiction to provide recourse. Unfortunately, the main recourse option in this situation is through civil litigation, which can be a costly and timely endeavor.

Margi Grein is executive officer of the Nevada State Contractors Board.