Does My Reno/Sparks Landscape Project Need A Licensed Contractor?


Most residential landscape projects in Reno and Sparks necessitate the hiring of a licensed contractor. But which projects qualify, and what’s the benefit of working with a licensed contractor? We’re so glad you asked! Here’s how to know whether your Reno/Sparks landscape project needs a licensed contractor and why that’s really a benefit to you as the homeowner.

What Kind Of Landscape Projects Require A Licensed Contractor?

If your project involves the following work, you need a company with the right licenses for the job:

  • The installation of rocks, sand or gravel
  • The installation of retaining walls under three feet
  • The installation of non-engineered decorative landscape ponds
  • The installation of landscape irrigation
  • The planting of trees, shrubs or other vegetation
  • The installation of sod or hydroseeding

Your project doesn’t need a licensed contractor if it involves the following:

  • Mowing, edging and thatching lawns
  • Cleaning up and hauling away debris
  • Removing and trimming trees and shrubs

What’s The Benefit Of A License?

When you hire a contractor who has the required licenses to perform the work, you’re really protecting your own interests. To earn that license, these contractors have passed trade and business law exams and they carry a surety bond and a workman’s compensation insurance. In the event of damages occurring to your home or property as a result of the landscaping work, you may qualify for the Residential Recovery Fund. This program offers protection to Nevada homeowners who contract with licensed contractors and are harmed by that contractor’s failure to properly perform qualified services.

Working with an unlicensed person or company means there are no provisions for recovery if something goes wrong. It’s important to ask yourself whether that’s a risk you’re willing to take.

How To Find A Licensed Contractor

To find the right contractor for your landscaping project here in Reno and Sparks, ask for their Nevada State Contractor’s Board license number. You can verify that the license is in good standing on the NSCB website. It’s also helpful to get a few bids from different contractors and check references.

Make sure the contract clearly states the exact amount of money due for the work being performed and the payment schedule, identifies all required materials and details the expected start date and project length. A word on deposits: In Nevada, deposits to contractors who have the Consumer Protection Bond are 10% of the aggregate contract price. Contractors without this bond can only collect $1,000 until they begin the project. Contractors should openly disclose this information, but many don’t, so make sure you know your rights! Payments to your contractor should be made by check or credit card, and make sure to get a receipt.

The Bottom Line

Most though not all landscaping projects in Reno and Sparks need a contractor who is properly licensed. If you’re considering upgrading your landscaping in 2024, do yourself a favor and find a company who has the right licenses to perform the work. In the long run, it’s the safest approach. The team here at Harris Landscape Construction is happy to answer questions about our licenses and the services we offer. Contact us today!

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