Builders’ group offers free advice to fire victims |

Builders’ group offers free advice to fire victims

Robyn Moormeister

Unscrupulous contractors looking for a quick buck from vulnerable customers will have to be much more careful in Carson City.

Builders Association of Western Nevada, a nonprofit trade association with more than 400 construction industry members, is offering Carson City residents and victims of the Waterfall fire free professional advice on how to avoid con artists and choose a qualified contractor.

Rick DeMar, BAWN executive officer, said several Carson City residents have called him with suspicions their contractors were not entirely honest. He said a few of them were right.

“Because contractors are all busy in our area due to so much growth, there is a potential for out-of-area non-contractors to come in and pass themselves off as legitimate,” DeMar said. “We urge people to call us to check them out and see if they have a license, a bond, worker’s comp and liability insurance.”

He said people are often too embarrassed to ask contractors about their qualifications, but that’s how bad projects are started.

This way, he said, BAWN will do the investigating for customers who don’t know what questions to ask before signing a contract.

For instance, DeMar said, most people outside of the building industry might not know Nevada law doesn’t require contractors to purchase general liability insurance.

“I would never hire anyone without liability insurance,” DeMar said.

Insurance, he said, guarantees a contractor’s quality of work, and a licensed contractor has passed a rigorous exam to verify his ability to build a quality product.

DeMar said some contractors have a reputation for spending more money than was agreed upon, but a call to BAWN can prevent people from getting bilked by those contractors.

Contact Robyn Moormeister at or 881-1215.