LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – In Nevada, there is help for homeowners who have been scammed by a shady contractor hired for home renovation.

The Nevada State Contractors Board has a fund set up to help get back some or all of the money they’ve lost, up to $40,000. FOX5′s Kim Passoth spoke to one homeowner about his journey.

In Albert Miller’s dream backyard, there are waterfalls into a pool with a fire feature next to a custom built-in BBQ and patio cover, all overlooking the Strip. While now it looks like something out of a magazine, the process to get it built was nothing short of a nightmare.

“I gave him about 93, 94 hundred dollars approximately. I still haven’t gotten any money back,” Miller explained about his original contractor hired for the backyard job. It all started back in December 2022.

“I talked to about six different contractors. I ultimately selected the middle-of-the-road guy. He wasn’t the cheapest, he wasn’t the most expensive,” Miller revealed. The contractor Miller chose had been in business in Las Vegas for 16 years. Miller did not see one red flag.

“I researched all the Yelp reviews, all the Google reviews. Anything that was negative was resolved and he had an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau,” Miller added. He paid nearly $10,000, the entire cost of the job, upfront.

“It was a deposit so that they could order materials, get permits. There was engineering plans that needed to be done,” Miller contended. Four weeks went by, and nothing happened.

“I called the office, they said, ‘Oh, we are still waiting for permits, but you need to come in and select granite, select where you want outlets.’ I went into the office. The office was bustling. There was other customers in there besides me,” Miller described. Months went by and the business stopped answering the phones.

“I went back to the office and it was closed, like there was nobody in there. It was empty. Then I came home, I was like, ‘I think I just lost $9,400,’” Miller recounted. Miller went back online trying to figure out what to do. Those same glowing online reviews now turned negative. The company, Made in the Shade, now has an “F” rating with the BBB.

“I emailed the owner directly. He sent me an email back saying they were in the process of going through bankruptcy and they were probably going to be going out of business,” Miller shared. Last month Made in the Shade had their contractor’s license revoked at a hearing before the Nevada State Contractors Board.

“One of the problems we encounter is that people have paid a large amount of money upfront, and the contractors take the money and just abandon the project,” David Behar, Director of Investigations with the Nevada State Contractors Board relayed.

A new state law has changed the rules. Assembly Bill 39 went into effect in October.

“Contractors are only allowed to take $1,000 or 10 percent of the contract unless they have a consumer protection bond,” Behar asserted. Miller appeared before the board with other people who claimed their money was taken and work was never done.

“It was at least 20, maybe more. They awarded me all my money back, and they explained where the money comes from,” Miller told FOX5. In Nevada, all licensed residential contractors pay into the Nevada State Contractors Board Residential Recovery Fund. Good contractors help homeowners get money back lost to bad contractors.

“I went with my second choice contractor and everything went like clockwork,” Miller said, standing in his completed backyard. A second contractor got the job done in just over a month.

While Miller is still waiting for the check from the Nevada State Contractor Board, he urges anyone who has been scammed by a contractor to file a claim. To qualify, applicants must be Nevada homeowners who have hired a licensed contractor.

You can file a claim online or in person. Learn more here:


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