putting a myth to bed in nc.

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by befnme, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    today i spkoe with a lady from the nc landscape contractors registration board . i asked her specificaly ,

    1. "what is the monetary limit that i have to stop at while bidding a job without a contractors license ?"

    ANSWER: she said " you dont have any monetary limit . you can make as much per job as you would like to without a license "

    2. "what about naming my business as lawn care and landscape ?"

    ANSWER: she said " as long as you dont use the word contracting or contractor after the name you will be just fine , and never let the phone company put your yellow page listing under the heading of contractor or contracting if you are not licensed or if i find it i will send you a nasty letter ."

    3. she also said " i compare it to a book keeper and a cpa .they both can do the same job but the book keeper cant use the title of cpa ."

    if you need any further info or want to check my facts here is the contact info:

    P.O. Box 1578
    Knightdale, NC 27545-9448
    Telephone: 919-266-8070
    Fax: 919-266-6050

    Email: NCLCRB@msn.com
  2. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Well good to know the bar is lower in NC. This is just what associations are not supposed to do. They should instead be encouraging you and others to get licensed. Not how to do an end around the system. We wonder why we get so little respect in this industry. I wonder what the licensed members of this association think of her doling out this type of information.
  3. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,649

    Okey, i dont get it. What does NC. require for license. Sound like you have licensed people than its okey not to have ! That is a pet peave for me, i have every license possible here in Md. and play by the rules and have 0 tolerance for those who dont.
  4. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    i pay taxes as a legitamate business just like you all do .i just havent spent the money to use the title of "contractor ".same thing with small time construction companies .they can do work to a certain amount then you have to be a " contractor " to bid more $$ . whats wrong with telling the truth of the matter to all. rather than use scare tactics to keep "non-contractors" from bidding a job . one day i plan on getting being a contractor also i just havent took time to take the test .thats a winter time accomplishment when i am not so busy .
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    As long as there are people who are not "contractors" and are doing similar work they are charging less for their work and making it more difficult for contractors to make a living.

    You may pay taxes but how can you get the proper insurance without being a contractor? Do you have the same insurance that "contractor "does?. In AZ. you pay into the registrar of contractors for a fund to do repairs for botched jobs, without being a contractor this is an expense you do not have and there are many more.

    Without being a contractor you may not know all the codes. So in addition to having a lower bid because of less expenses you may have a lower bid due to not having the proper components. You also probably have not had the fear of god instilled in you by knowing what you are really responsible for so you don't charge enough for it.

    Here is an example:
    I have a client who's house gets some water in the living room from time to time when we have monsoon rains. My foreman offered to put out sand bags to remedy the problem. That sounds good to her she expects him to be the expert. Problem is we have now exposed ourselves to a tremendous amount of liability for 100 bucks worth of sand bags. The proper thing to do is to have an engineer look at the wash that goes through her front yard do some calc's and tell me what size drain line and catch basins I need to put in to correct the problem. Yes this will cost more than the 100 bucks but it is the professional thing to do. When there are 20 other guys offering to put out sand bags I look like I'm robbing her.

    Contractors are there to protect people from themselves in many cases.
  6. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 497

    I agree, but in NC it is just a title, there is no real benefit to becoming a "landscape contractor" this law has been on the books since the late 70's. I have the application on my desk and have never took the time to move any farther forward. now the requirements for becoming a contractor are well done. Related experience or education, which on the job experience is weighted higher than the classroom. The board must approve a person before they can proceed to the exams. they also have a difficult plant id section which must be done with actual plants. If it was different here I would support it and carry all the credentials, but the way it is, well... it is not worth the trouble. JMHO

    FATWEASEL LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 326

    Requirements for NC Contractors License:


    An individual may make application to the Registration Board (on the application form provided by the Board) giving: name, address, telephone number, education (if appropriate), work history (verifying at least three years experience in the landscape or related industry), and at least three character references. Please see the experience determination chart used by the Board at the end of this page. The applicant must sign the application before a notary public. A $50.00 non-refundable application fee must be paid before the application will be considered by the Registration Board.


    (c) Education and Experience equivalents. Applications for examination shall be given credit for education and experience to meet the statutory requirements as follows:

    (1) Education Equivalents. Credit for educational attainment shall be credited as follows:

    (A) Graduation from a four-year program in Landscape Architecture, Landscape Horticulture, or Horticulture: Maximum Credit - 1.5 years.

    (B) Graduation from a four-year curriculum in any other field:
    Maximum Credit - 6 months.

    (C) Graduation from a two-year program in Horticulture or similar curriculum in a land grant institution or community college:
    Maximum Credit - 1 year.

    (2) Experience Equivalents. Time spent in the jobs listed shall be credited as follows:

    (A) Landscape Crew Leader 100% Credit

    (B) Landscape Designer or Landscape Architect 100% Credit

    (C) Landscape Estimator or Landscape Sales Person 100% Credit

    (D) Landscape Project Manager 100% Credit

    (E) Landscape Crew Member 75% Credit

    (F) Nursery Retail Sales Person 75% Credit

    (G) Grading Operator 50% Credit

    (H) Irrigation Installer 50% Credit

    (I) Nursery Worker 50% Credit (J) Turfgrass Installer or Turfgrass Maintenance Worker 50% Credit


    The applicant must pass the following three exams to become a NC Registered Landscape Contractor.

    Landscape Design Exam: The NC Landscape Contractors' Registration Board administers this exam. It consists of 35-40 multiple choice questions on interpreting a landscape plan. All questions are of the type needed to adequately figure a job proposal.

    Multiple Choice Exam: The NC Landscape Contractors' Registration Board administers this exam. It consists of 200 general landscaping questions in multiple choice format. Questions are taken from the NC Landscape Contractors' Study Guide. The Study Guide is available from the Registration Board office. The total price of the study guide is $37.10. (Study Guide, $30.00; Sales Tax, $2.10, Postage, $5.00.)

    Plant ID Exam: The applicant must pass the Plant ID portion of the NC Certified Plant Professional exam administered by the NC Association of Nurserymen. Contact the NC Association of Nurserymen's office, 919-816-9119 or at www.ncan.com/ , for further information.
  8. Thirdpete

    Thirdpete LawnSite Member
    from Chicago
    Posts: 236

    I could see a lot of anger (justifiably) if its a law that you have to be registered with the state as a contractor... but if its optional, I would see no point to deal with the hassle unless you're trying to do larger jobs like "contractors". But as far as NC goes, if its optional, seems like a fairly useless law to me.
  9. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 497

  10. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    Well, how do you feel about Landscape Architect licenses?

    Should contractors not be allowed to design if they are not Registered Landscape Architects?

    I don't think so and I am an RLA. There are lots of good reasons for Title Acts and lots of good reasons to allow people to work at different levels of accomplishement whether you are talking about Landscape Contractors or Landscape Architects.

    Landscape Architecture is a Title Act in my state, but I can tell you that it does make a difference in the work you can get even though others are not excluded from going after the same work.

    The intent is to raise yourself above the competition rather than exclude the competition. By getting a contractors (or LA) license and having all the knowledge, skills, and experience to have earned that, you should be able to demonstrate your knowledge to your clients which will separate you from those with less knowledge, skills, and experience without even mentioning that you have the license.

    The next question is whether the consumer values that extra knowledge, skill, and experience. If they don't, why should they have to pay for it? Fortunately, many of them do and we can give them what they value and make a better living for it.

    I don't fear losing work to designers who are not RLA's. It is not because I don't lose jobs to them, but because there is enough people who value the extra knowledge, skills, and experience that they believe that they are getting from me and I have plenty of the better projects. The clients that I do not want rarely want me and I have no problem with that.

    A good landscaper is going to get good work with or without a contractor's license. A not so good landscaper is not going to get much more good work just because he has a contractor's license (Title Act).

    Seldom will you be asked if you are a licensed contractor or LA, so it really does not matter that you carry the card. It does matter that you have the knowledge, skills, and experience that it takes to get that license. Getting the license lets you know that you really have those. Everyone who does not have the license will tell you that they can pass it, but will have some excuse for not taking it. But really, they don't know if they can pass it or not until they have.

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