How Do I Find the Right Marine Contractors for My Project?

Learn What to Look for When Choosing Marine Contractors

When you’re looking to build a dock, seawall, boat lift, or other marine construction project, you want it to be done the right way. You want professionals who know what they’re doing, have your best interests at heart, and get the job done on schedule—for a reasonable price. So, where do you find marine contractors like that?

Here’s a basic guide to seeking out marine contractors that are the right fit for the job.

Research and Outline Your Project

Before you start comparing marine contractors for your project, you have to establish a clearer idea of what you’ll want out of them. This way, you’ll have some standard for comparing them.

Start out by finding as many reading materials as you can about your particular type of project, whether it’s a boat lift, a personal pier, or a seawall. Read educational materials from industry professionals as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers if you can find them, and familiarize yourself as much as you can with the nuts and bolts of how these projects typically go.

Then, write out as much as you can about what results you want, including:

  • What do you attend to accomplish with the structure?
  • What is your property’s current condition?
  • How do you want the final product to look?
  • What sort of timeline would you like for the project’s completion?
  • How big of a budget are you willing to allocate?

Having these on hand will make you more ready to ask the right questions in the next step.

Find Marine Contractors and Invite Them for Inspections

Now that you have some idea of your expectations going in, it’s time to fine-tune those expectations by investigating what marine contractors in your area have to offer.

You can start off by searching the internet as well as local listings for marine contractors who complete that specific type of project. Then, it’s time to gather some recommendations. If you own waterfront property, you may likely have neighbors up and down the shoreline who’ve had similar work done. Ask around. See what you can learn about whether their marine contractors had the right equipment, whether they completed the work on time, how long ago this was, if they’ve had any additional work since then, etc.

Now, with several solid choices in hand, you can start reaching out. Schedule visits with all of your top choices and invite them to inspect your property.

Ask Questions and Compare Solutions

When each contractor is visiting, they should be detailing the solutions they have in mind to solve your problem. Here are important questions you can ask:

  • What is the rationale behind your design choices?
  • Why did you choose these building materials?
  • Can you show me previous projects of this type in your portfolio?
  • Could you break down what costs your estimates are based on?
  • How many staff will you have on hand and what’s your expected completion date?
  • Are you licensed, insured, and/or bonded?
  • Do you use subcontractors?
  • Will we need a permit?
  • Can you give me more ways to reach you?

There are also a lot of red flags you should watch out for when the marine contractors are answering your questions. These include:

  • Refusing to put your bid, quote, or contract into writing.
  • Wanting payment up front and in cash.
  • High-pressure sales tactics like same-day-only “special pricing”.
  • Providing references you can’t verify.

Seawalls Unlimited Provides Top-Notch Marine Contractors

Once you’ve looked over these guides, you’re ready to start comparing contractors. If you’re seeking marine contractors in McHenry, IL and the Chain O’Lakes region, give Seawalls Unlimited a call at (815) 331-8830. Our qualified marine contractors have been installing and maintaining seawalls, boat lifts, and piers for years now, and we’re always happy to guide you through the process of choosing the perfect contractor for your project—just don’t be surprised if it’s us!