Choosing a Playground Contractor
Updated: Oct 16, 2020
From LuckyDog’s point of view, we know a lot about playground construction; we’ve been in the business for over 30 years. We’ve installed every major manufacturer’s equipment and we maintain relationships with many playground reps and companies across the US and Internationally. As a founder of the original installation company, Curtis Stoddard honed his skills with playgrounds from the ground up, lending his expertise to the National Playground Contractor’s Association, assisting in the national playground safety guidelines, creating an educational component for grade school students with “Slyde the Playground Hound”, and improving the overall processes for installing play equipment. His knowledge was key to the creation of today’s LuckyDog Recreation.
Choosing a Playground Contractor
We know playgrounds are a huge investment of time and budget along with a desire to have a playground you can be proud of, so it’s important to understand 3 critical components when looking for a contractor to install your playground. They are:
Licensing: As with most construction, hiring a licensed contractor to perform the work should be a given - but don’t overlook the details. A licensed contractor protects you, the owner, in getting exactly what you have contracted and paid for. To get licensed, an individual or company must acquire and show their credentials consistently to a state or other governing body. They will receive a license to carry with them, one for their office, and will also be searchable on each states contractor licensing database. Make sure you know the name of the company so you can search more easily. Many playground companies use third-party installers so ask for names to cover the full scope of your search. These governing entities are doing part of the work for you - protecting you from poor workmanship and other unfair business practices. Use this tool!
While all three states, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming, have licensing requirements governed by different governmental entities, ALL do require contractors to be licensed. It is as simple as asking bidders to put their license number with their quote. In a more formal bidding process include a specification that all contractors bidding must provide their current license number or a copy of their license at the time of bid.
Insurance: Any contractor operating on your property should be properly insured, so protect your project by requesting a current certification of insurance from all contractors doing work for you. General Liability specific to playground construction, workers compensation, and auto insurance should be on the certificate you receive from the playground construction company.
Make a request of proof of insurance at time of bidding, then once the project is awarded, request an updated insurance certificate to include you, the owner, as additionally insured with the name of the specific project.
Certified: Lastly, when selecting a playground contractor, make certain they are Certified Playground Safety Inspectors (CPSI’s). This is a credential for playground professionals working in the field and in the office, so do not overlook its importance. CPSI’s know the laws, regulations, and guidelines regarding playground safety. This focused training includes everything from use zones (the safety distance between pieces of equipment), ADA requirements, age-appropriate equipment, accessibility, surfacing requirements, and more. At LuckyDog Recreation, we take safety seriously. We currently have 5 staff members who are CPSI’s and we always maintain a CPSI on every job site. Requesting a CPSI on your job is easy to include on your bid specifications.
When you work with LuckyDog Recreation you are purchasing from the licensed, insured, and certified playground contractor directly. Not all playground companies have our structure so ask questions! You may be purchasing from one company who then hires it built by a different company, so consult with your own insurance company and risk managers about the potential issues this may create.
We want your playground experience to always be a success so call us with your questions and let us help you plan your next project.
Sincerely, The LuckyDog Team