Updated: Apr 21
What to Look for When Hiring a Recreational Equipment Contractor
Hiring a reputable contractor to build your recreational equipment is more important than ever as playground equipment and other amenities are more sophisticated than ever before. The key to success starts with the specifying process. The owner or the owner’s representative such as a landscape architect usually writes the specifications. Depending upon the scope and size of a project, a specification calls for a General Contractor or a Specialty Playground Contractor. The lead indicators to finding qualified contractors to bid your project are licensing, bonding, insurance, certifications, and construction warranty. Let’s give each a closer look.
Licensing - Know the required licenses in your state and location and specify it in your bid documents. General Contractors are usually hired on larger projects where the chosen site is raw land that needs to be surveyed and possibly remediated before the park site begins to take shape. The General Contractor then hires a Specialty Contractor, LuckyDog Recreation for example, to supply and build the playground equipment, shelters, dog park equipment, and site furnishings.
LuckyDog Recreation is both a General Contractor in the state of Utah (B100) and a Specialty Contractor (S500) in the state of Utah. In Idaho we hold a Public Works Contractors License. Essentially, we can bid a project of unlimited size. However, on larger projects LuckyDog often submits a bid to a General Contractor who recognizes our expertise with recreational equipment of all types.
Bonding – Requiring a bid bond to bid your project is a sure and simple way to keep the standard high on your project. Whether or not you require a payment and performance bond may depend on the local jurisdiction. Generally, as the project budget increases, so does the need to cover additional costs by requiring a payment and performance bond, which usually tacks 3% on to the total cost of the project.
LuckyDog has access to unlimited bonding, which is ideal for large projects like Orah Brandt in Nampa, Idaho, and Oquirrh Park in Kearns, Utah, both large regional parks.
Insurance – Because building playgrounds is a specialty that involves our beloved little people, the cost of liability insurance is considerably more than regular liability insurance for contractors. For this reason, it is important to state that required liability insurance is specific to the task at hand. CHECK!
Over the years, LuckyDog’s general liability policy has been for $1,000,000 per incident with an umbrella of $1,000,000. However, some scopes require larger limits. Make sure that the requirements you call out on your specifications meet the standard set by your local and regional jurisdiction.
Certifications – Many specialty scopes of work have special certifications, and building playgrounds is no different. Having a Certified Playground Safety Inspector, CPSI, on site during construction is another added assurance that the people you have hired know what they are doing.
LuckyDog Recreation has four CPSIs on staff. Each of these individuals have experience in the field and certify that they know and understand the nature of play equipment injuries and how they can be avoided. This specialized knowledge should be required on every playground construction jobsite, and it is so easy for you as the owner to require, just add it to the specification.
In addition to this nationally recognized certification, most if not all equipment manufacturers have a certification specific to the building of their brand of playground equipment. All LuckyDog installers are certified with the equipment manufacturers we represent, Berliner and Playcraft Systems. Check out our certifications on our website at HOME OF THE CERTIFIED INSTALLER LINK HERE
Construction Warranty – Not common to most play equipment installers, LuckyDog takes a lot of pride in our 1 Year Playground Construction Warranty. We assert that we will come back to your jobsite to twist a loose bolt or fix any installation issue on your job for the first year free of charge. Now why wouldn’t you want this specified on your bid docs?
Thank you for taking the time to educate yourselves about hiring a recreational equipment contractor. LuckyDog Recreation has been building playground equipment, shelters, dog parks, and site furnishings for over a decade. Our legacy reaches back to the 1980s when our predecessor, Curtis Stoddard, built his first playground in 1986. Coincidentally, the first US Consumer Product Safety Guide was released in 1981. A lot has evolved in the past four decades to raise awareness of the need for well-planned public parks and playgrounds and LuckyDog Recreation continues to lead the way.
For questions or concerns please contact your Creative Play Designer.