How to Qualify the Right Builder

Selecting the right builder is one of the most critical project decisions you will make and comes with both short and long-term impact. There are a number of factors that can help you qualify the right builder. Price alone does not reflect value, shopping for quality does. Take a close look at the work of vendors you are considering and ask yourself the following:

  • Does the design promote efficient operations and support sound risk management strategies?
  • Did the builder use high quality materials and is the finish work of good quality?
      • Is cabling and rigging clean and uncluttered with no exposed tails?
      • Are there obstructions that guests must step-over and duck under as they move throughout the facility?
      • Has the facility held up well given its age and visitation?
      • Are high-use and high-load components constructed from materials that resist wear and fatigue?
      • Are tree installations done in a way that best supports the long-term health of the facility?

When you find the vendor whose quality of work aligns with your needs and expectations, take a closer look and ask yourself these questions:

      • How long has this builder been in the business and does their portfolio support their ability to complete the type of project I want to build?
      • What overall services does the builder offer and will they be able to support my post-installation needs including training, inspections, and maintenance?
      • Does the builder have operations experience that informs their design and installation work?
      • Does the builder have experience with different equipment and technologies that are likely to be incorporated into my design?
      • Is the builder accredited as a Professional Vendor Member (PVM)  by the Association for Challenge Course Technology and if so, for how long?
      • Is the builder knowledgeable about the standards and regulations likely to be enforced in my municipality and do they know how to navigate the permitting process?
      • Does the builder have valuable information and resources on their website?
      • Is the builder timely in their follow up and concise in their communication?
      • Does the builder have a clear project path in which project risk factors are systematically identified and resolved?
      • Is the builder able to provide design modeling and site specific conceptual renderings that will help me visualize the facility at my site?  
      • Does the builder work with engineering firms experienced in the industry and who can stamp in your state?
      • Does the builder have a good reputation in the industry?
      • Can the builder support my long-term interest and are they people I want to work with after the installation?

While no vendor will check every box, some simple due diligence can go a long way in reducing headaches further down the road.