Getting the right type of hardwood for your project is important, and Ipe Wood Decking Bahamas can guide you through which wood and products to use. We will also help you calculate how much material and hardware you will need. However, when it comes to installing, you will have to find a trusted installer. Whether you contact a general contractor or a carpenter, it is important to ask the following questions before you hire someone to install our hardwood:
1. Have you ever worked with tropical hardwood?
Tropical hardwood such as ipe and cumaru is not like regular wood. Because of its density, it can be more difficult to work with. It has to be pre-drilled and cannot be glued. An experienced carpenter may not know how difficult it is to work with ipe if he has not had previous experience. We suggest asking to see samples of previous work done so that you can feel more confident that your hardwood will not be damaged or wasted.
2. Do you have a valid license to work in carpentry?
We suggest you check with the The Bahamian Contractors’ Association.
The BCA is a non-profit organization which is committed to improving consumer protection and elevating construction standards within the Bahamas. They are a great resource. You can also contact the Ministry of Public Works. Any licensed contractor should be able to provide you with their certificate of registration covered under the Builders Defects Compensation Scheme.
3. What will your estimate provide?
All project details should be in writing. All work that is to be done should be specified and terms should be agreed upon before work begins. If you will need electrical or plumbing done for the job (for example if you are installing and ipe shower, or want lighting on your ipe deck stairs) you should ask if the contractor will outsource that or is licensed to do that work). The estimate your decking contractor provides should serve as a contract. Reputable service providers and construction companies insist on signing contracts – remember, a handshake will not spell out all you agreed on.
There are some other useful tips to keep in mind as well. For example, you should avoid making cash payments, since checks or credit cards leave a paper trail making it easier to prove you paid your bill. You should also avoid opening an account for the contractor at a local store. If that individual’s credit is not good enough to open his/her own account, you should probably be wary of doing business with him. The best thing to do is to ask for references. Any reliable contractor will provide you with at least three people where he/she has installed ipe or cumaru for a project.