The first thing you need to do if you own a residential or commercial property next to the sea is to build a seawall. Failure to do so may lead to your facing the risks of erosion where the sea carries part of your land. This eventually leaves you with a reduced piece of property.

With so much at stake in building seawalls, it’s something you can’t do on your own, or hire the wrong people to do it. You have to hire the right marine contractor for the job.

The problem is that with so many of them around, it’s not such an easy task. This is why this list of questions should help in narrowing down your choices, to leave you with the best person for the job.


  1. What about your licensing and certification?

    It’s always better and safer to work with licensed and certified marine contractors. They get their certification and license only after passing some tests and requirements, which proves they are well trained and know how to build seawalls.

  2. Are you experienced at building seawalls in this area?

    It is true that you need an experienced contractor to build your seawall. However, at the same time, you need someone who is especially experienced in building seawalls in your area.

    It’s not enough if they know how to retain walls on dry walls. They should know and understand the challenges related to the composition of your land, and your tidal schedule to come up with the perfect seawall for your property.

  3. What is the ideal seawall design for my area?

    It’s when you have narrowed down your choice to a few experienced marine contractors that you discuss designs. Ask them for suggestions for the ideal and functional seawall design, and also how it complements other property structures.

  4. What do you feel is better- a Return or a Wing Wall?

    Both of these extensions lie at a right angle to the remaining sea wall; so it’s left to the contractor to decide which is better for you. They make a worthy attachment by encasing a small plot of land near the sea.

    Besides, they also add some flourish and spike to your design and some additional reinforcement to your existing sea wall.

  5. Will my yard be affected?

    It’s worth asking how the seawall with affect your yard. In most cases, its design and position help improve the yard because the seawall functions as a retaining wall for your yard.

    It also boosts the rest of your yard’s elevation to leave you with a flat and level yard, instead of one that slopes into the sea. So in short, your yard is affected, but for the better.

    If you are a bit apprehensive about all this, you can always ask the marine contractors to provide you with some sketches, plans or even computer simulations. This way you get an idea of how your property looks after the seawall installation.

  6. What equipment will you be using?

    This is an important question to ask because big projects require big equipment like crane mounted drills. You need to know which equipment they will be using, how it will move through your space, and if it may harm your landscaping or vegetation.

  7. Do you have any references or testimonials?

    This is the penultimate question that you should ask to help you make your final decision. All marine contractors should have references; if they do not, stay away from them.

    Collect their references and give them a call to find out all about their experience while working with the marine contractor. Do not make the mistake of not checking with references.

    Sometimes even the most experienced, licensed and certified marine contractor who seems to be the most qualified person for the job may not have good work ethics or time sensitive. This may make the task of building a seawall really arduous and painstaking.

    These 7 questions will help you a lot in selecting the right marine contractor for your seawall project. While these are the most common, and important questions you should ask, you can always add a few more to the list!

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