7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Welding Contractor
- How did you learn the trade?
Welding is a highly-unregulated trade, so you want to ensure the
welder you entrust to your project has significant practical field
experience under their belt.
Trade schools are great at teaching fundamentals, but look for
a welder to have at least XX years hands-on experience working
as an apprentice for a seasoned welder. It is only by working
with a senior welder that a junior tradesman will truly learn
how to master the art of a good weld. And without their direction,
they'll never learn how to correct the more common mistakes made
early in junior welder's career.
- Are you AWS-certified?
The American Welding Society (AWS) offers consumers insurance
that the welded joints on their pontoon, boat, ladder, platform,
or other equipment are structurally safe, and will hold up under
maximum load. To achieve AWS certification, a welder must successfully
execute one or more welds at a certified test facility that pass
inspection by a certified welding inspector.
- What metals do you specialize in welding?
Different metals require different knowledge and techniques to
do right. A welder who tells you they're general-purpose is really
saying they are an expert at nothing. For your safety and well-being,
hire a welder with practical expertise welding your specific material.
what type of metal you need repaired? Follow this link to learn
about the common metals used in the construction of cars, pontoon
boats, fishing boats, swim platforms, ladders, and more.
- Do you perform a pressure check as part of your standard pontoon service?
No welder should charge extra to ensure that their pontoon weld is free of leaks. Never hire a welder who does not include a pressure check as part of their standard pontoon repair.
- Can you provide me with references for other clients who've had similar welding needs like mine?
If you need a pontoon boat repair, ask for references
from other pontoon boat owners that have been serviced by this welder.
Look elsewhere if a welder is unanble to provide a list of references
that you can personally verify.
- Do you provide portable welding service, and/or pick-up and
drop-off for my welding project?
Some projects are best repaired on-site because they are either too large or fragile to transport. Portable services bring the welding expert to your
location where the job can be done right.
If the welder doesn't offer portable services, ask if they instead offer
pick-up and drop-off. That way you won't have to worry about out
how to get your broken down equipment to their shop for repair, and you won't risk further damage during transport.
- Can you perform lower unit and skeg fin repairs on a motor
boat without disassembling it first?
If the answer is "yes," you'll save at least 3-4 hours worth of unnecessary labor dis-assembly and re-installation. In-place repairs can be done, but
not all welders offer this because disassembly and re-installation is seen by some as an easy way to make extra money.
Steer away from any welder who doesn't have your best interest at heart.