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  • How long has Dale’s Marine been in business?

    While Dale Hickman opened Dale’s Marine Construction in 1990, his father opened D.W. Hickman Marine Construction in 1979. Dale worked alongside with his father until he opened DMC in 1990. Dale has more than 40 years of experience in the industry and marine construction is his passion. Furthermore, most of our foremen have worked for DMC for over 10 years and our newest foremen have been with us at least 5 years.

  • Why should we choose your company?

    At Dale’s Marine, our main focus is quality. We build your project to last and do not take any shortcuts or cut corners in our craftsmanship. On each of our projects, we only use top-of-the-line materials to ensure your project will hold up for years to come. Furthermore, we directly hire and train all of our employees and instill a commitment to our high quality building standards. Dale’s Marine does not hire temporary help from other agencies, nor do we subcontract our work with the exception of metal roofs. We take great pride in our work from start to finish, which our previous customers can attest to the same. If you choose our company, we will work diligently to make your waterfront structure or shoreline protection dreams come true. Your project will be completed and you will receive exactly what you agreed to in the contract; if for some reason we are unable to obtain the correct size pilings or vinyl sheets, we will upgrade you and never downgrade.

  • How long will the process take from start to finish?

    Prior to beginning the actual building part of construction, there are several behind-the-scenes processes that must be completed first, which helps ensure a high quality result. For starters, the permitting process can take anywhere from 3-6 months and in some cases potentially a little longer. Once permits are received, we are able to commence work in about a month or two. Overall, the whole process from when we obtain customer approval to project completion is an average of 5-8 months.

  • Why do we have to wait so long for your company when another company can start next week?

    We receive this question quite often. At Dale’s Marine, we require all PROPER permitting to be obtained prior to starting work, and this process is lengthy. Oftentimes, other contractors tend to take shortcuts in the permitting process, because it sounds better initially if they are able to commence faster. Nonetheless, we know that requiring proper permitting is actually better in the long run, not only for us, but also for your protection. These permits protect you from any neighbor feuds that may occur, as well as keep you from hefty fines or penalties from the CORP or DEP in the future. Even if you have a neutral relationship with your neighbor, we have seen situations occur countless times where a neighbor is unhappy with the work being done next door and attempts calling all of the agencies they can to stop the work. By completing the permit process in accordance with each agency’s code and regulations, your project is protected because every aspect is legal and pre-approved. Furthermore, our reputation of quality supersedes us, resulting in more people choosing to use Dale’s Marine, which potentially causes delays as we work diligently to satisfy or exceed each customer’s expectations. However, we have six crews working hard around the clock to keep our projects flowing. Choosing our company may require a little bit of patience and time flexibility, but we promise you will be happy with the end result. Personally, we think it is worth the wait to have things done correctly, so that you can rest comfortably and not worry about possibly needing to rebuild every time a storm heads this way.

  • I heard you are way too expensive. Should I even bother calling Dale’s Marine for a quote?

    It still surprises us at how often we hear this question or how many people choose not to even call for a free estimate because they heard that our prices are too expensive. Recognizing that each project is unique and customized for each of our customers, we encourage you to still contact us for an estimate that is specific to your project, which will allow you to compare all of the project details across the board. In full transparency, we most likely will not be your cheapest quote [and we do not try to be], but we may not be your most expensive either. We stand by the high quality products that we produce, the top-of-the-line materials used, and the longevity we strive for in each design. Would you rather pay a little more the first time to have greater confidence in your structure as storms approach our area or worry constantly that every storm will require a rebuild? All in all, it is your choice, but our philosophy is why not call for a quote; we might just surprise you.

  • How big are the pilings that you use and how are they installed?

    Your dock pilings will be a minimum of 8’ in the ground. Many other companies only sink their pilings around 3’-4’ in the ground, resulting in them to pull up completely during a storm. At Dale’s Marine Construction, we install the pilings using a 308 Caterpillar Track-Hoe with a vibratory plate on it; therefore, we are able to vibrate the pilings down rather than just setting them with a jet pump. As further testament to how well our pilings hold up with this method, during Hurricane Sally most all of our pilings survived with zero damage or pull up during the storm.

  • What do you use to fasten the dock materials?

    At Dale’s Marine, ZERO nails are used on our projects. All of our docks come standard with 3” stainless steel screws on the decking, and we also use ½” HDG bolts on the cross ties and stringers. Most companies do not bolt everything, but here at DMC, we want your project to be as strong and secure as possible. We continue to use HDG bolts as our standard because we find them to be stronger than the stainless steel and the life span of the HDG bolts is about 15 years. However for an additional charge, you can upgrade to stainless steel bolts.

  • What about decking type - ThruFlow™ or composite? Which one is better?

    At nearly every estimate appointment, we are asked which type of decking we recommend – ThruFlow™ or composite. Much of the choice is based on customer preference. Although we recommend the ThruFlow™ over the composite, some clients do not like the look of ThruFlow™ and prefer composite decking. For the slight price difference between the two, we say choose the ThruFlow™, which will give you a greater peace of mind during a surge event. Additionally, composite tends to get a lot hotter than the ThruFlow™, so while we understand the pros and cons of both, we would personally choose the ThruFlow™.

  • What size pilings do you use on your boathouses?

    Our standard boathouse pilings are minimum 8” TIP pilings and many times they are larger than 8” (8.5” or 9” TIP). We install the boathouse pilings a minimum of 10 feet in the ground, but sometimes they may be up to 12 feet in the ground. At Dale’s Marine, we also install the pilings TIP up to prevent the pilings from sinking or pulling up in the wake of a storm.

  • What if I want a metal roof on my boathouse?

    If you prefer a metal roof on your boathouse, you can certainly make that choice. Our standard price includes 30-year lifetime, dimensional shingles, which we install ourselves. However, if you choose to upgrade your roof to metal, we would sub-contract that portion of the work, as our crews do not install metal roofs. This is the only area of construction that we subcontract and we ensure that we choose other reputable companies. At times, choosing a metal roof may delay the project’s timeline and completion date due to the sub-contracting process. On average, nearly 75% of our boathouse projects are completed with shingle roofs, while about 25% of the boathouses have metal.

  • Will my boat fit if I have a “T” top or tower?

    Our boathouses are built with the framing and banding, starting about 10 feet above the deck level. Furthermore, all of our boathouses are framed by our crews and no trusses are installed, leaving the inside of the boathouse fully open. This allows room for radars, “T” tops, towers, etc.  If needed or requested, we can always install 35 feet pilings; make sure to ask your estimator to provide this additional cost in their quote.

  • Why do I need a seawall? Can I simply use riprap instead?

    Although riprap prevents a lot of erosion, a seawall is the only way to ensure full protection of your property. As the water comes in, a lot of erosion can still occur with riprap when it surges through the rocks and filters the dirt. Thus causing more erosion of your property during these events.

  • Why should I choose your seawall designs over the competition?

    At Dale’s Marine, our walls are built with 0.35″ thick vinyl, which is very thick. To fully demonstrate the thickness and strength of the vinyl, our estimators carry samples on their trucks to show our customers and potential customers. Furthermore, we only use a minimum of 12’ long stainless-steel tie back rods, which are installed to 5’-6’ long deadmen poles with two 2” x 8” drag plates. When installing the vinyl, we install the sheets a minimum of 8’ in the ground; this process helps strengthen your wall’s abilities. Our goal is to build a strong wall that will not pull away during a storm, nor fail due to short sheets. In our years of experience in the marine construction industry, we have witnessed the common failure of walls with sheets that are too short or ones that were installed only 2′-4′ in the ground. Another reason for failure of the shorter walls is the sheets kick out at the sand line due to tidal changes over the years or they come straight out of the ground during a storm event. Although others in the industry may promote the smaller sheets and different install tactics, claiming that you do not need the length or depth that we use at DMC, we believe it is imperative to build a shoreline protection feature that has greater chance of protecting your property initially, rather than hoping it will resist the extremes of a storm or normal wear and tear.

  • If we have a swimming pool, does this require a stronger wall? How will the wall impact the integrity of our pool?

    Understanding the interaction and implication of a seawall alongside a swimming pool is very important; both are property enhancements and features that you want to protect and maintain confidence they are constructed correctly. We have an exceptional amount of experience working around swimming pools with our construction projects. Our foremen work directly with the pool company to ensure the exact placement of the tie-back rods correctly correspond with the integrity of the pool. If your future plans include the installation of a pool, please make sure your estimator is aware of that when you start the planning process; this will allow us to quote and design the wall’s construction accordingly. At DMC, we strongly recommend constructing a wall “Navy-style” when it is next to a pool or the future location of a pool. The “Navy-style” consists of the pilings being installed in front of the wall to provide more strength and support. The weight of the pool can cause a wall to collapse or fall out if it is not properly supported, which is why we strongly encourage this style.