If you are ready to put in a dock at your waterfront home, there are a few things you need to consider. By planning before construction, you can be sure to get a dock that will serve you for many years.
1. Keep It Legal
In most areas, you must have a permit to install a dock. As part of the permit process, you may also be required to have a coastline survey to ensure that the dock won't interfere with underwater utility lines or the local ecosystem and to make sure it won't increase shoreline erosion concerns. Your dock installer can help you navigate the survey and permitting process. Depending on whether you are part of an HOA or planned community, you may also have neighborhood restrictions to adhere to, as well.
2. Set a Budget
Before beginning construction, you need to set your maximum budget for the build. It can be easy to go overboard by adding all the bells and whistles to your dock. By setting the budget first, you will be better able to optimize the design and construction choices to fit your needs exactly without putting in more dock than you can afford.
3. Decide on a Material
Docks can be made of treated lumber, composite resin materials, or aluminum. Treated lumber is often the least expensive choice, and it can last for many years. Composite is more expensive, but it can be made to look similar to wood. Further, it is nearly immune to weathering and water damage. Aluminum is a strong, rust-proof metal option that is also lightweight and easy to maintain. You can also use a combination of materials, such as concrete piers combined with a wood deck.
4. Choose an Anchor Style
Anchoring options are fixed or floating. A fixed dock is installed on piers, typically made of concrete or large pressure-treated wood posts. It doesn't move, and it is in place year-round. Fixed docks are most common on lakes that do not freeze all the way through. If a fixed dock is built in salt water, the piers must be taller than the king tide line. Floating docks are anchored to shore on one end and in the water at the other end. These can be brought on land during the off-season. Since they float, they are always on the water regardless of the state of the tide.
Contact a dock construction company if you need more assistance with your new dock's build.