If you are lucky enough to own a home situated on the edge of a lake or large body of water, a boat dock is a smart renovation project worth considering. Even if you are strictly a land lover and don’t own a boat, a dock is a desirable feature for a waterside home, and it will add value when you come to sell the property. In addition, boat docks double as a place to fish, and if you add a ladder, people can swim off the dock.
Now that we have you sold on the idea, read on for a few tips on how to get started.
What Type of Dock Do You Want to Build?
There are two main designs for boat docks.
Stationery docks are fixed structures anchored to the bed of the lake or river. More work is entailed when constructing a stationery dock, as pile foundations have to be sunk into the lake or riverbed. It isn’t so hard to sink wooden piles, but if you want a long-lasting permanent structure, then concrete piles are a better option – although a more expensive one. Stationary docks are better for larger boats, as they are more stable and stronger.
Floating docks are semi-permanent and can be removed at the end of the season. They are a good choice for homes in colder climates where the water is likely to freeze over winter. Floating docks are also good for tidal rivers where the water level rises and falls – when this happens with a stationary dock, there can end up being a steep drop between the dock and the boat deck at low tide.
How Deep is the Water?
The state of the lake or riverbed will dictate how difficult the project is going to be. Carry out a visual survey to see what is there beneath the water. Rocky beds are more difficult to work with than level, sandy beds. You’ll also have a problem if the bed drops away sharply a short distance from the shore.
When the bed isn’t optimal, it is usually advisable to construct a floating boat dock.
DIY Boat Docks
If you are constructing a floating dock as a DIY project, spend time looking at the different materials you can use to build your boat dock. Spend as much as you can afford, as more expensive materials will last longer.
In most cases, it makes sense to hire a professional to build a stationery boat dock, as waterside structures are often complex feats of engineering.
Boat Dock Accessories
Once you have the basic structure of your boat dock installed, it is time to think about the various accessories you’ll need. Power is important, both for lighting and power outlets. LED dock lights are an energy efficient option; look at different lighting effects, such as decorative and underwater lighting – https://www.tessllc.us/ has some useful information on dock lights.
Finally, always check local building codes to see if there are any restrictions on building boat docks in your area.