Dock Building

How to Go About Dock Building on Your Lakefront Property

A dock can provide access to the water and improve the value of your property. Many resources are available to help you replace your old dock or design and build a new one. The floor conditions of your body of water are important to consider when building a dock. Sand, silt, clay, and rock can affect the strength of pilings and pipes.


dock building

If you’re planning to build a dock on your lake property, you must ensure the process goes smoothly. This includes securing the necessary permits and complying with all local ordinances. In many cases, it’s best to work with a professional Top-Notch Dock Building. They can help navigate the process and make sure all the appropriate documents are submitted. Additionally, they can offer advice on the best type of dock for your property.

Before starting construction, be sure to consult with your town’s planning office or Harbor Management Commission. This will help you determine whether there is an approved harbor management plan in place, and if so, make sure that your dock is consistent with it. Also, check with the shellfish commission to find out if there are any shellfish lease areas near your proposed dock.

The first step in the process of building a dock is to create a frame using side and end beams. Then, you can place the dock floats, which should be secured with lag bolt sets. Generally, each float needs four lag bolts to secure it. You can find a set of these at most hardware stores. Once you’ve placed the floats, secure them with a socket ratchet and lag bolts.

It is important to choose a location for your dock that is safe for boats and swimmers. The water-level of the lake will also have a major effect on how easy it is to access your dock. If possible, try to avoid locations that have steep drop-offs.

Before beginning construction, be sure to get a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps evaluates the impact of each dock proposal on environmental and cultural resources. This is a lengthy process, and it’s important to keep in contact with the Corps so that they can make timely decisions on applications.

While many people believe that they can build a dock without a permit, this is not true. The only docks that do not require a permit are those that were built prior to June 24, 1939. However, any substantial maintenance or modification to a grandfathered dock will need to be authorized through the COP process.


When building a dock, the right material is vital. The best materials are strong, durable and low maintenance. They should also be able to withstand harsh weather conditions, including high-category hurricanes. They should also be able to hold up against heavy marine traffic. Choosing the right material depends on a number of factors, including the type of water it will be used in and the surrounding environment.

One of the most common materials for new dock construction is wood. While it may not look as stylish as aluminum or concrete, it is a cost-effective and durable option. It is important to choose a type of wood that is suitable for marine use and has been treated to withstand the elements. The most popular option is pressure-treated pine, which has been treated to the maximum level of corrosion protection (2.5 CCA).

A more contemporary choice for dock construction is aluminum. This material is both strong and lightweight, and it can be recycled. It is also less susceptible to corrosion than steel, and it requires less upkeep than wood or concrete. In addition, it is easy to clean and doesn’t absorb moisture.

Another alternative to metal is a composite material. Composite materials are made from a combination of wood and plastics, and they can be used for both fixed and floating docks. They are less expensive than wood and more resistant to rot than traditional wood decks. Composite docks are also more stable than natural wood and can withstand the effects of extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes.

Pilings are a vital component of any dock, and they must be able to withstand the forces of nature. They must be able to withstand strong winds, heavy boat traffic and freezing conditions. They must be able to withstand ice, sand and saltwater. The most common choice for pilings is steel, which is the sturdiest option. It is often chosen for commercial and marine industry docks.

Alternatively, a more modern option is using fiberglass as a dock pile material. These synthetic piles are engineered to never rot or rust, and they offer significant advantages over natural wood or steel. They are often a good fit for residential docks, as they do not require the regular maintenance that is associated with natural wood or steel.


Before starting construction on your dock, you must check with your local government for requirements. These rules vary from state to state and may also be based on homeowner association rules. Whether you are building a residential, commercial, or public dock, you should follow these guidelines to avoid fines and the removal of your dock. For example, you should never place a dock in front of your neighbor’s home or on an island that is within their property line. If you are unsure of the rules, you can always consult your local government or ask your neighbors for advice.

The requirements for a dock depend on the location and water conditions, as well as its intended use. The material used to build the structure should be able to withstand the loads and stresses imposed on it. These include dead and live load, impact and seismic forces. In addition, the structure must be able to provide access for boats and other marine equipment. It should also be able to resist erosion from waves and the action of water currents. The deck of a residential dock should be made of non-skid material and must have a railing. The railing should be constructed of sturdy materials and should be secured with heavy timber bolts. These should be placed at the ends of the posts and supported by a timber-screw anchor.

Docks that are built on pilings undergo ice heaving, which can lead to structural damage, and may require annual resunkment. In addition, they need to be anchored to a bulkhead in areas of high tidal action. This can be costly, but it is necessary to ensure the dock’s stability.

Docks that are located in shallow waters create increased turbidity and have an adverse effect on the environment. They are also a threat to sensitive coastal resources and navigation channels. They should be centered along your waterfront and should not interfere with the littoral rights of adjacent waterfront property owners. If the dock is in a federal navigation channel, it will need to meet the minimum navigational clearances of the channel. Steel components of docks and bulkheads should be galvanized or coated to protect them from corrosion, depending on the exposure level.


Adding a dock to your lakefront property is an investment that increases the value of your home. However, before you start watching DIY videos on YouTube to build your own, you should understand the costs involved in constructing and installing a dock. These include materials, groundwork, and permits. In addition, a poorly constructed dock can be dangerous and may not be as durable as one built by a professional.

The cost of dock building varies depending on the size, type, and material used. Wooden docks cost less but require regular maintenance, while concrete and composite docks are more expensive but last longer. Floating docks are also more costly than piling or pipe docks. The type of lake bottom can also affect the cost of a dock. For example, rockier river bottoms make piling docks more expensive to install because they disrupt the flow of water.

A professional can provide an estimate of the cost of your dock, based on the size and construction materials. They will also take into account local regulations, which may limit the size and types of docks you can construct. Moreover, they will consider the location of your dock and the weather conditions. A well-designed and constructed dock can add value to your home and provide a safe place to launch or store boats.

Before you choose your dock, be sure to consider the size of your boat and the space you will need for it. You should also consider the number of people who will use your dock. For large groups, you may want to consider adding a ramp or a walkway. This will allow you to easily access your boat from the water.

If you’re looking for a way to improve your waterfront property, a dock is the perfect solution. A well-designed dock will give you a relaxing retreat to enjoy the scenery and wildlife of your lake. In addition, a dock will increase the value of your home and improve its curb appeal.

While it is possible to build a dock yourself, it’s a task that requires a lot of planning and know-how. A professional can help you plan and design your dock and will install it on-site. They can even make it a custom fit for your shoreline and water depth. They can also advise you on what to expect from your lake and its typical conditions, including the changes that occur during the summer.