Build A Private Dock Inexpensively And Safely

What You'll Need
Basic Hand Tools: Hammer, Skill Saw, Measuring Tape, Cordless Drill
Treated Lumber and Screws
Dock Bumpers
Metal Rods

A private dock can be a great way to enjoy your waterfront property or mountain lake retreat. Your dock can be a place to store your boat, go fishing, dive or relax and enjoy the view. While building an entire dock may seem overwhelming, break it down into smaller projects to make the work more manageable.

Plan Your Dock

There are several types of docks you can build, but there are two very basic versions. The first is a stationary dock that is used in places where there isn't any ice buildup during the winter months. The other is a type of floating dock that can be removed after the summer season. Choose which type of dock best fits your needs and climate.

Next, measure the depth of the water to determine how you will support the dock. If the ground is stable enough, you can drive posts directly into it. Most times, you will need to build concrete piers to support the posts.

Build Piers

Using pieces of lumber, build a basic form that is 2 feet-by-2 feet. Pour concrete into the form and after it hardens a little, use a bracket to install a metal rod to which you can fasten the dock. You will need to create several of these depending on how long your dock is. Figure on two (one for each side) for every 6 to 8 feet.

Locate Piers

Level out the ground under the water where you want to place the piers. Make sure the piers are evenly spaced and that the metal rods are tall enough to stick out of the water a few feet.

Build Dock Frame

Using the treated lumber, begin building the dock frame. You can build it in sections to make it easier to maneuver. A basic rectangle frame with stringers spaced out every 16 inches will be sturdy. Apply decking boards with at least 1/4-inch of space in between for water to run off freely.

If you built the dock in several pieces, attach the sections with stringers and eyelet bolts at the end of each section.

Attach to Posts in Water

If the dock is stationary, you can attach the dock to the posts in the water with metal brackets and fasteners.

However, if you are planning a removable dock, build it out of the water with the metal posts already attached. Instead of concrete piers on the bottom, you will attach large wheels to be able to maneuver the dock into place.

Paint and Enjoy

Once the dock is in place, paint it and seal it for long-lasting enjoyment. Remember to continue with seasonal maintenance and you will be able to use your own private dock for years to come.