Considerations for Dock Building

A dock can transform the way you experience your lakeshore property. Whether you need a dock for boats, to moor water vehicles or just to relax and enjoy the view, there are several considerations to keep in mind.


First, assess your shoreline layout and lake bottom to determine the size of a dock you will need. Other factors include the type of dock (e.g., floating dock) and environmental concerns. For professional help, contact Lake Norman Dock Builder.

When building a dock, you need to consider the location. Whether your dock is to be used for recreational or commercial purposes, it should be placed in an area with good access. This will ensure that you can use it at any time. Additionally, it will help you avoid any problems during the construction process. It is also important to consider the state’s requirements for dock building. If you are building a dock in a state with protected water life, sanctuaries, or reserves, you will need to submit documentation to the state before they can approve your project. If you do not follow these requirements, you may find yourself in violation of the law and subject to fines.

The location of a dock can have an impact on its performance. For example, if your dock is located near a prevailing wind direction, it will be exposed to intense storm surges. These high winds can cause damage to your dock, which can be expensive. In addition, it can be dangerous for the boats that are tethered to it.

Another factor that needs to be considered is the floor conditions of the lake. The lake depth can vary from season to season, which may impact the type of dock that you should build. You will also want to keep in mind the typical wind direction and boat wakes on your lake. This will help you choose a dock that can provide the best protection for your boats and reduce the risk of injury to people using the dock.

In order to achieve the proper dock height for truck loading and unloading, it is common to create an approach area with a decline to the dock. This helps to make the entry point more accessible for truck traffic, but it can be dangerous if a semi-trailer support leg is withdrawn too quickly. This can cause the upper part of the trailer to impact the wall of the warehouse building.

In addition, it is important to design the docks to accommodate future expansions. This includes making sure that the walls are removable and that there is a pit in the floor to accommodate a lift. This can help you save money in the long run.


When building a dock, the materials used have a major impact on how long the structure lasts, how much maintenance it requires and how it looks. Understanding the different materials available for your dock allows you to make an informed choice that will best suit your needs and the environment.

Wood: A traditional choice, wood adds a natural aesthetic and offers durability against water damage. The type of wood you choose will depend on the conditions where your dock will be located. For example, if the dock will be exposed to saltwater, it’s recommended that you choose a hardwood like cedar that is highly resistant to water damage.

If you opt for wood, it’s important to look for a preservative-treated option like PT lumber that is treated with chemicals such as copper arsenate or chromated copper arsenate. This process ensures that the wood is able to resist fungus and other organisms that can harm your dock.

Plastic: Another popular material for dock construction is plastic, or polypropylene or polyethylene, which offer a number of benefits. Plastic is lightweight, waterproof and durable. It can also withstand high levels of UV exposure and resist mildew and mold. Plastic is also environmentally friendly, as it can be recycled at the end of its life cycle.

Aluminum: For those who are looking for a more heavy-duty dock, aluminum is an excellent option. This strong, weather-resistant material is incredibly durable and is easily repaired. It is also corrosion-resistant, meaning it will not rust or stain over time.

Steel: For a more marine-grade option, consider galvanized steel for your dock pilings. Unlike other types of marine pilings, such as wood or concrete, galvanized steel is able to withstand harsh environmental conditions. It is also an economical choice and is less likely to show signs of wear or tear over time.

Another great option for marine pilings is vinyl-fiberglass composite, which was engineered specifically for the marine contracting industry. It is designed to be durable and long-lasting with blind bolt fixings that are safer than other options for marine pilings.


If you’re planning to build a dock, it’s essential to consider its location and use. You’ll want to find a spot on your property that’s easily accessible and deep enough for your boat, as well as take into account weather patterns in the area. You’ll also need to obtain the necessary permits before beginning construction. A professional can help you navigate the permit process and ensure that all your paperwork is in order.

To begin building your dock, first create a frame according to the measurements you’ve determined. Once the frame is in place, decking material can be applied. You’ll also need to install shoreline support posts at this time. The frame will serve as the foundation of your dock, and it’s important to choose a durable material that can withstand the elements.

A good dock builder will understand the conditions in your local water body and can tailor their designs accordingly. For example, the floor conditions of a lake can vary significantly from one part to the other, and these differences will affect the type of dock you can build. For example, sand and silt cannot support the pipes and pilings of a fixed dock and are best suited for floating docks. Clay and rock bottoms, on the other hand, are compatible with both fixed and floating docks.

In addition to the aforementioned considerations, you should also take into account the type of activities you’ll be performing on your dock. For example, if you’ll be swimming, diving, or fishing from it, you’ll need to include ladders and safety equipment in your design. Likewise, if you’ll be using your dock for non-stationary routines like jogging, you may need to add railings with custom metal bar heights to accommodate this activity.

When hiring a dock builder, you should look for someone who has experience in the industry and can provide high-quality results. Look for a company that provides specialized training for its employees. This will help them become proficient in their craft and allow them to work safely and quickly. Moreover, an experienced dock builder will be able to offer you a competitive price and will work with you throughout the entire project.


A stationary dock can add value to your property, as well as a place to enjoy a relaxing day on the water. It can serve as a fishing pier, a platform for recreational boating and swimming, or a peaceful retreat from which to observe wildlife. However, constructing a dock can be complicated. This is a project that requires professional knowledge and experience to ensure the structure is sturdy and safe.

When considering dock building, consider the unique conditions of your waterfront. Is the shoreline sandy, rocky, or soil-based? What is the current and tidal flow like? How much traffic will be on your dock, and will it need to accommodate boats or people? Answering these questions will help you determine the type of dock you need.

The right materials are crucial to a dock’s long-term performance and aesthetics. For example, if you plan to host swimmers and sunbathers, you need a surface that won’t give them splinters or become slippery when wet. Likewise, you’ll want to choose materials that are durable and resistant to the elements, such as HDPE (high-density polyethylene) or aluminum. In addition, consider your intended use for the dock when choosing materials.

While it is possible to build a dock on your own, it’s best to work with a professional who can provide a quality product and complete the job quickly. A reputable company will also offer a warranty on their work and will take care of any issues that may arise during the process.

Professionals will have the tools and expertise to install your dock quickly, efficiently, and with minimal disruption to the surrounding environment. They will also be familiar with local laws and regulations, such as those related to river construction. In addition, a professional will have the necessary permits to avoid delays or construction conflicts with the Corps of Engineers.

If you’re interested in hiring a professional to construct your dock, make sure to read reviews and compare quotes before making a decision. A reputable company will have an extensive portfolio of past projects and can answer any questions you may have about the project. They will also be able to provide references from previous clients.