Dock Building

The Dock Building Process

dockBuilding a dock requires the same basic materials as building a deck. However, a dock must be designed to accommodate the fact that it will be partly submerged in water. To address this issue, the bottom of the dock’s beams should be located a few inches above the maximum water line. This height can be found by checking runoff, records, or even marks left on stone outcroppings in and around the body of water.

A dock is a great addition to any waterfront property, but there are several things to consider when designing the perfect dock. Firstly, the dock’s purpose should be determined. Is it primarily to moor boats and other watercraft, or is it intended for recreational use? This can impact the overall design of the dock and the materials required. For more information, check out Mountain Island Lake Dock Builder.

Another factor to consider is the amount of activity that will take place on the dock. For example, will people be fishing, swimming, or boating? This will determine the size of the dock and whether or not a platform is needed. If a platform is needed, then a ramp will also need to be added. This is a great opportunity to be creative, and there are many different types of ramps available that can add both style and functionality to your dock.

Once the dock’s purpose and size have been established it is time to start putting together the actual plans for the dock. This is done much the same way as a deck is designed, with a frame created first to the desired measurements and shape, then decking material applied. The shoreline support posts can be installed once the basic frame is complete, as they will help to add stability to the dock.

The location of the dock pilings is another important factor to consider, as they are what holds the entire structure in place. Ideally, a dock will be located high enough so that the beam and joists are completely out of the water, as this will allow for maximum durability and usability. However, the dock should not be too high above the water as this can make it difficult to access boats and can lead to erosion issues.

In addition to these design considerations, the environmental impact of the dock should be taken into account. Docks create disturbances to aquatic organisms, so it is important to understand how this can affect the surrounding environment. This can be avoided by ensuring that proper steps are taken to protect the ecosystem when building a dock. This includes minimizing the number of pilings used, limiting the amount of material that is brought into the water, and properly disposing of waste.


Choosing the best materials for your dock is critical. It will determine how long it lasts, how much maintenance it needs and how well it performs. When selecting materials, consider the water type, environment and how the dock will be used. For example, if the dock will be exposed to saltwater it will require corrosion resistant hardware. Similarly, if it will be subject to heavy boat traffic, it will need to be able to withstand impacts.

Some of the most popular options for dock material are aluminum and wood. Aluminum is a lightweight, durable and cost-effective option. It is also rust-resistant and requires very little maintenance. Wood, on the other hand, is a more natural and attractive option. It is available in a variety of colors and can be carved to create custom designs. Many homeowners choose to use a combination of different materials to enhance the overall look of their dock.

Another option for dock material is plastic. This durable and eco-friendly option is becoming increasingly popular amongst customers. It is similar to pressure-treated lumber in terms of strength and durability, but it doesn’t rot or attract mold or mildew. It is also easier to work with than traditional wood lumber, and it doesn’t crack or splinter. Unlike composites and natural wood, however, it is typically not as visually appealing.

Once the design has been approved, the next step is to begin constructing the frame. Start by measuring and marking the desired dimensions of your dock using stakes and string. This will help to ensure that the final product meets all of your requirements. Once the frame is complete, you can then add the outer posts and concrete footers.

If you’re building a dock on a steep shoreline, a pier system may be necessary. This allows you to build a stable platform that is safe for boats and is still accessible to land-based residents.

Another great option for a waterfront property is steel. Unlike concrete, steel is not affected by corrosion and can withstand a variety of weather conditions. Steel docks can withstand a large amount of weight and are easy to maintain. If you’re interested in installing a steel dock on your property, it is important to work with a skilled and experienced dock builder. Knoxville Barge has a dedicated team of certified and licensed dock builders who can assist you with your project.


The most important step in the dock building process is securing all of the necessary permits. This can be a complicated task and requires the services of a professional who is familiar with the local permitting procedures. Many dock builders will complete these applications on behalf of their clients for a small fee.

A dock is a structure that’s made for bringing boats and ships in to the shore and loading them with cargo. It’s also used for mooring ships and boats and can be found in many different forms, from the small dock behind your lake house to large wharves in harbors. Docks can be built from wood, concrete or even metal.

During the dry-docking process, the ship’s sea chest is opened for cleaning, inspection and maintenance work. Also, all sea valves are inspected and any repairs needed are carried out. In addition, the keel block is rested on the keel block pedestal. This will help reduce the load and pressure on a ship’s keel and hull.

Another important part of the prep process is ensuring that your dock is safe for people to use. Make sure that it’s sturdy enough for the weight of any boats and watercraft that will be anchored to it, and that it’s safe for children to play on. A sturdy and safe dock will prevent anyone from being injured while they’re out on the water.

Lastly, it’s important to monitor the weather conditions around your dock. High winds can blow away railings and boards, while rain and storm surges can loosen and corrode nails and screws. For this reason, it’s best to invest in a floating dock that can withstand these types of conditions.

In addition, it’s a good idea to set up automatic weather alerts for your area during hurricane season. This will help you stay up-to-date on changing conditions and give you the chance to make any necessary preparations before the storm hits.


Whether you live on a river, lake, or ocean, having your own dock can add significant value to your property. The benefits of a private dock include guaranteed slip availability without dock fees, a spot for personal watercrafts and other vessels, increased security, and a more functional use of your waterfront.

Before starting construction, it is important to make sure that you have obtained the necessary permits and applications for your project. This process will vary based on state, county, city, or homeowner association (HOA) regulations.

In addition to permits, many states also require that you have a geotechnical and/or hydraulic study completed by a qualified engineer prior to beginning construction on your dock or pier. These studies are designed to ensure that your dock will be able to support the expected loads. The study will identify if the soil is suitable for the construction of a pier or dock, and it will recommend appropriate construction methods and materials.

After the permitting and geotechnical/hydraulic studies are complete, you will need to determine the type of dock that is best suited for your site. Your contractor can assist you in determining this by providing you with a dock design that is tailored to your specific location and environment. For example, if your property sits on a shoreline with a sharp drop-off and soft bottom, a pier dock is the best option.

A dock piling is a large post or pole that is driven into the ground beneath the water to provide stability for structures built above it. The depth of the piling will vary based on your specific situation and land, but in general you will want to make sure that the bottom of the deck is located at least a few inches above prevailing high water level.

Another popular trend in dock design is to build seating directly into the structure. This saves on cost and can be a more durable solution than purchasing separate furniture for your new dock. This can be done by adding benches that are attached to the joists or by building a platform with bench seats.