What You Need to Know About Dock Construction

dock construction

A dock is a structure that supports boats, provides access to the water and serves as an area for other activities. Lake Wylie Dock Construction is very similar to building a deck, with the exception that at least part of the dock must be submerged in the water.

Dock piling materials matter a lot. Most use Southern yellow pine, a softwood that can splinter and rot in the water. Other options are concrete block anchors and tropical hardwoods.

When you live in an area where water levels rise and fall a lot (like Texas and Oklahoma), you’ll want to look at a steel dock option. These are designed with heavy duty hinges between the dock and walkway, more between each of the walkways and yet another set between the walkways and a base that’s concreted into the bank. This multi-hinge system allows your Floating Dock to float up or down with the water level and provide stability.

Unlike aluminum, steel docks can be built with a thicker wall thickness and corrosion resistant coatings to extend their lifespan. This durability and strength also make them ideal for docks that get a lot of use.

Steel docks require the support of steel pilings which are driven into the lake bed using our specialized equipment. This process ensures that the piles will be secured in place for a long lasting dock. In Muskoka, where the lakes are acidic, this means that the pile walls and supporting I-beams need to be extremely strong to withstand corrosion.

One of the reasons why our customers choose a steel dock is that it offers an unmatched level of strength and durability. This is largely due to the fact that steel dock pilings are chemically treated and not coated. This means that they can last for years and even decades before they need to be replaced. Because they’re less malleable than aluminum, this also means that their load capacity is greater.

A steel dock will be heavier than an aluminum boat dock but it’s worth the investment because of the added strength and durability. In addition, it takes up less space for storing in the off season and can be easily moved by a crane or trailer.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a new steel dock, be sure to talk to your supplier about the type of lakebed you’ll have and what kind of corrosion protection is recommended. It’s also important to understand the difference between the various types of dock pilings available and how they are installed.


The foundation for a floating dock is a steel or concrete piling, and it’s important to make sure the piles are well-anchored in the ground. Depending on the soil conditions, pilings can be set in place using a jet of water or by digging a hole and setting them in concrete footers. In either case, the pilings should be anchored securely to ensure that they don’t move or shift under load.

A concrete loading dock is a specialized platform designed to facilitate the transfer of cargo from vehicles to warehouses or other storage facilities. These structures are built with a variety of materials, including reinforced concrete, to ensure durability and strength. In addition, they are often equipped with various features such as bumpers and seals to reduce damage to the vehicle. However, improper loading can cause cracking and other damage to a concrete dock, which can lead to safety hazards for workers.

In conventional concrete dock construction, a precast slab is placed on top of a pile and pile cap. It is then secured to the piles and caps with a steel grating. This method allows the structure to be erected quickly and minimizes onsite construction time. However, it can be expensive and is not suitable for a small dock. Moreover, it can only support a limited number of vessels.

During Hurricane Irma, the wood deck of an existing concrete dock was destroyed and only the deteriorated concrete substructure remained. To fa- cilitate permitting through government agencies and limit envi- ronmental impact, the dock was replaced with an iDock comprised of piles, pile caps, and slabs carrying GFRP grating. The iDock’s design mimics the layout and footprint of the original dock, while providing a more durable and environmentally friendly structure.


A dock that’s built from wood can be both visually appealing and quite sturdy. The most popular material used for docks is pressure-treated southern yellow pine. This is a common choice because it’s affordable and fairly durable. It can easily withstand decades of exposure to water and sun. However, it’s important to choose a preservative that won’t impact the environment. Copper-based wood preservatives can have a negative impact on the ecosystem, especially if they’re released into the water.

Choosing the right location for your dock is also crucial. You want to make sure the structure isn’t too far out of the water and that it can support a boat when needed. Also, you’ll need to be able to walk out onto the dock from land. To make your dock more usable, you can include seating directly into the design by combining decking and bench frames.

Before you begin construction, gather the necessary materials and tools. Some essential supplies include pressure-treated lumber, galvanized hardware, and decking material. You should also have a tape measure, level, and safety equipment on hand. Using stakes, mark the desired outline of your dock and double-check the measurements. The frame of the dock should be built first to ensure that it will fit properly, then decking can be applied.

When building a wooden dock, it’s a good idea to mark pencil lines for where fasteners should be driven. This will help ensure that all of the screws and nails are driven a consistent distance from the ends and edges of the boards. It’s a simple step that can save you time and frustration in the long run.

If you’re constructing a permanent dock, it’s a good idea for it to have concrete anchors. These will ensure that the dock doesn’t move around in windy or wavy conditions. To install them, screw two large eye bolts into the land-side of the dock and attach a galvanized steel cable to each one. The cable can then be connected to a concrete anchor, which should weigh at least 150 pounds or more.


Choosing the right materials is crucial when building your dock. The materials used can impact how long your dock lasts and how easy it is to maintain over time. It is best to choose high-quality materials that are resistant to rot, corrosion and wear. This will reduce the cost of repair and replacement and keep your dock in good condition for longer. The right materials can also make your dock more aesthetically appealing and comfortable to use. The water conditions where you will be building your dock will also influence the type of materials you will use. Some water types are prone to flooding, silt and sand while others have rock, clay or concrete floors. Your contractor will be familiar with the local water conditions and can advise you on the best materials to build your dock with.

Aluminum is a highly durable material that won’t rust or corrode like metals such as steel, making it an excellent choice for dock construction. It can withstand a variety of environmental conditions and is stronger than wood. In addition, aluminum won’t attract bugs or soak in water like wood does, which can rot and swell the structure. The durability of aluminum can help to extend the life of your dock by reducing the amount of maintenance needed.

The strength of an aluminum dock is determined by its alloy and thickness. It is important to select an aluminum dock kit with quality components from a reputable manufacturer. The kit should have everything you need to construct a floating dock including detailed instructions and all required hardware. This will ensure that the assembly process is simple and efficient.

Before beginning construction, it is important to measure the location of your dock to determine the size and layout. It is also important to take the water depth, hazards and access into consideration. Once you have the measurements, you can begin to construct the frame of the dock using pressure-treated lumber or other decking material and galvanized or marine-grade stainless steel screws or bolts.

There are two main ways to build an aluminum dock: welded and non-welded. The welded method is the most common, but it can be noisy and may leak in some cases. The non-welded method involves inserting an outdoor rated sub-floor adhesive into the hinged section of the deck board to create a solid, quiet connection. Some higher-end manufacturers, such as Alumi-Span, offer this option for their dock sections. This can make your aluminum dock much quieter to walk on and reduce the number of metal-to-metal contact points.