What You Need to Know About Dock Installation

Dock installation has a well-deserved reputation as the most hated chore that cottage owners face each spring. But it doesn’t have to be.

A professional with experience and expertise can handle the job quickly, efficiently and to your satisfaction. The result is a durable dock that’s ready for use right away. For more information, click the link provided to proceed.

The shoreline of your lake property is a key part of its value and enjoyment. Before you begin building your dock, spend time familiarizing yourself with it. Learn about the quality of the water, what the climate is like and how the local culture affects the waterfront lifestyle. This will make it easier to find the best features and amenities for your lake home.

The first step in the process of building a new dock is clearing the site. This includes getting rid of rocks, debris and any trees that might get in the way. Having a clear, level space to work will help you save time and money while also making the process much more manageable. Having the right tools for the job will also keep you safe and reduce the risk of injury.

Once the site is clear, it’s time to install the pilings. These vertical supports are essential to the dock’s structure and stability. They can be driven into the seabed using a pile driver, but you will need to check them regularly to ensure they are straight and plumb. If you’re planning on installing a conventional dock, pilings are the perfect way to add some stability without needing to dig too deep.

After the pilings are installed, you can begin assembling the frame of your dock. It’s important to lag bolt each piece together, and it’s always helpful to use marking pencils to guide the location of fasteners. You don’t want to end up with crooked boards and the headache of fixing them later on.

Once the dock is assembled, you can add accessories that will make it even more functional. Lighting will help you enjoy the water in the dark, and a boat lift or kayak launch will make it easier to load and unload boats and watercrafts. This will save you time and energy while also making it safer to access your boat or kayak when needed. If you’re unsure what type of equipment you need, a professional can assist you.

Prep Your Site

Before you start building your dock, it’s important that the site is prepared. This involves clearing away debris, leveling the area and marking the boundaries of your dock. It also includes installing the foundation, either a concrete slab or pilings, depending on the type of dock you choose.

If you’re using a conventional dock, the site must be deep enough to allow for proper water depth and to prevent frost heaving. The dock should also be set back from the shore to allow for proper wind and wave conditions and to reduce stress on the structure. Finally, you’ll want to install dock lights and safety gates around the loading and unloading zone to help ensure that your employees are working safely. This is especially important if you work at night.

Floating Docks

Floating docks are a go-to option for many commercial, residential, and governmental properties that need on-the-water work platforms or recreational docking areas. Because they are more flexible than fixed docks, floating structures can withstand different water conditions and stressors. They are also easy to adjust as conditions change, making them a great choice for areas with shifting water levels and other environmental concerns.

If you choose to build a floating dock, the materials you use will inform your overall design. Wood, for example, is a popular choice for docks because of its durability and aesthetics. However, it requires regular maintenance to protect against rotting and damage from weather elements. In addition to protecting against moisture, a wooden dock can be built with features that make it more ice-resistant. These include tapered edges to help the dock ride up on ice rather than being crushed, hinge systems that allow the dock to move with the ice to reduce damage, and de-icing systems that make it easier to remove snow and ice from the dock.

Another important consideration is how the dock will be anchored. Depending on where you live and the water conditions where you want to install your dock, you might need a permit and have specific guidelines for size, placement and other features. In general, these rules are designed to ensure that docks are safe and do not interfere with ecosystems and other waterways.

Some floating docks are supported by pilings driven into the seabed to create a solid base for the structure. Others utilize vertical poles, which slide through sleeves or brackets on the dock and can move with changing water levels. Regardless of the anchor system you choose, it’s best to consult with a professional to determine how much weight the anchors can support and to properly calculate the amount of movement your dock will experience in different water levels.

Once you know where to place your anchors, you can start assembling your dock. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely. Also, consider adding a numbering system to your fasteners to make it easier to track which ones you’ve installed and which are still uninstalled. Finally, remember to always use hot-dipped galvanized screws and bolts when installing a dock. Regular metal will rust quickly when exposed to constant water exposure.

Conventional Docks

A conventional dock is a fixed structure that cannot move with the water, so it must be constructed on solid land. These docks are commonly made of wood and may require more maintenance because they can easily rot or attract insects. However, if maintained properly they can last a lifetime. Conventional docks are also more susceptible to damage during severe weather. During a storm, water surges can submerge a stationary dock, washing away deck boards and even damaging the hulls of moored boats.

Choosing the right material for a conventional dock will depend on many factors. For example, a wooden dock can be constructed from pressure-treated lumber or cedar for durability and aesthetic appeal. Composite and plastic decking may be used as well, but they are not suitable for load-bearing applications because they lack the necessary strength. Aluminum is a better option for load-bearing applications as it resists scratches and environmental forces.

When installing a floating dock, you must first determine how high you want the vehicle bed to be. This should be based on the height of the tallest piece of handling equipment that will frequent the facility. It is best to stay within the 10% grade range as anything above this can cause “hang up” and potential damage to the equipment.

After the base is installed, you can begin assembling the floating dock sections. Start with the middle section and pivot it toward the bow section on the port side while ensuring that the tabs’ holes overlap. Next, install and tighten the corresponding fasteners to secure the section in place. Then, repeat the process for the bow starboard and stern sections, inserting spacers as needed. Finally, push the black post caps in to complete the installation of your new dock.

Floating docks are a convenient and affordable solution to permanent shoreline access. They’re also easy to assemble and disassemble seasonally, which makes them an ideal choice for owners who want to enjoy the water but may not have the time or expertise to build a custom dock from scratch. If you’re unsure which type of dock is best for your property, consider consulting a professional to help you find the perfect structure to fit your needs.