Building a DIY Dock. A do it yourself dock is not that hard to put together. Most people think they will be building the dock from scratch. Unless you have some mad construction skills, we suggest that you stick to a DIY kit.
Docks range from simple structures that will cost you a few hundred dollars to the more complex ones, which will almost empty your pocket. As for the upgrades such as adding a jumping board and ladder for swimming, an umbrella for seating on the dock, etc., you will have to come up with a budget so that you don’t end up paying extra for frivolous add-ons.
Creating Your Wish List
What type of dock are you looking for? The standard dock design is a “T” which is the easiest to build. Other designs include “I”, “L”, “H” and “U”. As we mentioned in the beginning, the size, shape, style, and location of the dock will depend on what activities you will use it for.
The first thing you need to do is write down all the things you want in your dock. Next, go online and do thorough research on the accessories that will be required for your recreational activities.
For a boat dock, you will need dock cleats, bumpers, and a storage rack if you own a kayak or a canoe. Head down to the shoreline and assess the water drop off. Most private lakes do not directly drop you off in deep water. Nevertheless, it’s better to build the structure from the shore and well out into the lake. The length of the T should be based on how big your boat is.
Note: A complete DIY dock is made of treated wood that is secured with galvanized screws, nuts, and bolts. On the other hand, a DIY dock kit has an aluminum framework with plastic as the decking material.
Measure the Water’s Depth
Now that you have all the materials, it’s time to measure the depth of the lake. This will decide whether you will be able to install the dock yourself or if you will need help from a professional.
If the bottom of the lake is flat and sandy, then you won’t have any trouble putting in the framework. However, if the bottom is rocky and has uneven terrain, you will need an expert.
Another kink in your plan might be the rise and fall of your lake. As the weather changes, the level of the water goes high and low. This is something you need to factor in when measuring the height of the dock.
If you don’t want this hassle, then a floating dock might be more up your alley. Talk to your neighbors and find out what kind of dock they have and how it performs when the lake depth changes.
Installing a Floating Dock
One of the best things about floating boat docks is that they are built on top of a buoyant material. This material is either molded plastic or rigid board insulation, which keeps the dock above water. One side of the dock is attached to a ramp that leads to the shore. The other end is attached to anchor weights that provide stability.
As you can imagine, building and installing this dock is not that difficult. You can easily get a DIY kit online which has all the necessary parts and instructions to put together the dock.
The installing does not end here. To know more about how to build a standard dock, check out “Part 2” of this blog.