How to build a wood dock

Many people talk about needing a dock, but few ever have the initiative or the money to make it a reality. If you are like me and dreaming of building a dock, this article will show you how  to build a dock; give you some useful tips.

The wood dock you build should reflect your personal style. Here are some tips to get started, how to build a wooden dock, what is the best wood to build a dock out of.

How to build a wood dock

Building a wood dock is a lot easier than you might think. With a few basic tools and some lumber, you can construct your own dock in a weekend.

What is the best wood to build a dock out of?

Before you begin building your dock, you need to decide what type of wood to use. There is no one right answer for this question because everyone has different preferences and budgets. Here’s some information on some common types of wood used for docks:

Redwood: This type of wood is known for its strength and durability, but it tends to be more expensive than other varieties of lumber. In addition, redwood requires special treatment before it can be used outdoors.

Spruce: Spruce is another popular choice for docks because it’s affordable, durable and easy to work with. Spruce comes in several grades ranging from standard construction grade down through industrial grade that’s suitable for loading docks or other heavy-duty applications where extra strength is needed.

Cedar: Cedar looks beautiful when finished with an oil stain or natural color finish so it’s often used as siding on houses or other buildings rather than as decking material because it doesn’t take stain well. Cedar is also very durable and long lasting

Wood docks are a great addition to any lake or riverfront property. They provide a way to get out on the water, they can provide seating and shade, and they provide another element of beauty to your property.

Wood dock construction can be fairly simple, but there are some things that you need to consider before you get started.

What Type of Wood Should I Use?

You have several choices when it comes to building a wood dock. Most people use pressure treated lumber or cedar because they are both durable and attractive. Pressure treated lumber is treated with chemicals that help prevent insects from eating away at it while cedar naturally resists decay and insects. Both types of wood will last for years if properly cared for and maintained.

What Size Lumber Should I Use?

The size of lumber will depend on the size of your dock, but generally speaking the bigger the better when it comes to durability and strength. If you’re building a small dock for getting in and out of your boat then 2x6s may be fine; however, if you want something sturdy enough for people to sit on then 4x6s or even 6x6s may be necessary depending on how large your dock is going

Maine Docks | Dock Guys Docks in Maine

How to build a wooden dock

There are many considerations when building a wooden floating dock. First and foremost, you should consider the location of your dock. Is it going to be exposed to harsh weather conditions? If so, then you need to make sure that the material you use is resistant to rotting and warping.

Wood has long been used as a building material for docks because it’s durable and easy to work with. However, wood can also be vulnerable to damage from water if it isn’t treated properly. For example, untreated pine is susceptible to rot while cedar is more susceptible than pressure treated pine. Because of this, we recommend using pressure treated lumber when building your dock.

If you’re looking for a great place to buy pressure treated lumber, check out our article here: Where Should You Buy Pressure Treated Lumber?

The next thing you want to consider when building a wooden floating dock is how big the space is that needs covering with the floating structure. This will help determine what size lumber you need and how much support your floating structure needs from underneath if there are any piers or pilings in place already.

Building a wooden dock is something that you can do yourself. You don’t need to be an expert carpenter to build a wooden dock, but there are some tips and tricks you should know before starting construction on your dock.

Building a wooden dock is not difficult if you have the right tools and materials. The first step in building a wooden dock is to lay out the plan for the structure. You will want to decide on how big you would like your dock to be, how long and how wide it should be, where it will be located and other important factors like what type of wood will be used.

Once you have decided these things you can begin construction on your new wooden dock. The first step in building a wooden deck is cutting all of the pieces down so they are uniform sizes with each other and square with each other as well. Once all of the pieces are cut down then they can be assembled together with nails or screws or by just gluing them together using waterproof glue such as epoxy glue or polyurethane foam sealer. It does not matter which method you use when assembling your decking boards together because both methods work well for this purpose as long as everything fits together tightly without any gaps between

Start by making sure your dock plan is legal and approved by the local municipality. You can obtain the necessary permits from your city or water district.

First, lay out the location of your dock on the ground and mark it with flags or stakes. Make sure to place supports or pilings in areas where there are soft spots in the soil.

If you have a flat area for your dock, dig out an area that’s about three feet wide at its widest point, using a shovel and spade. Then backfill with compactable gravel and compact it with a roller to make a solid base for your dock posts.

If you have hard soil, simply dig down 3 feet to find bedrock and pour concrete footings at each corner of your planned dock location (the corner posts will be more secure if they’re buried in concrete).

Digging down into bedrock can be difficult work if you don’t know what you’re doing—but if you’re not afraid of hard labor, it’s worth it because bedrock provides great support for docks (unlike clay soils).

How to build a wooden dock

For a floating dock, start assembling the dock with the bottom side up so you can easily install the floats in step 3. Lay out the stringers and ends of the base structure (and inner braces if applicable) and screw in place. The screws should not line up with the holes you will be making for the hardware. a. Check for squareness by measuring the 2 diagonals. They should be within ⅛” of each other in length b. Secure in position by temporarily screwing a board to the structure c.

How to build the dock structure

Starting with the corners, place the pieces and mark the holes with a pencil d. Drill and install the hardware with the bolts. Note that the parts may vary from the drawing. 

Lay out the float supports (2″ x 6″ boards) e and the floats on the structure f to determine their positions. Leave +/- 6″ spacing with the main structure to facilitate further handling g. Mark the locations of the float brackets on the structure and the floats on the brackets. Remove the floats, screw in the brackets and secure the floats with lag bolts and large flat washers. You can also use bolts with lock washers and flat washers.

 For a floating dock, before installing the decking, you will need help to carefully turn the structure right side up without injuring yourself. Screw in the decking starting at one end of the dock section and adjusting the width of the second to last board to fit the remaining space. Screw them into the outer and inner rails h.

It is not necessary to anchor a fixed dock unless it is in a basin with high waves. Piles driven into the ground provide stability. You should, however, anchor your boat so that it cannot hit the docks. Some people prefer to install a boat elevator. In difficult conditions, you can add one or more diagonal braces between the piles.

Boat Dock Basics | Lake Homes Realty


A floating dock system absolutely requires an anchoring system at the end of the dock and every ~30 feet.
It is the anchor blocks that will hold the docks in place through waves and water movement as there are no piles. Chain ties are required at each anchor point.

To install the anchor weights, place them on the floating dock section (we suggest you put a thick cardboard or piece of wood under the blocks to protect your decking), group the appropriate amount of blocks for each corner. The chain will then be attached with a shackle to the group of blocks required for each corner.

Move the dock over the desired anchor area and then tip the blocks into the water while holding the end of the chain that will attach to the dock. Keep some tension on the chain, hang it in the opposite corner and then cut it off, saving 2 extra feet for in-season adjustments.

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