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Building Docks - How to get started

Living on the lake is a dream for many - whether it’s year-round or a summer residence. Once you acquire property, one of your first considerations is often building a dock. For most, a dock is much more than a place to tie up the boat. Many people view docks as an extension of their property, using them for lounging and entertaining.

While boat docks can be easy to build if you have general carpentry skills, there are many factors to consider before you start sawing. READ MORE…

Scott Thomas, of Thomas Docks suggests you ask a few questions when it comes to building docks.

  1. Where do you want to place the dock? A dock needs to have easy access to land, as it is your path to the water. "If you anticipate others docking their boats there, you need to be sure it is situated in an area that allows more than one boat to be docked," Thomas says.
  2. How large do you want the dock to be? "Figure out how much space you’d like for lounging and how much space for boarding," Thomas recommends. He says it’s also critical to determine how far out from land you will have to go so that your boat has enough water under it to dock safely. Don’t forget the lounging and entertaining aspects of your dock - you’ll need to decide if you want a covered area for eating and how many chairs you’d like on the dock for relaxation in the sun, for example.
  3. Do you want a floating or a free-standing dock? The next consideration that you have to consider is whether or not your dock will be on posts or whether it floats on top of the water. This choice will slightly affect your construction. "While there are advantages to both, sometimes the deciding factor is what part of the state you live. For example, in Indiana, in the north, there tend to be more removable docks because the colder - and sometimes freezing temperatures - have been known to erode docks over time," says Thomas.

Many people build their own docks and do it quite well. Even if you’re a real handyman, it’s a good idea to share your plans with a marine contract professional to insure you’ve thought of all the considerations and potential hiccups. Your dream dock is a solid investment for the long haul - and you don’t want it to sink.

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