Building a dock is not as easy as you might think. Those who are less interested in construction projects or those who need more extensive docks built might be better off hiring a professional company to assist with the project. However, for a simple dock project, DIYers can do it themselves by following a simple step-by-step process.
Whether you want to learn how to build a dock for a lake, pond or another water source, you can reliably do so if you have time and the right equipment. The following is a detailed guide to creating a reliable and sturdy dock.
Prepare for Construction
Preparation is essential for building a dock, or you risk hitting roadblocks during the project. The first step to preparation for building a dock is to gather all of the necessary materials. Although each project is unique, the following is a good place to start:
- Pressure-treated lumber
- Large and heavy barrels
- 100 or more feet of rope
- Galvanized screws and nails
- Hammer and screwdriver
Once you have the necessary equipment, you will need to pick the perfect place for your new dock. Once you find the perfect place, set all your building materials close to the water in an organized fashion. This is because the dock will most certainly be heavy once you are ready to set it into the water, and you do not want to have to carry it a long way.
Create The Dock Frame
Now that you are prepared, you can start the construction process. You will first need to create the dock frame. Before you do, decide on the length and width you want for your dock. You may need to cut the wood if it is not already at the ideal measurements.
Once you have your measurements and the lumber is cut to the desired dimensions, then you can put the frame together. All you need to do is take four pieces (2 lengths and 2 widths) that align the way you desire and screw them together with galvanized screws. After this, place an additional lumber piece in the middle and screw it in for additional support.
You will then need to add even more support by placing a board that lies across the width of the dock frame directly in the middle. Secure it to the three frame boards it lies across with galvanized screws.
Position Your Barrels
Now, it is time to position and support the four barrels inside of the dock frame. Keep in mind that the barrel should be plastic to ensure it keeps the dock floating properly. Before you place the barrels, be sure that they are securely shut. Ideally, it is best to use a silicone caulking around all possible openings of the barrel to ensure water does not seep in and cause the dock to sink.
Now it is time to place the barrels. In doing so, set them on the side running the length of the dock, parallel to the support pieces of the dock frame. Next, securely position the barrels inside the dock frame by screwing in braces that fit between the edge of the dock frame and each barrel so that they do not slide.
Lastly, secure the barrels even more by tying them securely to the dock frame. Eye hooks work well to secure the rope or chain around each barrel.
Place The Dock in The Water
Now it is time to flip the dock frame over and place it in the water. To do so, you will likely need the help of others. Depending on the size of the dock, you will need anywhere from two to six people. After you flip it over, carry it to the edge of the water and set it. Be sure to not set it too far into the water initially and make sure you tie it immediately upon setting down to ensure it does not float away.
Connect The Top Layer
You then need to create the top layer for the dock frame. If your treated lumber is longer than the width of the board, then you will need to cut them to the desired length. Lay each one consecutively and allow very little space between each piece of lumber. You can connect them to the support pieces with a hammer and a nail. As you create each piece, test the dock to ensure it is sturdy and reliable. Once you connect all of the pieces, which might be somewhat time-consuming, you are finished.
Enjoy Your New Dock
As long as everything was constructed properly, then the dock should float and not budge at all when you walk on it. If there are issues, then you will need to back through the steps to determine any errors that may have occurred.
Once you are finished, you can start enjoying your new dock. Be sure to position it the way you want it by pushing it farther into the water if desired. However, and this is very important, keep the dock securely tied to land at all times.
Another useful way to make your dock even better is to add a layer of paint. Although this certainly is not necessary, it can be a fun way to put the finishing touches on all of your hard work.
Contact Dirt Connections for More Advice
If you want to learn more about how to build a dock as well as other common home DIY projects, reach out to us at Dirt Connections today. Our team here at Dirt Connections will be glad to answer any questions or concerns you may have. We can also point you in the right direction for building supplies and related materials that you will need for the project. For the ultimate backyard, you can also check out our other resources, such as how to build a treehouse without a tree.
Dirt Connections also assists homeowners and commercial locations with renovation projects, remodels, repairs and much more. Our skilled contractors have years of experience in the industry, and we do all we can to keep our prices as competitive as possible, along with delivering quality results in a timely manner.
Dirt Connections was started with one goal in mind: providing quality residential and commercial construction services to clients on time and on budget. Reach out for more information on how we can support your next project.
For your convenience our estimates are free and by appointment. Call 703-940-9949 for a free estimate today!