Choosing a Dock Builder
Mountain Island Lake Dock Builder must have a strong grasp of local laws and statutory regulations. They must also understand the intricacies of water dynamics, marine geology, material science, and engineering principles.
Look for a contractor with local experience who knows the specific conditions of your waterway. Reliable contractors should be able to schedule projects quickly and return phone calls within a day.
The design of a dock or pier is essential in determining its stability, structure, and overall functionality. Several considerations need to be made, including the pond configuration and bottom composition, potential water level fluctuations, and any construction regulations or permits. The construction materials will also play an important role.
Several materials, including wood and concrete, can be used to build a dock. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, wood is often more affordable and can look attractive in a waterfront setting but is also susceptible to rot and other weather damage. Concrete is more durable and can last long if properly maintained.
The choice of construction materials will depend on the type of dock you want and how it will be used. If it is mostly used for swimming or sunbathing, for instance, you will want a material that won’t cause splinters and will be able to dissipate heat. Your area’s climate, seasons, and water conditions are best.
A common material for pilings and other dock construction projects is steel, which is extremely strong and durable. It is particularly well suited for use near salt water and is often used in commercial docks and other structures subjected to heavy use or frequent exposure to the elements. However, installing steel dock pilings can be difficult, especially when the structure needs to be anchored.
One way to make the installation process easier is to use blind bolts. These bolts are attached to the steel piling and allow them to be turned into place, which makes the installation process much faster. They also help protect the steel from corrosion, another important factor to consider when selecting a dock material.
A good dock builder will provide a detailed estimate before starting the project. This will help ensure that there are no surprises down the road. It is not uncommon for changes to be made during the building process, but a good dock builder will communicate these alterations in advance and be transparent about how they might affect the cost.
The materials used to construct docks must be weather-resistant and durable enough to hold up to much use. Wood, concrete, and steel are popular among boat dock builders, but each material offers unique advantages and disadvantages. When choosing a builder, determine what materials they typically use and why. A professional should explain the benefits of each type and help you decide which is best for your needs.
When building a dock on a river, you must consult with local authorities about construction restrictions and permitting requirements. Many guidelines ensure your dock doesn’t interfere with the river’s natural flow. In addition, you will need to understand the stability and composition of the lake or river floor. Depending on the conditions, you may need to install pilings or anchors to support your dock.
After securing the pilings or anchors, you must construct the docking framework. This involves constructing a series of joists and beams to form the dock’s structural support and walking surface. Planning and doing as much prep work as possible before starting the construction to reduce stress and expenses is a good idea.
Once the frame is in place, you must fasten decking boards to the joists and beams. A high-quality dock kit will have the necessary hardware to make this task quick and easy. It is a good idea to invest a little time in making the fasteners as straight and evenly spaced as possible, giving your finished dock a more polished look.
Once the decking is in place, you must add a ramp or stairway to provide access to the water. Depending on the layout of your dock, you may also want to include a bench or other feature. When finished, your new pier will be ready to enjoy!
Many dock builders learn their trade through a three or four-year formal apprenticeship program. During this time, they receive classroom instruction and significant on-the-job training. They may also take part in classes on safety, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, and construction techniques.
After proper training, a dock builder can install floating boat docks for customers. This involves preparing the site, clearing any debris or vegetation hindering construction, and understanding the site’s conditions, including water depth and hazards.
Once the foundation is prepared, the dock builder can start constructing the frame. They will use pressure-treated lumber or other deck materials to build the dock and marine-grade screws or bolts to connect the parts. It is important to note that the frame must be constructed square and level to remain stable once it is in the water.
If the dock is to be secured in the water, the builder must anchor it. This has many options, including concrete block anchors and pier plates. The best choice will depend on the size of the boat dock, desired positioning, and conditions at the installation site. The anchors must be secured properly to ensure stability and prevent boat or dock damage.
During this phase, the dock builder will install necessary features for accessing the boat dock, such as ramps or stairs. They may also add safety measures, such as railings or boat cleats. They will then thoroughly inspect the dock to ensure it meets design specifications and safety regulations.
During the final stages of construction, it is important to remember that unforeseen changes can happen. Your dock builder should be open and transparent about dealing with these changes, especially if they impact the project’s cost. In addition, your dock builder should be easy to reach and respond quickly to any questions or concerns that you have. At Associated Pacific, we always strive to provide our clients with multiple means of communication with their project planners and designers so they never have to wait a week for a phone call back!
A dock requires regular maintenance and inspections. A deck and gangway should be stained periodically to protect the wood and minimize moisture exposure. Staining also helps prevent wood rot and fade. For the best results, use stain products designed for marine applications. Keeping your dock protected and sealed is especially important to minimize damage if it is made from pressure-treated wood. This will extend the life of your investment.
Many dock builders belong to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America union. The union offers extensive on-the-job training for apprentices, continuing education, and skills development. A typical apprenticeship lasts four years, including classroom instruction, onsite experience, and hands-on welding.
Most dock builders work full-time. Overtime is common in construction, and dock builders must often travel between job sites. They are often required to wear personal protective equipment, including hard hats and gloves. They must also pass a drug test as part of their employment.
Some states pay more than others for dock builders. Tops the list for the highest average salary at $47,789. In addition to earning a higher income, a career as a Dock Builder provides a great opportunity for advancement.
Choosing the right contractor to build your dock will make all the difference. Having a trusted and local company build your dock is crucial to ensuring your investment’s long-term stability and enjoyment. Local contractors understand the unique requirements and contingencies of your area’s waterways, climate, and seasons. They also know your neighborhood and are familiar with local regulations and architectural design standards.
Choosing a contractor who uses quality materials and adheres to local building codes is important. Ask your dock project planner, designer, or builder about the types of materials they use and why they prefer a particular product over another. For example, Associated Pacific uses premium kiln-dried, “Marine Grade,” pressure-treated wood to ensure the longevity and durability of your dock. The kiln-drying process reduces the chance of warping, twisting, or bowing due to excessive moisture in the wood.