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Building a boat dock is no easy task. There are two main types of docks that you can build. One is a floating dock, where empty barrels support the weight of the dock. The other is a piling dock, supported by piles driven into the sand below. The one that is right for you depends on what you are using the dock for and where it is located.
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Floating Dock Cost
A floating dock is built by using a number of large, empty drums tied together with a frame on top and decking boards fastened to the frame. You can use most any type of material you want to build the frame and the decking but the key is weight. The barrels can only hold a certain amount of weight and the weight of the dock itself has to be taken into account. An average cost for installation and materials for this type of deck is about $20 to $30 per square foot. The two main factors that are going to affect the total cost are 1) the type of materials you choose for the deck, and 2) the type of weather you have in your geographical area.
Piling Dock Cost
A piling dock is constructed by driving pilings (similar to telephone poles) down into the sand to provide support to the attached structure. As with a floating dock, you can make the dock out of any type of material, but make sure that it is capable of holding up in water. A typical dock of this sort will range from $35 to $60 per square foot. The labor costs will vary greatly which is why there is such a range in price. The material that the lake bed or ocean floor is made out of will determine how deep the pilings must go to support the dock. The type of weather in your area, specifically if your area is hurricane prone, will also determine the size of the pilings and how deep they must go.
Whether it is a saltwater dock or a freshwater dock you may need to call in a specialty contractor and, perhaps, a marine engineering firm to help with construction. This is especially true if you live in an area that has frequent hurricanes. The extra money you spend now will prevent you from having to repair your dock or build a new dock due to storm damage in the future.
If you are using your dock as a mooring or a lift then you may want to have some electrical run out to your dock. Depending on what you need, expect to pay anywhere from $1000 to $3000 for this service.
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