How Much Does It Cost To Build A Dock?

Anyone residing on a lake, river, sea or any other water body as such should consider building their own dock. A dock is an enclosed area of water between or alongside a human-made structure or group of such structures. Dock is used for loading, unloading and repair of boats and ships. A dock gives you a better access to the water body and is like a deck on the water.

There are different shapes, sizes, materials and configurations available for dock construction. If you want to build a personal, stationary dock measuring 6×30 feet, you’ll have to spend around $5,400. However, not everyone needs a dock. Firstly, you need to be somewhere around a water body. Secondly, you need to have some real use of that access to the dock. A person who has to regularly swim a water body or have a boat needs a dock. You can easily do fishing, swimming, barbecue and do boating if you have a dock.

A lot of maintenance work is needed to keep the dock in good condition. For a stationary dock, check for wood rot both above and below the water level. Replace the decking periodically. Also stain and scrape it regularly. The movable docks should be taken out of water each year for cleaning and inspecting.

Types of Docks

Different types of docks are available.  Some docks are permanent and remain in water the whole year, some are put in at the start of the season and later they are taken out. There are docks that are made by combining both the stationary and temporary portions to increase the size of the dock.

  • Floating docks- these are temporary docks which are used either alone or along with a stationary dock. These are made to float on barrels or special containers which keep the dock on the surface of water.

  • Piling docks- the wooden pilings are put deep into the sand below the water and the dock is built at the top.

  • Pipe docks- these are just a modified newer version of piling. Here, a PVC pipe filled with concrete is used to sink the wooden pilings. It can be installed faster than piling docks.

  • Crib docks- the dock is built on a very large container which is filled with rocks or concrete. Crib docks are quite stable and secure and can last for years.

  • Suspension docks- these hang over the water. You can raise or lower them depending on the water level and your requirement.

Deck Type





·         can be taken out in case water freezes

·         doesn’t rot easily

·         Least expensive

·         Moves with the level of water

·         Have to be put in and taken out each year

·         If not secured properly can come loose

·         Starts moving when you stand on it



·         Is stationary

·         Different configurations are available

·         Different decking options are there

·         Requires high-maintenance

·         special equipment is required for installation



·         Is stationary

·         Different configurations are available

·         Different decking options

·         Easy to install

·         Requires high-maintenance



·         Very stable

·         Long lasting

·         Doesn’t move

·         High-maintenance

·         Difficult to install

·         Expensive

·         Disrupts water flow



·         Is Lightweight

·         Can be easily moved with water level

·         Good for sensitive ecosystems

·         Too much expensive

·         Needs very high-maintenance

Different materials are used for building docks. We have summarized the names of different materials, their use and average cost in the table below.



Average cost

Cedar, Cypress, Redwood

·         Decking

·         Piling

·         Framework


Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Tamarack

·         Piling

·         Framework



·         Decking



·         Decking

·         Framework


PVC Pipes

·         Pipe footings for piling



·         For securing footings in PVC

·         For building a crib dock

$100/cubic yard


·         For holding floating docks



Sometimes keeping docks can become a liability. People can use your dock without permission. If you don’t put a gate, you will be held liable for any accidents caused on the deck. Wildlife like ducks, birds, loons and herons can spoil the decking.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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