A new dock is one of the most valuable renovations for a waterfront property as it broadens the potential for a home. Before you decide to buy and install a new dock for your home, you should consider a few things first.

Structural Materials

When deciding on your new dock, you’ll have many choices—but perhaps the most significant decision is choosing the structural marine-grade decking for your new dock. It’s imperative to know as much as you can about marine-grade decking before you decide on your new dock materials.

Most docks are made of simple wood, concrete, metal, plastic lumber, or composite wood. Each has its advantages, but high-density polyethylene plastic (HDPE) decking offers the aesthetic of a beautiful wood dock with superior durability and longevity, making it a valuable investment for homeowners.

Shoreline Conditions

What are the shoreline conditions where you plan to install a new dock? Is your shoreline a rocky beach, or on a cliff, or made up of fine sand? The material your dock will be attached to will affect the base and installation of your new port.

Most docks, no matter the materials and the shoreline, can be installed with minimal problems—but the shoreline conditions could affect the installation’s costs. When gathering quotes for your new dock and installation, ensure you review the shoreline and what the dock installers can expect.

Water Fluctuation

If you’re installing a dock on a lake or river, you’ll have to consider the fluctuations of the water level carefully. For oceanfront properties and docks, the water level is consistent and predictable.

Smaller bodies of water, however, have much more variation in their depth due to seasonal and weather conditions. If the body of water your dock will go into has radical fluctuations, you might consider some contingency plans like a ramp or floating boat dock.

Pro Tip: The US Geological Survey offers real-time and historical data on surface water for every region in the country.

Dock Shape 

Last but not least, you’ll have to decide what shape your new dock will take. Your dock’s shape may not even be a choice due to the shoreline and environmental decisions—but most dock owners can choose between an “L,” “T,” or “U” shaped dock.

For those looking for just a place to park their boat, a simple L-shaped dock gets the job done with minimal fuss and cost.

Now you understand what homeowners must consider when getting a new dock. It’s a terrific investment for property and opens up the possibilities for days on the water!