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ADDICTED2WAKE

Considering building a dock

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ADDICTED2WAKE

Just recently purchased a lake house (finally, only took 1.5yrs searching and over 100 homes walked through). I bought a hoist but still need a dock.

I understand the benefits of the aluminum docks (especially the ones that roll out), but I'm having a hard time justifying paying the thousands of dollars (I'm estimating, I'll need 50'+ in length)....especially after the amount we spent on the house.

I'm considering just building a wooden dock for now and once it's finally worn out (hopefully after 5-10 yrs?), then springing for the nicer dock.

Does anyone have any experience building a wooden dock? I want it to be sturdy so I'm guessing I'd need a number of different brkts and pipe. I haven't checked out Home Depot yet, but that'll probably be my first stop this weekend...Any input would be appreciated.

On a related note, if anyone is near White Lake in MI and you want to sell a dock, please let me know :)

Thanks in advance.

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Sixball

A friend of mine used the industrial grade galvanized 2x4 studs and composite lumber. It not light but it is nice and will last for a long time.

He also made a little raft to float sections in and out and put legs in. It take time to put it in and out but it works very well.

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Wakes

I like wooden docks - in fact I prefer them to all the fancy new ones. Ours is 2x4 construction, and if we were to build a new one I'd expect it to last way longer than 10 years. Just use treated spruce and don't finish it. Our dock posts are welded to plates that sit on the ground, it is quite sturdy but we don't get hammered with much as we are in a bay.

Basically we are happy with ours.

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chadwick02

Will you need to take your dock in and out at the end of the season? Or do they lower the water level enough so it wont freeze-damage the dock?

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fastjohnny

Lots of variables, is there current, what is the slope of the lack bottom, muck, sand, etc?

I have done all wood with wood horses, wood with aluminum piers including foot plates and augers. The augers will hold very well but are very time consuming for installation and removal every spring/fall. (I had 200' at the time)

I would recommend 5/4 decking at approx 3' width with 2 2x6 joists. I would build them in 8' lengths and use good quality deck screws.

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Michigan boarder

I used the standard H assembly you buy at just about any dock store. That supports 3 sections, each 4' wide and 10' long. Then there's a 14'x12' platform "L" on the end, supported by 3" pipe. So the total length is 44'. I used mud augers for legs on that section, took a while to put in but the idea was it would settle less. Then I ran 3" pipe horizontally and fabricated some brackets to attach it to the legs, and cantilevered the pier over the end. Nice, no legs in the way. Then, I took 2 lengths of 7" pipe that we had left over from a refrigeration job and welded a plate in the middle of each one, so that the pipe would be halfway in the sand and the plate (2' by 2') would sit on top of the sand and not allow it to settle. To install them, I took a 6' length of 3/8" pipe and put a hose fitting on one end, and used it to jet water inside the pipe, displacing the sand and allowing it to drop down, until the plate bottomed out and the pipe was set.

On the pier, I used standard treated 2x6's for stringers. They sit on top of the H assemblies, and they are bolted to the 7" pipe on the end. On the decking, I used the heavy duty wood decking from Menards (5/4"?) with the hidden fasteners so that no screws can be seen from the top (also Menards). I also ran a board along the edges to "picture frame" it, so the edges are finished.

So it's a permanent pier, it all turned out well, no regrets. The pipes have held up for 15 years, the decking I had to replace 2 years ago. I'll try to get a picture next time I'm out there. Definitely go 4' wide so two adults can pass each other easily, or so your kids can pile stuff all over the place and you can still walk by. I think that whole project would run about $1500.

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kiley

Just recently purchased a lake house (finally, only took 1.5yrs searching and over 100 homes walked through). I bought a hoist but still need a dock.

I understand the benefits of the aluminum docks (especially the ones that roll out), but I'm having a hard time justifying paying the thousands of dollars (I'm estimating, I'll need 50'+ in length)....especially after the amount we spent on the house.

I'm considering just building a wooden dock for now and once it's finally worn out (hopefully after 5-10 yrs?), then springing for the nicer dock.

Does anyone have any experience building a wooden dock? I want it to be sturdy so I'm guessing I'd need a number of different brkts and pipe. I haven't checked out Home Depot yet, but that'll probably be my first stop this weekend...Any input would be appreciated.

On a related note, if anyone is near White Lake in MI and you want to sell a dock, please let me know Smile.gif

Thanks in advance.

I have a wooden dock. The deck of the dock was built when I bought the place, but the dock was not in the water yet as the previous owner had not bought the posts and attachments. The dock is (5) 4'x10' sections. The frame is 2x6 box with a 2x6 center joist, with corner braces and joist hangers. The deck is 5/4 decking. All out of pressure treated lumber. It is rock solid but heavy as h3ll.....

The posts and supports I bought are made by a company called tommy dock. Their brackets are pretty slick. They are bolted to one section, then the posts are set. They have a carrier for the next section which is pinned in place. The posts are all galvanized, but I think Al is available. I have the auger style ends with a 12x12 plate as well. The dock is in some muck so the plate helps distribute the weight. Then the auger is into the more solid soil below. They also have inside corners, and all sorts of other brackets for any shape dock you want. I picked it all up at NA Mans in Dexter.

For a deck like mine you are looking at (15) 10' 2x6, (5) 8' 2x6, (50) 8' 5/4 decking, (10) joist hangers, (20) corner brackets and a sh!t ton of decking screws. I have no idea what the price of lumber is right now, but I have to believe it isnt that high. I think all of the supports and pipes were about $500.

If you need anymore info, let me know.

Edited by kiley

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ADDICTED2WAKE

Wow, thank you all for the detailed information.

Just to follow up on a couple of them, the water is 2' - 4' deep where I'll have the dock.

It's all clean sand, no muck.

I have a seawall.

Thanks again for the info and if anyone has more, I'm all ears (eyes).

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footer2

Wow, thank you all for the detailed information.

Just to follow up on a couple of them, the water is 2' - 4' deep where I'll have the dock.

It's all clean sand, no muck.

I have a seawall.

Thanks again for the info and if anyone has more, I'm all ears (eyes).

where are you located? sand bottom sounds like florida.

i've built many docks in florida and can give you all you need to know if

this is the case.....

wherever you are located, i'd avoid 5/4 decking at all costs. compare the pricing

between it and standard 2x 6" treated boards, you should see that 2x6's are

less money than the 5/4 and obviously stronger. 5/4 requires more floor stringers

under it in order to not have 'sags' in the decking. 2x6's can have 24" spacing

on floor stringers and be solid.

i can guide you on how to get your posts into the sand and how to be certain they

wont settle or move.

you can contact me directly at 877-221-1167 anytime 9am to 9pm eastern time zone

i hate to see anyone contract a builder or do-it-yourself without getting all the

input on construction practices first.

good luck however you proceed

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ADDICTED2WAKE

Thank you very much footer2.

I'm actually in Michigan (metro detroit area).

I will definitely call you, hopefully in the next week.

thanks again!

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