Building The Perfect Floating Dock

If you’re looking to build a new dock, or even add to/improve your existing one, it would be great to know how to do it yourself to save up some money. You could hire professionals to do it for you, and the result would be worth it, but you CAN learn to do it yourself if you follow the advice we’ll share in this article. So if saving money is something that interests you, read on.

First off, here is the shortlist of costs required for you to finish the dock: the manufacturing costs of the dock parts, the transport of these dock parts to the location, and the cost of assembly.

So right off the bat, we can easily notice that by building the dock yourself, you’ll save money on assembly, and even transport if you can also take care of that yourself. But the truth is, you can also save on the dock parts if you know where to look and what to get.

Galvanized Steel

You can find a lot of companies that manufacture galvanized frames of steel that are sold either as part of a kit or individually. For your dock, you’ll need a kit that includes floats that are created specifically to work with frames (which come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from 2×8 to 8×12″. The bigger frames can weigh up to 350 lbs so shipping can really set you back financially depending on where they are manufactured and the distance they need to travel to get to you.

Treated Lumber

The 2nd option we’ll look at to frame your dock is by using treated lumber. You need to purchase this locally to cut down on shipping costs. You can purchase a hardware kit that comes with galvanized steel brackets. This kit isn’t very heavy or large, so the shipping won’t cost you an arm and a leg, especially if you find it locally. A word of caution however, if you’re building a treated lumber dock, know that this material isn’t made to be continuously submerged, but rather used for an above the water platform.


Dock frames made from aluminum will be considerably lighter from the ones made of steel and wood. Some frames of aluminum are welded units that can still be quite pricey to ship because they take a good amount of space. So once again, you should be looking at finding this material as close to your location as possible to cut down on costs. Several companies also create aluminum dock frames that are already bolt together. You can have them shipped in a set of little packages to save money. So this is a nice solution if you want a lighter dock and also want to be cost-effective.

For a multitude of reasons, manufacturers of floating docks usually don’t attach wheels to their docks. However, in the past few years several have started to offer wheels together with their aluminum sets of dock frame kits. These will usually be plastic wheels that will allow for the dock to be more easily moved and rolled on and off the beach(you can easily remove it during winter).

The final big advantage of using aluminum is that they are corrosion resistant and they won’t be compromised if you drill extra holes in them for any additions or adjustments you may want to make.

By using the right material and having a better understanding of the costs, sizes and implications, you’ll have every chance to build a beautiful cost effective dock that is perfect for your needs!