If you live near the water, odds are you have a boat. But, do you have your own boat dock? If not, you may want to consider building one. A boat dock provides convenience and privacy.
There is nothing quite like waking up in the morning and taking your boat out of your personal dock. But the question remains: how much does it cost to build a boat dock?
On average building a dock on average, you can expect to pay at least $15,327 with a typical range of $2,500 to $30,000. Low-quality docks run as low as $2500 while high-quality permanent docks run from $30,000 to $70,000. A pipe dock will cost at least $5,000 to build and install while piling and crib docks cost anywhere between $10,000-$50,000 to build and install.
Your exact costs will depend on your location, chosen materials, and landscaping requirements.
So today, we are going to talk about the finer details of the cost of building a boat dock. We will cover the different types of boat docks and what they require for construction. We will also answer some commonly asked questions about building boat docks.
- Boat Dock Construction Costs
- Cost to Run Electricity to a Dock
- Factors that Affect Boat Dock Construction Costs
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Words
Boat Dock Construction Costs
There are four major types of boat docks
We will cover the costs for these different kinds of decks.
Floating docks are the simplest kind and consist of a flat deck layer placed over floating air barrels or drums. True to the name, floating docks float on top of the water and do not use ground supports.
The main benefit of floating docks is that they move up and down. However, this makes them not well-suited for docks near sources of moving water, such as rivers.
Floating docks tend to be the least expensive kind of dock. You can expect to pay about $25 per square foot to build a floating dock. The typical floating dock is at least 10’ x 10’, so you can expect to pay a minimum of $2,500.
For larger 10’ x 20’ or 20’ x 30’ floating docks, you can expect to pay around $5,000-$7,000 to build a floating dock.
Crib docks are one of the sturdier and long-lasting options for a boat dock. They consist of a series of crates with rock or some other kind of ballast weighing them down in the water. Decking is attached to the top of the crates to form a permanent structure.
These kinds of docks are extremely durable and can last for decades. However, they are expensive and labor-intensive to install, and they are not easy to lengthen or extend. Lastly, crib docks can have a larger environmental impact than other docks.
Since they require more labor and materials, crib docks are generally more expensive to build than other docks. The typical crib dock will cost a minimum of $10,000 to build, but it can cost upwards of $50,000 or more, depending on the materials and location of the dock.
Depending on where you live, you may also have to get a permit to build a crib dock. For example, in California, most properties nearby waterfronts must get a permit from their local city authorities before starting permanent dock construction.
Dock permits range in price between $100 and $1,000, depending on the city and specific location of the dock.
A piling dock uses special pillars mounted in the ground to support the decking. To construct a piling dock, you need to drive poles into the bed of the body of water and lay the deck structure overtop.
Piling docks are probably the common image that comes to peoples’ minds when they think about docks.
Generally, piling use wooden pillars that are similar in strength and size to telephone poles. The costs for piling docks can vary depending on the size of the deck and how much work is required to fit the pillars into the ground.
The main benefit of piling docks is that you can arrange them in several shapes and orientations.
Overall, you can expect to spend about $50 per square foot to build a piling dock. The typical piling dock is around 12’ x 30’, which comes out to a minimum of $20,000.
Your actual costs may be higher depending on the materials you use and construction conditions. Generally, piling docks are tied with crib docks for the most expensive building costs.
Pipe docks are similar in design to piling docks, but instead of large pillars, they use smaller pipes usually made from aluminum and other similar lightweight metals.
Pipe docks are known for their ease of installation and simple design. Many companies offer “dock-in-a-box” solutions that you can install and use quickly.
A decent pipe dock large enough for a conventional boat will cost at least $5,000 to build. On the other hand, you can buy a pre-fabricated pipe dock for anywhere between $1,500-$3,000.
The main advantage of pipe docks is that they are easy to build and install. The main downside is that they only really work for shallow water and are less durable than piling or crib docks.
Cost to Run Electricity to a Dock
Pipe and floating docks are often used as temporary docks, so they do not usually have power wired to them. However, permanent docks such as crib docks and piling docks usually need some source of power.
It will cost about $1,000 to run power to your boat dock. The cost will depend on the size of your dock and the total power you want. Dockside electricity is not required but it is very useful if you want to install lights and other mooring features.
We recommend hiring an expert to install electricity. Installing it on your own can be very dangerous if you do not have experience working with electricity.
Factors that Affect Boat Dock Construction Costs
One of the main things determining the cost to build a boat dock is the configuration. Simpl,y put, the larger the dock, the more it will cost.
The more complex the dock layout is, the larger the costs as well. You will have to pay more for labor and materials.
There are several materials you can use for docks, ranging from wood and plastic to durable metals, such as pine, cedar, vinyl, aluminum, concrete, and synthetic materials.
All other things being equal, plastic and synthetics will be the least expensive while metals and woods will be more expensive. However, metals and wood tend to be much more durable for docks.
Unless you have a floating dock, you will likely have to do some groundwork landscaping before you can lay down your dock.
For example, you need to clear the floor of the lake from any debris that can get in the way of dock posts.
Type of Deck
The type of the deck will also determine costs. Generally, floating decks are the cheapest to build per square foot because they don’t usually require groundwork and use fewer materials.
Piling docks and crib docks are usually the most expensive because they use the most materials and require the most construction efforts.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to build a boat dock?
It costs a minimum of $2,500 to build a suitable floating dock. Pipe docks typically cost a minimum of $5,000, while pile and crib docks cost anywhere between $10,000 and $50,000 or more.
You may also have to pay for dock permits, depending on your location.
Can anyone build a boat dock?
Yes, generally speaking, anyone can build a dock if they own property near a waterfront. Most cities have local regulations surrounding dock planning, and you may have to get a permit first before starting construction.
Make sure to check with local rules and regulations before building.
What is the best material for a boat dock?
It depends on the kind of dock you want. Traditional wood docks are probably the most popular and provide a good mixture or price to durability. Metal can be more or less expensive, depending on the kind.
Smaller floating docks can be made from mostly plastic and work just fine.
Do I need electricity on my dock?
No, you do not need electricity on your dock. However, having a power source on your dock can be very useful for powering lights and charging electronic appliances, and other boating equipment.
We highly recommend hiring a professional to wire your boat dock, as electrical work can be dangerous if not performed by a professional.
A boat dock can be a great addition to your home and provide a nice, private place to relax and enjoy the water. Fortunately, the minimum costs for building a boat dock are not that high and are within the reach of most people.
Make sure to do your research before building so you can choose the best type of dock and materials for your project.