If you are thinking about constructing a dock on the shoreline of your lake property, you need to think about the type of dock that is best for you. Due to the differences between lakes, no two shorelines are exactly the same. However, there are several general types of docks available. Which type is best for you will depend upon factors that are specific to your property. The following are three of the most common types of docks to choose from.
A floating dock
This type of dock is ideal for shorelines that have a lot of thick mud. They are also good choices for lakes that have varying water levels throughout the year. On the downside, they should be avoided in situations where the dock will be subjected to large waves created by motorboats. Some of this problem can be countered by a wide design in the dock. Floating docks can be constructed and left intact all year round, even in cold climates where the lake may be subject to freezing. Care must be taken in choosing the filler for the dock. Foam-filled, plastic pellets are a popular choice because they have greater resistance to taking on water if the walls of the containers are breached.
Pipe frame docks
This type of dock is made with piping as a frame that the dock material rests on. It is a popular dock for many people because it is often the lowest cost dock available. However, the ground on the shoreline must be firm in order to use this, and not especially deep. This framework is often made from lightweight aluminum that allows for a removable surface material to rest upon the frame. A removable surface may be necessary if your property is subject to freezing temperatures in the winter months.
A permanent dock
This type of dock is usually the most expensive, but it also is the type that requires the least maintenance from a property owner. Once it has been constructed, it can withstand weather changes in all areas of the country. They are the most stable of all docks as they are constructed using large steel beams that are pushed deep into the shoreline. The one drawback to this design is they are not always best when they are constructed on lakes with varying water levels.
Cost is part of the equation for any property owner, but as you can see from the descriptions above, certain dock designs will be better suited for your particular lake. Consulting with a dock builder is your first step in learning the options available to you for your specific shoreline property.