Build a Stationary Dock
Instructions to build a basic stationary dock:
Contact your state, county or town’s planning department or clerk to discover what permits are needed before starting the project. You may need a construction or zoning permit before beginning. Some municipalities require that docks be constructed a certain way or include railings.
Use a circular saw to cut 12-inch or 18-inch PVC pipe lengths that will be sunk 3 feet into the bottom of the waterway. The pipe should extend about 1 foot above the water level. Determine how far the dock should protrude into the water. Consider a dock that allows for a 7-foot water overhang and 1 foot onshore.
Lay out the frame for the dock. Footers should be placed at each corner and every 6 feet along the edge of your dock, depending on its size. For example, an 18-foot structure should include two corner posts and one post in the middle. Additionally, place two corner posts onshore and a post in the middle. This will form a square shape.
Push the pipes into the ground at your post sites until they can’t go any deeper and they seal against the water. Scoop water from the pipes using a small cup or bucket. Stand the 6-inch-by-6-inch posts into the center of each PVC pipe. The flat side of the boards should be parallel to each other. Use a square to make sure each post is square. One by one, add pre-mixed concrete from bags into the pipes using a shovel. Fill the pipe to near the top with concrete and let it set overnight. Repeat the process for the onshore pipes, cutting away and protruding plastic.
Choose the height of the deck by marking a spot on each post with a chalk string. Put a level on the string to make sure it is flat and then mark each post as appropriate. Cut off the excess posts with the reciprocating saw. Cut 2-inch-wide and 8-inch-deep notches for each frame board.
Place the 2-inch-by-8-inch boards in the notches so they make a square.
Drill 1/2-inch-wide holes through the top of the posts and framing boards. Position the frame onto the posts using steel bolts in the holes. Use screws to attach 2-inch-by-6-inch joist hangers along the framing boards that are parallel to the shore. Place decking lumber down on top of the framing boards to create the bottom for the deck. Consider placing wood sealer on the structure to ensure durability.
What You’ll Need:
6-by-6-inch wooden beams
2-by-8-inch framing lumber
2-by-6-inch joist hangers
1/2-inch drill bit
More Articles About Docks:
- Dock Maintenance Tips
- Rolling Docks
- Solar Lights FAQ’s
- Floating Docks
- Solar Dock Lights
- Stationary Docks
- Build a Stationary Dock
- The Dock Manual (Book Review)
Millions of homes are situated along the shores of rivers, lakes and other bodies of water, and a large number of these have (or very much need) a dock. Some docks serve as boat landings, others as fishing piers, still others as platforms for recreational swimming and sunning, and some as places for relaxed entertaining decks over water. Building & Maintaining Docks is a guide book for planning, designing, building, and maintaining any type of dock, both for primary residences and vacation homes. Heavily illustrated with color photography, and featuring the latest technologies in dock construction and building materials, this book will both inspire and educate.