How to Build a Floating Dock Yourself

Are you ready to take your waterfront property to the next level? Building a floating dock may sound like an intimidating project, but with some careful planning, elbow grease, and determination, any handy homeowner can make it happen!

DIY floating dock

Here’s a 10-step guide to building a DIY floating dock:

Step 1: Choose Your Floating Dock Layout

Before you start, decide on the style of dock you want – square, straight, U-shaped, T-shaped – and choose your decking material. Then, calculate your materials list accordingly.

Step 2: Gather Your Floating Dock Materials & Tools

Now that you have a plan, it’s time to start shopping for your materials. You’ll need things like dock float drums, hardware, fasteners, and optional accessories like kayak and paddleboard racks. You’ll also need tools like a cordless drill, measuring tape, and saw horses. Your material list and tool needs will vary depending on the specifics of your project.

Step 3: Build the Frame

Start by building the frame of the dock. Create the outline of your dock and then attach stringers and supporting boards going the opposite direction.

Pro tip: Build the dock as close to the water as possible since it will be large and heavy to move.

Step 4: Attach the Floats

Now, attach your floats of choice to the bottom of the dock.

Step 5: Turn the Dock Over

With some help from strong friends or a tractor, turn the dock over.

woman on floating dock

Step 6: Lay the Decking

Cut your decking of choice to size and lay it on the dock.

Step 7: Attach the Bumpers

If using bumpers, attach them along the sides of the dock.

Step 8: Place the Dock on the Water

Carefully move the dock into the water.

Pro tip: If you use dock floats on wheels, it will be easier to transfer your dock to the water and remove it for winterization.

Step 9: Secure the Dock

Secure the dock by tethering it to a preexisting structure with a rope or anchoring it to the bottom.

Step 10: Add the Finishing Touches & Enjoy!

Last but not least, add a ladder, some beach towels and chairs, and dive in! It’s time to enjoy the results of your hard work. Also, check out this guide on building your own DIY floating dock.

While the specifics of your floating dock construction will depend on the style of dock you choose and the materials you use, the above steps should give you a general outline of the process. Don’t worry if you don’t have everything you need – there are plenty of suppliers out there to help you. However, if you’re looking for dock floats and hardware, check out Tommy Docks’ full catalog of floating docks and hardware. Remember, building a floating dock is not only a fun DIY project, but it also adds value to your waterfront property. So what are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves and get started!

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