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The Home Depot

Water Dock Build Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Carpentry > Water Dock Build Guide
Water Dock Build Guide

Ever build a deck in your backyard? If you have, putting together a water-based dock will be old hat. Actually, you can take the same plans you used when putting up that wooden deck. This time, you’ll want to have much longer support posts. You’re going to need to anchor it to an area that’s underwater.


We’re talking about constructing a standing dock. You could take the path of building a floating one, but with this project, your dock won’t move anywhere.

  1. For shallow water, a ladder should help you punch the poles into the bottom. Deep water will require a barge.

    1.Advance Work

    Assuming that you already have your design plans on hand, you’ll want to measure how deep it is to the bottom of the pond, lake or river. Another matter to take into account is the make-up of the bottom. This is knowledge you’ll require when you get to ramming the support posts into the soggy foundation.


    Let’s take a trip to the local big box hardware store. Don’t forget to take your plans with you as they should include a list of specific materials you’ll need to do this project. Once you find a knowledgeable salesperson, ask them to help you collect your supplies. We know we don’t have to mention this, but for the sake of clarity purchase stainless fasteners and treated lumber.

  2. 2.Get It Together

    Back at the shoreline, assemble the dock itself.


    At this point, you need to make a decision: Do you want to do drive your support posts into the muck yourself or hire a professional to take care of business? If the water is deep, go pro. How about the traffic on the water? Is it usually heavy? Another reason to contract an expert to take care of this part.


    However, you believe you can handle this alone. Wrong. You’re going to need at least one friend to lend you their muscles.


    For shallow water, a ladder should help you punch the poles into the bottom. Deep water will require a barge. Whatever you use, you’ll be spacing the posts less than 8-feet apart.

  3. 3.Water Bound

    With your stainless hardware, connect the stringers. They will need to be at a height that will withstand high water levels.


    Time now to marry the stringer boards to the deck you built. You want to have around one-quarter-inch space between the boards on the deck to drain any liquid sunshine which may fall in the future.


    Use your saw to cut the decking boards so that they wrap snugly around the support posts. Just make sure you don’t use an electric cutter. Do it the old fashioned way – by hand – to keep from getting zapped in the water.

  5. 4.Final Touches

    We’re now ready to connect the bumpers to the edges of the dock. Noteworthy: Try to use bumpers that will hang over-and-under the wood’s edges. That’s to protect any skiffs that anchor your dock.


    A nice touch is to add a hand rail to the structure. Just make sure that it’s securely connected so that when your pleasingly plump sister-in-law leans against it, she won’t end up swimming with the fishes.

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