How to Build a Dock
LESLIE: Next up, Russ in Georgia wants to build a deck over a pond, which I’m not so sure is the best idea. Tom may feel otherwise.
Russ, what’s going on?
RUSS: Hey, how are you doing?
LESLIE: Good. Tell us about this deck.
RUSS: Yeah, I’ve got about a two-acre pond and I’d just like to look in to see if there’s any information on building a deck or – I don’t really want it over the pond; I’d just like to have access, maybe hook up a little rowboat or something like that or a little paddleboat.
TOM: It’s called a dock. (chuckles)
RUSS: Right. Yeah, well you know what I mean. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: Yeah, we know what you mean. Alright. So …
LESLIE: Well, if it’s a dock, it’s a great idea.
TOM: Yeah. If it’s a deck, Leslie thinks it’s a bad idea. (chuckles) But if it’s a dock, it’s OK. Well, you know, when you build docks, typically there’s two ways to do them. You can do them so they float …
TOM: … or you could do them so that they have pilings that they’re attached to. Now, clearly, the best and most permanent way to do it is with pilings but to install pilings you need to have a pile driver, which is a very expensive piece of equipment.
TOM: You know, it’s possible that you could do it yourself, so to speak, but you’re not going to get a very permanent dock that way.
TOM: Now is this – you know, the other thing that you could think about doing is simply building a deck at the edge of the pond so that you could sit there and enjoy yourselves but it wouldn’t serve the same purpose as having a dock.
RUSS: Right. OK. That’s kind of what I had in mind. Just didn’t know if there was any websites that you know about or publications I could do a little research on myself.
LESLIE: Well, the only thing that you need to sort of think about, especially if you’re going to use a deck – a dock, sorry; now you’ve got me confused – with the pylons (ph) is that you want to make sure that in the event of a rise in tide – I don’t know if your pond sort of has any sort of changes over the day and level – you want to make sure that the dock itself is on rollers on a lower platform so as the water does rise and recede, it will move with it and allow you accessibility to the dock itself.
And you’re not in a freezing area but if you’re keeping a dock in an area that freezes, what happens when the water freezes, it pushes up under that dock from underneath as the water expands with the ice and sometimes can crack and break those things. So something you want to think about also, which we have, is almost like a little remote heater that we keep in the water and it’ll kick on when it gets really, really cold and keep that area around the pylons (ph) and around that dock itself loose and warm so that it doesn’t freeze and doesn’t break. And it’s a small investment to make considering a lot of damage could occur and we see it happen every season at the beach.
RUSS: Well, I appreciate your information.
TOM: You’re welcome, Russ. Thanks so much for calling us about your dock at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.