A boat dock outside your waterfront house can give you a place to keep your boat tied up and provide a great place to lounge on the water. It can be a tough project; if you decide to undertake it, start with these two questions.

What Kind of Material Will the Dock Be?

Choosing what kind of dock you want to look at is the first thing you need to decide; vinyl and wood are popular choices. This is largely a question of personal preference, but it’s worth noting that if you select wood, make sure that it is chemically treated to withstand water and sunlight. You might think you’ll just save money by purchasing untreated wood, but if you do, you’ll have to deal with rotting or warping over time. Not only that, but natural wood can be harder to cut through because of the naturally-occurring knots and imperfections in the wood. It can make construction time take that much longer.

You might want to avoid the possible problems with wood and go with vinyl. Vinyl can be better-suited to the sun and water, and can even be bought in a style that looks like wood, if you like.

What Kind of Support Will the Dock Have?

The part of the deck you’ll see when you look out your window is just one of the things you need to ask yourself about. You also need to consider the support that the dock will have. Some people create floating docks, which usually consist of the wood or vinyl planks being placed on top of barrels. You might sway or feel a little unsure walking on a floating dock, but it can function well if the dock surface is wide enough. Not only that, but in the case of a strong storm, a floating dock can be put on land easily.

If you would rather have another kind of support for your dock, wood or metal pilings can be used underneath the surface. This can be a costlier choice because the pilings have to be driven into the ground and secured, which can be a challenge;  you are likely to need a contractor to do install the dock for you. You might also need to go to your town’s permits office to find out if you need to submit paperwork about the dock. Docks made with pilings can be very sturdy and you won’t have to wonder if you’re getting adequate support when you’re on the dock. This can be a good choice if you plan to use your dock often.

For more information, contact Kinsel Docks LLC or a similar company.