9 Cool Dock Designs That'll Make You Want to Spend More Time Outdoors

9 Cool Dock Designs That'll Make You Want to Spend More Time Outdoors

Let's face it. Cold concrete slabs disrupt the beauty of nature. They're functional, but not at all attractive. Cool dock designs might still incorporate this material from time to time, but you need to think far beyond rectangular blocks.

Whether you're a homeowner on the waterfront, a fishing business that wants to keep customers interested, or you own a restaurant with its own dock, we've got loads of ideas on how to improve the look of your dock.

Here are 9 of our best tips for cool dock designs.

1. Integrated Seating

Pulling chairs in and out of the garage is a hassle, so why not build wooden seats directly onto the edge of your dock instead?

Make sure they're completely secure by doing your research on the materials you'd like to choose and their strength.

Alternatively, build a short bar-style seating area on the edge of one side of the dock. Bar-style tables make good use of space and create a great casual area to hang out.

2. Rope Handrails

Steps down to the dock can be slippery, and metal handrails get freezing cold overnight. Instead of ugly metal, use thick ropes.

Wind them several times around the posts at the bottom and the top of the steps, while leaving enough slack on the line for a small amount of movement - but not too much.

These will look and feel so much better than metal alternatives.

3. A Built-In Hammock

If you have a large enough area, try out an integrated hammock. Construct a wooden deck with a large rectangular gap over the water at the end.

Next, find yourself some thick, high-quality netting that you can sling across the gap to create a hammock. Depending on how much space there is to play with, consider making it large enough for three or four people to enjoy.

Sit directly above the water and enjoy your book, while gazing out to sea.

4. A Double-Decker Dock

Fancy showing off a bit?

Have a second story added to your dock. Turn the downstairs into a cool lounge, and place loungers on the top deck so people can spread out in the sun.

Plus, if you waterproof the top level, and install side panels down below, you'll also have a place to shelter from rain showers, without running indoors.

5. Floating Tables

Floating docks are great. But if it's safe to do so, why not float a table or two in the water beside it too? This is a great way to cool off in the summer.

Take an old picnic bench and secure buoyant barrels underneath the seats. Then rope it securely, letting it float a few meters away from the edge of the dock. This is only a good idea if you're not going to get in the way of watercraft!

Just remember, you're in the water. Take care, and go easy on alcohol consumption if you decide to throw a BBQ down there.

6. Attach a Slide

If you have the budget for it, a dock-side slide will keep the kids very happy.

Either stand a short and straight slide out from the edge of your dock - or go all out with a more exciting slide from the second story, if that's what you decide to put together.

Always make sure that the 'splash zone' is not anywhere that a watercraft might end up. Rope it off with luminous buoys to warn off boaters, and ensure it's deep enough to safely land in.

7. A Boat House

Boathouses can look really awesome, and they protect your watercraft from the rain. Build an open frame with a roof atop your dock, with channels for boats and jet skis to enter.

Keep a separate deck to the side for relaxation.

You might also want to add locking gates to the end of the boating channels inside the house. No one will be able to get your boat past these without the key or security code, so it's far more secure than an open dock.

8. Swings Over the Water

Here's another great idea for the kids - and a fairly low-cost one too, compared to the slide idea.

Place a supported beam which juts out at right angles to the dock, and firmly attach swings to this. You could make your own out of rope and carefully sanded wood, rather than using plastic ones which will be less durable.

Swim out to them, and enjoy swinging back and forwards over the water. Or let go and fly into the water!

Again, it is crucial that you think about the depth of the water and the landing zone's appropriateness before putting these together. They're great fun, but staying safe is more important than just having a good time.

9. A Barbecue Stand

This should already be on every residential dock, but if you don't have one already, a barbecue area is a must.

Use heatproof materials to insulate your barbecue from the rest of the dock, and enjoy your warm summer evenings with burgers and hot dogs galore.

Or if you already have a barbecue out there and you're looking to upgrade, you could have a whole outdoor kitchen set up on the dock. Great for year-round use if you're lucky enough to live in a warmer state.

Talk to Us About More Cool Dock Designs

We hope these cool dock designs have inspired you, and that you're looking forward to spending the summer out by the water.

If your dock is looking a little shabby these days, it might need repairs or to be replaced altogether. Check out our guide to decide what to do next.

For anything else dock-related, keep following our blog, or call us toll-free at (800) 893-6257.

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