What's the Cost of Building a Boat Dock?

What's the Cost of Building a Boat Dock?

For waterside properties, a boat dock is a great option to add value by making it possible to spend some time boating and offering a relaxation environment. Installing a boat dock is a significant project, which is why it’s recommended to find a dependable local dock builder. This article focuses on helping you understand the cost of building a boat dock.

What’s included in the cost of a boat dock?

Building a boat dock isn’t an easy task. And to determine the total cost of building a dock, it’s essential to understand what’s included in the quote you get from a local dock builder. Here are some of the essential cost aspects you should know.

Dock materials

It would help if you had a lot of materials to construct a functional boat dock. Depending on your preferred type of dock, you need to know the cost of the different parts of a dock, such as the support structures underneath, the deck, and other important materials needed to attach or connect each part to other dock parts.


The cost of labor includes either the specified hourly rate or the total cost of dock construction and installation. Note that labor costs vary depending on the dock project scope, the estimated time it would take to complete the project, and more.


This is the total cost of mobilization and demobilization, including equipment utilization. The cost of equipment is usually included in the cost estimates of the project. Note that equipment-related costs vary depending on the contractor, nature of the project, and other aspects.

The boat dock plan

The cost estimate often starts from the boat dock plan or blueprint of the dock design you, the project owner, want your boat dock to look like. If you don’t have a blueprint, your local contractor can help create one depending on the dock type you want.

Clean up and disposal costs

During boat dock construction and installation, there is good chance debris, and waste material will be left behind. The cost of removal and disposal of the waste material or debris must be included in the quote you get from the dock construction and installation contractor.

Other expenses

Other costs involved in the construction and installation of a boat dock include.

Electricity expenses: Installing a source of electricity in your boat dock can make it usable at night by adding sufficient, particularly if you intend to install a boat lift. A well-thought-out lighting plan enhances the appearance of your dock and improves its usefulness.

Boat dock lights costs: Excellent lighting adds convenience by guiding the dock users to the right to enjoy fishing and boating activities even at night. Lighting also makes a boat dock a perfect relaxing environment.

Cost of additional structures: Some boat dock owners are daring enough to stretch their creativity and construct extra groundwork like adding a boathouse or a patio. These structures come at an additional cost.

Dock benches expenses: Another way of maximizing the overall functionality of your dock is to install dock benches. These benches often increase the cost of constructing and installing a dock. If you need them, you can ask your contractor to get them installed.

Permits: You need a permit to install a boat dock. This is one of the automatic expenses in any project involving construction.

For many waterfront property owners, building a dock is often considered a big project that requires a well-thought-out plan before construction starts. Most importantly, you have sufficient funds to ensure that the project goes as planned. And this begins with knowing the cost of constructing and installing a boat dock. Make sure the contractor you choose offers a great cost breakdown covering the expenses highlighted above.

Factors that influence the cost of building a boat dock

Boat dock prices vary depending on the dock types & layout, materials used, and other factors. Your location, your preferred dock design, the size of the dock, and your preferred dock construction contractor will also affect the total cost of building a dock. Here are the top factors that influence the cost of constructing and installing a dock.

Dock type

There are different types of docks you can build along lakeshores. Pipe docks are considered the cheapest type of docks and are ideal for fair weather and shallow waters. They often float on the surface, with wooden pipes to support the upper structure. Floating docks, on the other hand, are easy to construct and install. They are often considered an affordable option for waterfront property owners.

Those who don’t want the hassle of removing and reinstalling boat docks can go for permanent docks. These docks include crib docks, piling docks, and concrete piers. Keep in mind that each dock type uses specific materials, takes some time to complete, and requires different levels of labor and technical know-how. This is why different dock types cost more than others.

Size and configuration

Large boat docks take longer to assemble and require more construction materials than small docks. Also, complicated dock configurations add to the overall cost of dock construction and installation. For instance, a straight dock configuration is much simpler than an F-shaped configuration ideal for three boats or vessels.

Extra groundwork

As an integral part of dock installation, you may choose to landscape the ground, establish a strong foundation for supportive structures, or install decking or patio to make use of the waterside. All these features add to the overall cost of deck construction and installation.

Dock construction permits

Your boat dock will require a permit, and the cost of that permit will depend on your location, state laws, and the size of your dock. Keep in mind that permit costs vary, which is why it’s in your best interests to consult with the zoning office before dock construction begins.

Wrap up

The cost of building a dock varies widely depending on many factors. As discussed earlier, there are numerous aspects of these costs. If you plan to install or repair a boat dock, do not hesitate to contact VW Docks and get a quote.

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