Adding a boat dock, pier, or wharf to a home or business property with water access is a way to add more functions and value to the estate. However, the process of building one from scratch without the requisite skills and equipment can be quite daunting – and often a recipe for disaster! Fortunately, there are boat dock, pier, wharf design services or boat dock, wharf construction services providers, or boat dock, pier, and wharf building services companies that do have the knowledge, expertise, and equipment to take on these tasks. As a consumer, partnering with an expert boat dock, pier and wharf design service, boat dock, wharf and pier construction service, and boat dock and wharf building service will significantly help in navigating the dangerous waters of the multitude of decisions that one would need to make.
Most reputable boat dock, pier, and wharf design services, boat dock and wharf construction services, and boat dock and wharf building services offer free consultations on-site to consumers and are eager to help consumers understand the different choices of materials, styles, and features involved. There are several considerations in the boat dock, pier, and wharf building process. Naturally, some elements are going to explicitly based on the job at hand – the property and body of water, the exact slope, and terrain for the dock, the materials one chooses, local building codes, etc. Speaking in general terms, however, we can review the various considerations that are typically involved. Additionally, we can address the specialties and differences between boat dock, pier, and wharf design services, boat dock, pier and wharf building construction services, and boat dock and wharf building services, so that consumers can choose the best and most appropriate experts for their project.
Boat dock and wharf design services primarily focused on reviewing the details of a property, discussing and offering potential designs or renderings for the best dock or wharf types to fit that space, and providing those designs to a boat dock and wharf construction services or boat dock and wharf building services. They may undertake site surveys with measuring equipment and so forth, and spend considerable time drafting up solutions to meet the customer’s needs. Sometimes, they may be a division of a larger company and affiliated with them, whereas sometimes they have many expert boat dock, wharf construction, building services that they have experience within the past and can recommend to consumers.
Boat dock and wharf design services are most like architects, in that they work with a consumer to determine what the consumer wants, the kind of dimensions and materials, and discuss the cost and other considerations. Generally, a company that is exclusively a boat dock and wharf design service doesn’t build the actual docks or wharf themselves but instead works as a consulting expert in the design and planning stage before turning things over to the boat dock and wharf design services or boat dock and wharf building services.
Boat dock, pier and wharf construction, building services are the complements to the boat dock and wharf design services. While some are associated with or offer in-house design services, they typically are primarily concerned with the work of building the boat dock, pier, or wharf for a client. They obtain the materials and schedule deliveries, provide the equipment and workers to make the boat dock, pier, wharf physically, and perform post-build tasks like sealing and finishing. They also review the work with a consumer when the process is complete, and frequently offer warranties or guarantees on their work for a certain number of years. Finally, boat dock, pier and wharf construction services, building services companies also often offer maintenance, repair, resealing, or refurbishment services for consumers who already have a dock, pier, or wharf and want to bring it back to like-new condition.
There are no differences between boat dock, pier and wharf construction services and boat dock, pier, and wharf building services in most cases, and it is just a difference in name. The meaningful difference comes between the boat dock, pier, and wharf design services companies in the design stage; the boat dock, pier, and wharf construction building services in the construction stage; and the boat dock, pier wharf maintenance, and repair services in the post-construction phase. Regardless of which type the company is involved in a project, consumers must ultimately make some of the key decisions in the process. Considerations for the building include location, size and shape, additional features such as the inclusion of a boat lift, and other factors.
One of the most important decisions is the location of the boat dock, pier, or wharf. Boat dock, pier, and wharf design services will often do a site survey to find the optimal placement for a boat dock, pier, wharf, and give the customers a few options. Naturally, customers have a sense in their mind of where they want the dock to go, but the exact placement can often depend on terrain, building code, and other features. A trained expert from a boat dock, wharf design service can ensure that the best location is chosen to minimize strain and forces on the dock. Provide for a smooth/calm and level operation of the dock and allow for the preparation of the area leading up to the dock, whether with an access road, ramp, or similar. Boat dock, pier, and wharf design services can use advanced equipment like laser levels and surveying equipment, coupled with topographic maps, satellite images, or other overviews of the property, to develop an accurate picture of the geographic considerations for dock placement.
Boat dock, pier wharf design services, as well as a boat dock, pier, wharf construction, building services, may have some input on the different shapes, sizes, and materials to be used for a boat dock or wharf. Making choices about the shape and size are major functions of the design phase. Material choices may not come into play until the pre-construction phase. When working with a boat dock, pier, wharf construction, building services company, and will generally vary based on climate/weather, type of body of water, size/shape chosen, and what materials are available and meet the price point for a given project.
Regarding of size and shape of the dock, boat dock, pier, wharf design services typically ask several fundamental questions and provide options that fall into the categories that follow.
How often will the boat dock, pier, or wharf be used?
How will it be used?
When it comes to a boat dock and wharf shapes, the most common names after the letters that they look like: include “t,” “I,” and “u” shapes.
Last but certainly not least, the different styles of a boat dock, pier wharf that a boat dock, wharf construction, building service might build highlighted below.
Stationary – a boat dock, pier, wharf that is permanently set into the ground, attached to the shore, and planted like a pier into the body of water.
Wheeled – a portable boat dock, pier, wharf that can wheel into position at any body of water, for easy loading/unloading of vessels.
Floating – like stationary boat docks, but not anchored into the ground – instead, they float on the water and have some sway/expansion and contraction play in them where they attach to shore.
Other features that may be installed by a boat dock, pier, wharf construction, building service company include:
No matter what options a customer chooses for a specific boat dock, pier or wharf project, the experts from the boat dock, pier, and wharf design services can help to design the perfect boat dock, pier, or wharf to suit a customer’s needs. Boat dock, pier wharf construction services, and boat dock, pier and wharf building services can execute the designs, building quality docks, pier wharf that will withstand the tests of time. They can add a bevy of additional features to meet customer demands and turn a simple boat dock, pier, or wharf into a functional and attractive fixture on any property.
A boat dock or wharf is an excellent investment for a home, increasing both the value and the functional and aesthetic uses for the homeowner and their family. It can be great for family time, entertaining, or just relaxing on a beautiful day. People lucky enough to have a body of water and a boat surely would love a dock to maximize the usefulness of their amenities. As with any significant investment around the home, it is essential to ensure that, over time, proper dock maintenance and repair take place. Otherwise, these great features can become a nightmare. The professionals at a boat dock, pier, wharf maintenance services or boat dock, pier, and wharf repair services business will help prevent that from happening.
While consumers generally can perform basic maintenance and cleaning of a boat dock, pier, or wharf themselves, periodic treatment and maintenance by professionals can extend the life of a dock for many years or decades. Boat dock, pier, wharf maintenance services, and boat dock, pier, and wharf repair services have the skills and equipment needed to perform the kinds of maintenance that most customers can’t do on their own.
Routine maintenance is essential to maintaining the long-term viability and function of the dock. Boat docks, piers, and wharves are significant investments, after all, and little preventative maintenance can help maximize the return on that investment. Boat dock, pier, wharf maintenance services can perform inspections of the dock condition and recommend specific repair or maintenance actions to be undertaken. They can monitor the status of the materials, like wood – the most common – often can develop waterlogging, moisture damage, or other problems over time. Boat dock, pier, wharf maintenance services can also analyze and determine if there has been any structural compromise, such as from boat impacts, weather/ice damage, or just normal wear and tore. They can also identify ground shifting or pier anchoring issues and fix them before they become catastrophic.
In the case of issues that boat dock, pier, wharf maintenance services might identify, but not be qualified to repair themselves, they will often have several boat docks, wharf, pier repair services that they can recommend, or perhaps even affiliated with one or more of these services. In general, proper maintenance services can handle minor, preventative repairs, but will refer consumers to the more specialized boat dock, pier, and wharf repair services for more substantial damage or repair issues.
Boat dock, pier, and wharf repair services are usually the first choices when a consumer knows their boat dock, pier, the wharf has damage. It can include visible physical damage like missing planks, broken piers or moorings, shifted ground or anchor points. It can also include subtler forms of damage that require replacement of parts, such as dry rot, waterlogging, or other environmental damage to the structure of the boat dock. In some climates, winter ice in the water can often build up and exert tremendous force on a boat dock, which can cause damage as well. Boat dock, pier, wharf repair services are familiar with and well-equipped to deal with most of these kinds of damage. In extreme cases, they may need to rebuild or restore the dock. However, in most cases, repairs tend to be relatively easy and minor and ensure continued function and use of the dock, pier, or wharf without issues.
Choosing the right type of company for a given situation is essential, and reviews, photos, word of mouth are often the best way for consumers to make a final decision. However, understanding the differences between the boat dock, pier, wharf maintenance services, and boat dock, wharf repair services helps consumers choose the right professionals to hire. In most cases, companies may offer both kinds of services and call like a boat dock, pier, and wharf repair and maintenance services.
No matter which specific type of boat dock, pier, wharf maintenance service, or boat dock, pier, and wharf repair service is needed for a job, there are specific common maintenance problems that they will all come across. In brief, some of the most common types of maintenance and repair issues include:
Rotting wood – it is one of the most common types of the boat dock, pier, and wharf issues. Generally monitored by consumers and inspected by the boat dock, pier, and wharf maintenance services companies, rot or decay from the mold, waterlogging, dry rot, or other environmental and aging factors can compromise the entire structure of a boat dock and make it unsafe to use. Fortunately, with preventative maintenance, these problems can prevent them from becoming severe. If they do, boat dock, pier, and wharf repair services can remove any damaged parts of a boat dock, pier, wharf and replace them with new, structurally sound parts.
Physical/structural damage – boat docks, pier, and wharves naturally can take quite a physical beating over time. Between boat docking, people are walking/running on the surface and loading and unloading of cargo, and general climate and environmental considerations, it is no wonder that physical or structural damage can develop. Boat dock, pier, wharf repair services can fix all kinds of physical damage, whether it’s broken planks or edges from an over-zealous docking attempt, holes or missing pieces from a tree branch impact, or anything else.
Sinking/shifting ground – one of the dreaded and generally uncontrollable problems that can develop with boat docks or wharves is the sinking or shifting of the ground – either onshore or in the water – that can stress and damage the dock. Boat dock, pier, and wharf repair services companies can identify and remedy these problems. It can be done by re-anchoring the supports into the bed of the body of water, re-anchoring or adjusting the on-shore anchors, or by reinforcing or re-supporting the parts that have shifted or sunk, using backfill, concrete or stone supports, or other mechanisms.
Broken or damaged supports – over time, the critical pier supports (for semi-permanent installations) that are under the water can become broken or damaged. Boat impacts, ice, ground shifting, and other factors can lead to a compromise of these critical structural parts. Boat dock, pier, wharf, and pier repair services have the tools and personnel to repair or replace these parts, without the need to rip out the entire boat dock and start over again from scratch. Often these repairs require underwater supervision and heavy equipment and are most definitely not recommended to perform by consumers themselves.
Damaged additional features – some simple repairs, on the other hand, maybe DIY for consumers, or may require the services from the boat dock, pier and wharf maintenance services or boat dock, pier, and wharf repair services. Damaged or broken additional features, like ladders, boat lifts, bumpers/tires, lighting, etc. Maybe something a consumer feels capable of fixing may require expert help or may need very specialized repair (this is especially true in the case of boat lifts). Regardless, pretty much anything that can go wrong with an additional feature, but it can be fixed – if not by the consumer, then by experts from the boat dock, pier and wharf maintenance services and boat dock, pier, and wharf repair services.
In summary, both boat dock, pier, wharf maintenance services, and boat dock, pier, wharf repair services companies each have something to offer when it comes to a dock or wharf owner.
Homeowners are advised to routinely clean and monitor their boat dock, pier or wharf to ensure it remains in the best condition. At least once a year, one should undertake a thorough survey, and consultation with a boat dock, pier and wharf maintenance, repair service, if necessary, to make repairs and maintain the boat dock, pier, or wharf. If properly maintained, most well-built boat docks, piers and wharves will last a decade or more. The experts from the boat dock, pier and wharf maintenance, repair services companies can help maximize the useful life of a boat dock or wharf through preventative and reparative maintenance. A boat dock, pier, or wharf is a great investment, and with proper care, it can provide years of function and fun for the whole family!