Guide to Choosing the Right Dock Design

Posted by Alumi-Span Docks on 11/4/2022
Guide to Choosing the Right Dock Design
Are you dreaming about summer fun on your new boat?

Does that include swimming, sunning, or entertaining?

Have you thought about what goes into building the perfect dock?

Building a new dock is exciting! You’re probably already looking forward to swimming, boating, or entertaining on your dream dock. If you’ve thought about it for a long time, you may already have design ideas, but there are some important factors to consider before you put your bank account behind your dream dock design

Your Dock’s Purpose

There’s more to your dock than the structure and the water. Will you be mooring a boat? More than one? Do you and your family want to swim and dive off the dock? What about entertaining? When you’re considering dock design, you may want space for dock furniture or sunbathing, railings, or multiple ways to access the water.  Your plans for using your dream dock will influence the materials, size, structure, and cost of building it.

Your Dock’s Location

It’s also important to accommodate the unique characteristics of the body of water where it your dock will be installed. Factors like wind, waves, shore geology, the lake bottom, and water level are critical in the planning process. Depth, drop off, and seasonal water level changes should also be considered. 

Dock Type

There are two main types of dock structure: permanent and removable. Permanent docks are not as much work to maintain, but can be damaged by cold, icy winters. 
Removable docks need to be taken out of the water before winter and put back in the spring or summer. It can seem like a lot of work, but it keeps the dock from suffering ice damage. A removable dock can also be adjusted to accommodate changing water levels.

Dock Materials

Treated wood is always a popular building material for docks, but may need to be sealed every year or two. Modern docks aren’t limited to just one material, however. You can choose from a variety of materials for the support structure and the dock surface, but keep in mind your choices can affect the look and the life of your dock. 

The support structure can be built of aluminum, steel, or wood. Wood is attractive and easy to construct but can break down from exposure to the elements. Steel is strong but may rust.  Aluminum is lightweight, rust-resistant, and strong, but it can be expensive. It’s an excellent choice for a removable dock if it’s within your budget. 


Of course, budget is a critical factor to consider when planning your dock. The design, materials, and size of your dock will all affect the bottom line, but so will maintenance. High-quality materials will perform better overall and typically have lower maintenance needs. If your budget has a hard limit, you may need to compromise on size or design to get the best quality dock within your budget.

Are You Planning to Build Your Dream Dock Design?

If you’re planning a dock, Alumi-Span can help you make the choices to fit your lifestyle and budget. We’ve been a name you can trust since 1956. Some of our docks are still in use after over 50 years! 

Contact us or call our experts at 855-523-2444 today.