How Much Does It Cost To Build A Dock?


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Build Dock Costs

Outdoor Cost Guides      Decks, Patios & Porches      Build Dock Costs

If you live on the edge of a lake and you own a boat or want to buy a boat, it would be nice if you had your own dock. Docks are difficult to build properly, and they have the potential to be quite expensive. However, having a dock on your own property can provide you with easy access to the water, and it could even help to improve the value of your property.

The price of the dock will depend on a wide range of different factors. The type of dock being created, as well as the difficulty of the installation location, will contribute to the cost. The choices that will be available to you are going to differ based on the depths of the water, whether it is fresh or saltwater, and how much money is available in your budget.

There are several types of docks that can be built. The most common types include the piling dock and the floating dock. A floating dock tends to be the least expensive and the easiest to maintain. They can work well for lakes and can be removed during the winter. A piling dock is a permanent dock, and it can be more easily customized. They are also more stable than floating docks. Other options include crib docks and pipe docks.

Dock building: 6’ x 25’ cedar piling dock.

Item Unit Cost Quantity Line Cost
Material Cost $30 per sq.ft. 150 $4,500
Labor Cost $20 per sq.ft. 150 $3,000
Total Cost $50 per sq.ft. 150 $7,500

Other considerations and costs

  • You will want to check the regulations in your area to learn what types of docks, if any, you are allowed to add to the water. You will need to have a permit to build a dock.
  • Consider the climate and the location when determining the type of dock you want to build.
  • The depth of the water needs to be considered, as well.
  • The type of material used for the dock will factor into the cost substantially.
  • Having additional features that are added to the dock, such as a boathouse, covered dock, lighting, or a boat lift will add to the cost.
  • If the bottom of the water is rocky, choosing a floating dock will reduce the cost of needing to drill for pilings.
  • Check out our guide if you need a loan for your home improvement project
  • If you are a builder and need insurance check out our Builders Risk Insurance Guide

DIY considerations

  • If they are not constructed properly, most types of boat dock can quickly become a hazard. It is always a better option to work with a professional that can take care of the build and the installation.
  • Floating docks are simpler and could be a DIY project. In addition, there are dock kits for floating docks and pipe kits, for example, that could be bought that can help make creating your own dock simpler and safer.


  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Web sites.
How much does it cost to build a dock in your city?
Enter your zip code to get estimates

Cost by city

  • New York, NY$12,048
  • Bronx, NY$9,900
  • Brooklyn, NY$8,251
  • Philadelphia, PA$10,294
  • Washington, DC$8,932
  • Atlanta, GA$8,081
  • Miami, FL$7,350
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL$7,699
  • Minneapolis, MN$9,032
  • Chicago, IL$10,523
  • Houston, TX$10,854
  • San Antonio, TX$7,286
  • Austin, TX$8,250
  • Denver, CO$6,971
  • Phoenix, AZ$7,354
  • Las Vegas, NV$8,072
  • Los Angeles, CA$9,095
  • San Diego, CA$8,253
  • San Jose, CA$9,969
  • Seattle, WA$7,299

Local costs have been calculated by accounting for labor and material cost differences across different cities. To get accurate cost estimates, indicate yours: