Working on a construction project like a dock or a deck that will be over the water can result in some challenges that you need to take into account. Anytime you are working around water; material choices are critical for the structure to withstand the test of time.
Selecting the Right Wood
Water can be a big problem when you are building something in or over it. The moisture can get into the wood and cause the wood to rot, making the structure unstable and unusable over time. Material selection is critical to get optimal longevity from the structure, but there are limitations because it is vital that the water not be polluted or contaminated as well.
Pressure-treated pine is common for docks and is inexpensive, but it still needs sealing every year to get the most out of it. Hardwoods are the best option and often offer natural rot resistance that can last seventy-five years or more. Most of them do not need sealing, but these wood types are costly upfront.
Selecting the Right Marine Hardware
You need to consider the hardware you will use in your dock or other structure. The best option is to contact a marine hardware specialist and discuss your project. They can help you determine the best hardware for your situation, but in most cases, a hot-dipped galvanized product, such as galvanized marine fasteners, will offer the best durability for marine applications.
If you are using an expensive hardwood, you need to select hardware that is not going to stain the wood over time, and most galvanized products are safe for that. Galvanized hardware is well suited to fresh and saltwater environments, but again, if you have any questions, contact a specialist and talk to them. They will be able to answer your questions and get you on the right path.
Know the Regulations
When you are building in or over the water, there are some regulations you will need to follow. Don't assume you can sink pylons in the lake bottom and build a dock. There may be restrictions in the area you live that require some specific material choices or special permits before any construction begins.
The best thing you can do is to contact the local fish and game agency, code enforcement office, or building inspector and ask what you need to do or where to go to get the requirements for building a structure in or over the water in your area. One of these agencies will be able to point you in the right direction and ensure that you are following all the applicable laws when building your lakeside paradise.