Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Cape Cod
Thanked 110 Times in 107 Posts
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Re: how much does dock maintenance cost?
We have a dock too. Jeff's advice is right on.
Do absolutely tell your friend to FULLY investigate permitting. If it is not properly permitted, it is worth nothing. If it is, it may substantially effect the price of the property. Like Jeff said, here in my neighborhood the tax implications of owning a dock are that the dock can substantially effect the value of the real estate....thus your real estate taxes.
For maintenance, we built the decking with one of the plastic faux wood decking products. The pilings are some wood that resists the bugs, I cannot remember the name of it but it is so heavy that the pilings do not float. Local ordinances don't like creosote. I'd want to investigate how who set the pilings, hopefully they are deep. I'd want to know especially for a floating dock that the pilings have quite a bit of height for storm surge. We've done no maintenance in 20 years, but it was built to high standards. No experience with boat lifts.
If it freezes where you are you need to deal with that. The failure mode is that an ice ring forms around the pilings, and as the tide comes in and out, it gradually lifts the pilings out. To stop this, either one of those little propeller things hung under the dock, or an air compressor with a hose full of holes sunk under the dock does the trick. I prefer the air compressor as it doesn't get fouled by debris in the water. The warmer water is brought up by the little propeller or air bubbles near the pilings and the ice stays clear.
At least for us, boats take WAY more maintenance than docks.