Structural plans for wooden docks contain support posts held in place by PVC pipe and concrete driven into the lake bed, the dock's frame and a railing that spans the edge of the frame, although it is not structurally necessary. Both professionals and novices can complete these plans.
To begin building a dock, consider the measurements needed. Typically, docks are 16 feet wide by 12 feet deep, but this can change based on the depth of the water or the use of the dock. Determine the high-water mark of the lake by finding its runoff drain and measuring its height.
Install the three underwater support posts first. These support posts should emerge past the high water mark, but not high enough to make the dock unusable. The bases of underwater support posts are 12 to 18-inch diameter PVC pipes, the top of which should fall above the water. Once driven into place in the lake bed, the support beam is inserted in the pipe and encased in concrete. The beam is trimmed to the correct height after the concrete sets. Onshore support posts are similarly installed.
After the support posts are in place, the frame of the dock is built. The dock surface is then laid. If a railing is desired, it is then added.