If you have a waterfront home, you must be aware of the Fort Lauderdale rules for the dock builder. Waterfront homes are built on land that makes up a larger percentage of the overall property value than a traditional home. The land and the moorage it provides makes it much more valuable than a traditional Fort Lauderdale home. However, it’s necessary to know the rules that affect the land.

  1. Docks are not allowed to project more than 5 feet in any waterway beyond the property line or the established bulkhead line.
  2. Dock setbacks are required to be a minimum of 10 feet from the property plotline.
  3. Mooring pilings are to be situated no closer than 10 feet to any plotline of any contiguous property.
  4. Vessels docked at, or moored to private docks or by mooring pilings shall not extend into a waterway more than 33% of the width of the waterway measured from the recorded property line.
  5. No vessel shall be docked, moored or anchored adjacent to a residential property in such a manner that it extends across the contiguous property line.

Should you build your own dock?

Whether you want to replace a wrecked dock or build one from scratch, you may want to do it yourself. There are many resources that could help you complete your building plans. As well s folks who could help you design and build your own and even construct it on site.

The first thing to consider is whether your handyman status and skills are good enough. If the answer is not, you must hire a professional dock builder. It may be more expensive but it’s the best way to guarantee that your dock is completely safe. Consult with various companies before making your decision.

What are the different dock types?

After finally deciding you want to build a dock you may find yourself with yet another difficult question. Which type of dock will you get? There are basic dock types and more complicated ones. Knowing the difference between them can help you choose the right one for your property.

  1. Floating Dock. It’s anchored to the shoreline and the bottom. Supported by pontoons and flotation units. It may be the most versatile type since it’s easy to buy, install and configure. It will rise and fall with the water level. Its drawback is its lack of stability.
  2. Post Docks. They use stanchions or leg-support assemblies, placed about every 10 feet along the dock to support it. The ‘feet’ of these supports sit on the bottom. Making the dock semi-permanent. They’re more stable than floating docks.
  3. Crib Docks. Designed and installed by professionals, they’re most permanent and expensive. The cribs look like a crate and hold the dock to the bottom. They provide a permanent anchor for the dock’s upper structure. For complex docks with multiple piers, levels and overhead structures, this type of dock offers the best strength and integrity.

Benefits of having your own private dock

Homeowners in the Fort Lauderdale waterfront have significant advantages if they have a private dock in their property. Some of these benefits include:

  1. Convenient access to the water. Having a dock will make it easier for you to go into the water.
  2. No storage or slip fees. If you go to a pier to anchor or dock your boat, you will have to pay fees for it, however, having your own dock at home will save you some money.
  3. Added security for your watercraft. Since your watercraft will be on your property, you can rest easy knowing it will be safer there than on a pier.
  4. Guaranteed slip availability. You won’t have to worry about not having slip on a pier after sailing, since your dock will be used by you, and only you.
  5. Personalized construction and accessories. You can personalize your dock according to your style and likes, as well as adding accessories if needed.
  6. Increased property value. Many buyers in the Fort Lauderdale area looking for a property with its own dock. Having one of your own can increase your home value in case you ever decide to sell your house. It’s an investment that’s completely worth it.
  7. Additional usage for other leisure activities, like swimming, fishing, kayaking, socializing with friends and relaxing.

Docks materials and maintenance

Depending on the material the dock is made of, you may need different maintenance strategies. However, the most traditional material is wood. Even if it’s considered the best material for a dock, it has several drawbacks. It can be damaged by termites and beetles, rot and warp. Painting and sealing pine or wooden docks are only a temporary fix. Continued exposure to saltwater and rain causes wood to degrade. 

A well-maintained wooden dock may last between 10 to 20 years. Unfortunately, even with regular maintenance, wood is prone to rot and decay. Thus, a wooden dock is not going to last forever and it will eventually need a replacement. However, docks can also be made of aluminum. It may have a higher initial cost but, unlike wood, it’s scratch and weather resistant. It is also four times lighter yet three times stronger than wood.

Aluminum does not rust, but it does corrode. You don’t have to worry about rust eating away the metal, but with corrosion, the structural integrity of the dock may be compromised. To clean grime, algae and other hazardous substances off your dock, you need to mix water and baking soda into a paste. Use steel wool or a wire brush to clean contaminated spots thoroughly. Then pressure washes the entire dock.

Another option is plastic docks, they’re easy to install and cater to any budget. It has the durability and longevity of aluminum without the elevated price tag. Resin decking and plastic docks are made of materials designed to give you more time on the water. Plastic decks are easier to maintain, a simple sweep can help the surface regain its beauty. You can clean it with soap and water and remove stains with deck cleaners.

Whichever dock material you choose for your home one thing is for sure. Having a dock will give you a stylized property with many benefits. In an area like Fort Lauderdale, style and functionality are important to increase property value in case you ever want to sell your house.


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