How Much Does a Dock Cost?

Typical Range:

$3,737 - $30,491

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 98 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated June 9, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Building a boat dock costs an average of $17,114, with a typical range of $3,737 and $30,491. The average pier runs $100 per linear foot or between $15 and $40 per square foot. Prefabricated or assembled types run as low as $1,000, while high-quality permanent ones run between $50,000 and $75,000.

Pricing varies depending on the type, quality, and difficulty of installation. Choosing a preassembled aluminum floating dock or a permanent wood and concrete version affects your project price. Choice and budget depend on water depth, climate, location, and fresh or saltwater application. A professional can help you choose the right one. Ultimately, this determines the total project price.

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National Average $17,114
Typical Range $3,737 - $30,491
Low End - High End $1,000 - $70,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 98 HomeAdvisor members.

Boat Dock Prices by Type

The price you pay for your dock will vary by type.

Type of DockCost
Floating$15 – $35 per square foot
Piling$20 – $40 per square foot
Pipe$1,000 – $10,000 total
Cribe$10,000 – $50,000 total
SuspendedVaries

Prices vary between floating and permanent types.

  • Floating: are easy to move and remove from the water as needed

  • Permanent: crib, suspended, and piling.

  • Pipe: can come in either type

Floating Dock Prices

A wooden dock

A floating dock costs $15 to $35 per square foot, depending on the type of decking. The price includes both the dock and labor. Prefabricated aluminum (the most affordable type) costs $1,500. It’s constructed by placing decking over airtight barrels, drums, or marine floats.

  • Least expensive.

  • Small ones are easy to remove from the water.

  • Easy to maintain.

  • Less stable, especially in high-traffic water.

  • Flotation may be damaged during low tides.

  • Best for lakes or sheltered coves.

Pilings Dock Costs

A wide wooden dock

Piling dock building and installation run $20 to $40 per square foot. Machinery drives or jet pilings, generally 10” to 12” in diameter, into the lakebed. A few benefits include:

  • More expensive than floating due to complex build and installation labor.

  • Not compatible with some types of terrain.

  • Permanent and durable if maintained properly.

  • Customize it into boathouses, gazebos, and party decks.

Pipe Docks

A prefabricated aluminum pipe dock will cost between $1,000 and $10,000 total. A basic straight roll-out runs $1,500 to $3,500. You’ll pay an additional $500 to $5,000 for setup and installation.

  • Easy to assemble.

  • Not permanently affixed for easy removal.

  • Comes with wheels or stationary posts.

  • Requires an even lakebed or seafloor for installation.

  • Not suitable for mooring larger boats.

  • Good for lakes with calm waters.

Crib Docks

Crib docks cost $10,000 to $50,000 or more. Constructed by filling one or more square wooden “cribs” with large rocks and then capping with a deck. They are essentially small, synthetic islands that you can connect to each other and the shore with decking. 

  • Requires a permit due to environmental concerns. Check with your pro or the local zoning or building permit office for specifics.

  • Higher installation cost.

  • Good for choppy or cold northern waters.

  • Not suitable for extremely deep water.

  • Can last 50+ years.

Suspension or Cantilevered Articulating Docks

Engineering challenges make these unique, uncommon, and expensive. Because of this, you’ll need to contact a local engineer near you to get a project quote. A suspension dock overhangs the water like a suspension bridge with only one side.

  • Low environmental impact. Good for areas with a fragile underwater ecosystem.

  • High aesthetic value.

  • More costly to install than other dock types.

  • Requires more time to plan and construct.

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Dock Cost Factors

The average dock runs between $15 to $35 per square foot. However, with high-end materials like exotic hardwoods or concrete, you can easily double that price.

Average cost to build a dock is $15 to $40 per square foot

Size

The average dock runs between $15 to $35 per square foot. However, with high-end materials like exotic hardwoods or concrete, you can easily double that price.

Square FootageAverage Cost Range (Including Labor)
120 sq. ft.$1,800 – $4,200
150 sq. ft.$2,250 – $5,300
180 sq. ft.$2,700 – $6,300
210 sq. ft.$3,150 – $7,400
240 sq. ft.$3,600 – $8,400
300 sq. ft.$4,500 – $10,500
360 sq. ft.$5,400 – $12,600
420 sq. ft.$6,300 – $14,700
480 sq. ft.$7,200 – $16,800
540 sq. ft$8,100 – $18,900

Labor

Construction often includes labor in the project quote. According to some homeowner reports, labor accounts for roughly half of the total price. So the average project of $10,000 includes $5,000 in labor or $50 per linear foot.

Boat Dock Cost Estimator

Your boat dock costs will vary based on type.

Dock TypeCost
Piling$10 – $15 per foot
Drums or Floats$75 – $400 each
Ladder$100 – $600 each
Bumper$50 – $100 each
Ramp$500 – $1,000+
Mooring Whips$300 – $500 each
Decking$4 – $40 per square foot
Boat Lift$1,000 – $15,000 each
Boathouse$10,000 – $50,000+

Dock Materials Cost

Materials costs vary based on the size of your project.

MaterialCost per Square Foot
Cedar$4 – $8
Redwood$5 – $14
Pressure-Treated Pine$5 – $12
Exotic Hardwoods (like Ipe, Camaru, and Tigerwood)$15 – $25
PVC/Plastic$4 – $10
Composite$30 – $40
Aluminum$8 – $15
Concrete$150 – $300 per linear foot*

*Includes labor.

Piling

Piling costs $10 to $15 per square foot. A dock piling is the upright posts driven into the lake or seabed. The frame either attaches to these for fixed decks or wraps around them for floating types to allow travel up and down the piling during water level changes.

Drums or Floats

Drums or floats can cost from $75 to $400 each, depending on the size and material you choose. Airtight drums or floats keep a floating dock afloat and usually have decking placed overtop.

Ladder

A dock ladder costs $200 to $800. If you plan to use your dock to get in and out of the water for swimming or other water activities, a ladder is a must-have dock improvement for added safety.

Bumper

Dock bumpers cost $80 to $175 each, depending on their size. Bumpers are installed along the sides of a dock to protect it and the boat during the docking process by gently bouncing boats back without causing any damage.

Ramp

Installing a dock ramp costs $1,200 to $4,500. Ramps are designed for launching boats by backing them into the water using another vehicle. They’re beneficial if you plan on regularly moving watercraft in and out of the water.

Mooring Whips

Mooring whips cost $250 to $600, depending on the size needed for your boat. These whips look like fishing poles affixed at certain angles and tensioned to hook boats when they come in. They’re designed to protect the finish on boats in areas with rough wake by holding them a safe distance away from the dock.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Boat Lift?

A boatlift will add between $1,000 and $15,000 to the project. Adding a boat lift canopy adds $500 to $2,000. Various styles, materials, and build qualities can suit different purposes and fit all types.

  • Freestanding: $1,000–$15,000. Vertical, pontoon, and cantilever.

  • Pile Mount: $1,500–$8,000. Single or 4-pile.

  • Personal Watercraft (PWC) Dock: $1,000–$2,000. Floating or fixed drive-on.

Cost to Build a Boathouse or Covered Dock

Boathouses run $10,000 to $50,000+. The price depends on the size, materials, and included options, like a lift.

Average Cost to Build a Pier

A wood pier runs $100 per linear foot and up, while a full steel version can top $500 per linear foot.

Although people use the terms interchangeably, some slight perceived differences persist. A pier sometimes refers to an elevated, fixed dock, often for commercial use and with railings. A dock refers to water-level structures in a marina or residential area.

Considerations When Choosing a Dock

Building a dock is a large-scale project for many homeowners. It involves considerable planning and decision-making before starting construction. You must choose the type, materials, electrical capabilities, and budget that work for you.

To determine the best type and materials, boat owners should consider:

  • Regional specific construction regulations.

  • Climate and location. Is your boat on a frozen lake or hurricane-prone coastline?

  • Water depth and bed composition. Helps determine the length of piles.

  • Saltwater or freshwater. Each requires different materials and treatments.

Seasonal Dock Removal and Install

Seasonal removal or installation runs $150 to $500 or more, depending on the length or number of sections. This only applies to floating or sectional types with easy removal.

Running Electrical to the Dock for Mooring or Lifting

Running electricity runs up to $1,000 depending on the distance. Dockside electricity provides mooring and lifting features and added lighting.

Cost of Building a Dock on a Lake vs. River

Since both are freshwater, the difference comes down to moving versus still water. Floating varieties don’t work on rivers.

  • Rivers require fixed, permanent docks at $80 to $150 per linear foot.

  • Lakes can use any type, permanent or floating, for as little as $1,500.

Renting a Slip in a Marina vs. Building a Private Dock

With no waterfront property, it might make more sense to use a marina for $3,500 to $10,000 per year. But for about the same price you can have a private dock installed that will last 15 years or more.

Seawall or Bulkhead Cost

Steel and concrete seawalls run $250 to $1,000 per linear foot for a basic installation. Engineering, permitting, plumbing, and electrical needs will increase that price. Residential wood bulkheads tend to fall on the lower end.

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Hiring a Professional Boat Dock Builder vs. DIY

Boat docks are a maintenance and safety hazard if done incorrectly or with the wrong materials. Building one is a big project that takes specialized knowledge, skills, and experience. Use a professional who specializes in boat dock installation.

To find a qualified professional:

FAQs

How much does it cost to dock a boat or yacht?

It costs anywhere from $0.50 to $2 per foot of boat per day or $150 to $1,000 per month to dock a boat or yacht. Mooring fees vary between marinas. A storage cradle for the offseason can run anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000.

How much does an EZ Dock cost?

EZ Docks vary in price from a few hundred to a few thousand, depending on the configuration you need. They are modular floating types made from plastic and sometimes aluminum.

How much does it cost to repair a dock?

Dock repair costs an average of $1,500, depending on your location, type, and materials.

Is wood cheaper than aluminum and composite? 

Expect to pay anywhere from 20% to 50% more on an aluminum frame with composite decking than you would on a wooden one. You can also blend aluminum framing with wood, aluminum planks or grates, or plastic for various budgets.

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