Perhaps one of the best aspects of owning lakefront property on Lake Simcoe is the ability to build a dock for your boat, sunning and relaxing with family and friends or taking in a beautiful sunset or sunrise depending on your waterfront location.

However, there are a few points to consider before you build a dock.

First you’ll want to consider whether you are going to build a permanent dock or a portable dock that can be moved. There are benefits and negatives to both.

A permanent dock is strong, reliable and always in the same place. It’s sturdy and for that reason it is preferable to many. However, it is the more expensive option. Permanent docks require extensive work to build the cribs, which are now typically constructed of natural stone boulders and/or armor stone. The decking material can be made of wood, composite materials and even metal.

The main issue with a permanent dock is damage caused from shifting ice during the spring thaw. There are particular locations where a permanent dock is not even a consideration based on the prevailing wind direction and the location of your shoreline.

A portable dock, is the least expensive option. You would become just one more lakeside dweller that will participate in the Thanksgiving ritual of removing your dock for the season.

Another point to consider is whether or not you need a permit to build your dock.

The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority requires a homeowner to get a permit if you plan on doing a variety of work in the regulated area, including the construction, reconstruction, erection or placing of a structure of any kind, which means a permanent dock would require a permit from the Conservation Authority.

There are two types of permits required for different docks. A regular permit, which costs $500 for the application, is required for docks with permanent fingers and/or significant boulder ice protection. A minor permit, which costs significantly less at $150, is required for a permanent straight dock without permanent fingers.

Once you’ve decided on the best dock for your needs and property, you will want to consider a contractor to do the job for you.

There are a number of reputable contractors to choose from in and around the Lake Simcoe area including: Stern Marine Construction in Innisfil – call 416-717-2688 for a quote; DockinaBox, also in Innisfil – call 705-431-5881 for a quote; White Water Docks has two locations, one in Hawkestone, which can be reached at 705-487-7700 and another in Orillia, which can be reached at 705-725-5641. In the Georgina area Mike Nealon, Nealon Marine Construction is a very reputable company that has completed much of the shoreline work in the Roches Point and Jackson’s Point area. Mike can be reached at 905-722-8430.

All of these companies have been in business for many years and offer an array of services sure to suit any of your dock building needs.

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