A Guide to Building a Dock in Indiana

A Guide to Building a Dock in Indiana

Building a dock for your property provides many opportunities to spend time in the water. It adds to the property value and makes it easier for people to get in and out of the water comfortably whenever they feel like it. Swimming, boating, fishing and relaxing — just think of all the activities you could enjoy with a conveniently placed dock.

In this guide, we’ll cover the regulations of building boat docks in Indiana, the pros and cons of building one and why using a floating dock could be your best option.

Benefits of Building a Boat Dock

Building a dock on your waterfront property comes with its fair share of benefits if you’re a regular on the water.

  • Long-term affordability: You can save money on annual dock rental rates in Indiana by docking your boat at home, free of charge.
  • Enhanced property value: A dock is more than a fun perk — it’s like having an extra garage for one of your vehicles or an outside entertainment area. Docks are seen as extensions to properties.
  • Convenience: Whenever you feel like boating, your boat is accessible immediately. You don’t have to worry about loading your boat onto a trailer first or driving to the marina.
  • Multiple uses: Building a dock is great for docking your boat, kayaks, paddle boards or any personal watercraft. You can also use it for entertainment or to view the water in all its natural beauty.

These advantages may leave you with many ideas of what you can do. Before you start researching how to build a boat ramp in Indiana waterbodies, be aware of some of the challenges around building your own dock.

  • Costly: Certain materials, like aluminum, can have high upfront costs. Using wood is more cost-effective, but it’s not as durable, which means it will cost you in annual maintenance.
  • Maintenance: Docks made out of wood need regular maintenance to ensure they’re safe to walk on and use. This responsibility can become cost- and time-intensive.

Property Value Docks

Indiana Dock Building Regulations

One of the most frequently asked questions from our clients is whether they need a permit to build a dock. The answer mostly depends on your state’s regulations, but in some cases, your dock may need to be in line with local or homeowner association ordinances. Considering the installation and maintenance of group boat docks, the Indiana Administrative Code also has its own legislation in place.

Here are some of the more common dock-building requirements to take into consideration.

  • Leave the ecosystem untouched: All parts of your dock must have a limited impact on the surrounding aquatic ecosystem — no vegetation removal or excavation is allowed.
  • Give enough public access: Make sure your dock doesn’t block or enclose any area of the public water space, especially if your property is near a lot of boat traffic.
  • Respect your neighbors: Knowing where your property boundaries are will ensure there’s enough space between adjoining docks and moored boats.
  • Display your dock ID: Property owners may need to display dock IDs that contain their address and dock permit number.
  • Know the material restrictions: Before you start constructing your dock, confirm if there are any material restrictions in your area.
  • Let it flow: Make sure your dock allows water to flow naturally underneath it.

According to Indiana state laws, you have the right as a property owner to use the water for general purposes reasonably, including building a dock out of the line of navigability. You do not need a permit for a dock that is easy to remove, as it’s a temporary structure.

Nevertheless, the best advice would be to contact professional distributors or dock builders who are knowledgeable about the regulations in your area, as they’ll be able to give you advice on the best layout and solution for your needs.

Should You Use a Floating Dock?

There are several environmental and geographical factors to consider as you decide whether to build a fixed or floating dock.

  • Water depth: A fixed dock is ideal for shallow water, while a floating dock is better suited for deep water.
  • Tide fluctuations: If the water levels change often — or drastically — you’ll be better equipped with a floating dock, as it will allow you to get to your boat and back no matter the tide.
  • Local weather: Indiana can experience strong winds and tornadoes. A floating dock can move with your boat when it sways back and forth in bad weather. In comparison, your boat will be more likely to crash into a fixed dock and get damaged.
  • Boat traffic: If you live next to a quiet lake, a fixed dock can work well. However, if you have a lot of boat traffic close to you causing waves, it’s better to install a floating dock that can move with the water.
  • Floor conditions: A clay or rocky bottom serves as a great foundation for a fixed dock. A floating dock is the better option if you’re dealing with sand, silt or mud along the shoreline.

Interested in how a floating dock can benefit your property and overall boating experience? Check out these other benefits:

  • No permits typically needed: Temporary structures are easier to get approved for construction since they don’t need piling or underlying structures like fixed docks.
  • Maintenance-free: Floating docks made out of polyethylene and recycled rubber are durable and last longer than traditional wood docks.
  • Environmentally friendly: Plastic docks are non-toxic and recyclable compared to those made out of materials that can harm the aquatic ecosystem.
  • Flexibility: It’s easy to customize and configure a floating dock, so you can ensure it fits your needs and property exactly.

Floating Docks for Sale in Indiana From EZ Dock

Building a dock is all about making the right investment for yourself and your property. They offer easy access to any water-based activity and give you a private, personalized space for getting out on the water. A dock is a necessity for any boat enthusiast or family that enjoys the water.

EZ Dock will help you make the most of your property, no matter what your needs are. Whether you’re interested in floating docks in Indianapolis or another location in Indiana, we can help you design and customize a dock that’s catered to your preferences. Contact your local EZ Dock Indiana dealer today. We look forward to working with you!

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