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Old 10-20-2016, 09:37 PM   #1
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Question Any guesses what it ought to cost to rebuild a 200 foot pier ? (hurricane destroyed)

The pilings are ok and most of the crossbeams between the pilings are still there.... but the walkway, the long boards that support the walkway undernearth and the handrail framework all floated away.

Walkway boards are 4 feet wide but then 7 feet long every 5 feet to support the framework for the handrails. This is tidal deep water with 8 foot range but the actual floating dock and ramp to same are still there and usuable...just no way to get to them now except via dinghy at high tide.

Plus there is that pesky water and power issue but for now, how much just for recontructing the walkway and handrails ? Got one quote of $40,000 which sounds about double what I was expecting considering no piling driving needed.
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Old 10-20-2016, 11:08 PM   #2
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Years ago we put a new piling dock in at out house. This was maybe 10 or 12 years ago.

The dock is 30' long 6' wide with a l shaped 20' section. Figure 50 lineal feet.

Back then the dock was $9,000 but that included pounding in the pilings with their barge mounted piling pounding machine.

Based on that, and the fact that it was a long time ago, I'm not suprised at your $40,000 quote for 200' withut pilings.
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Old 10-21-2016, 08:53 AM   #3
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Whatever the market will bear. I think those guys are going to make some serious cash.
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Old 10-21-2016, 08:55 AM   #4
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Impossible to even guess the cost without seeing it and not knowing the price points in your area. Here in Florida, we have many dock building companies. I suggest you get a couple of quotes. Remember, cheapest is not always best.
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Old 10-21-2016, 10:17 AM   #5
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Several years ago Irene destroyed our community dock to a similar degree as yours- all piles still in place and all cross beams; the deck and stringers were gone (some ended up beating my back porch to death). It consisted of 350' of pier (sitting in 0-5' of water) and 150' of fingers.

It was all rebuilt by pulling all of the pilings, re-driving them and installing new cross beams and concrete "hog slats". It was necessary to pull and re-drive the piles because they have to be spaced a precise 10' apart to match the slats.

It may sound like a lot of work to pull and re-install the piles, but it wasn't that big of a deal. Pulling takes about 5 minutes to wrap a chain around the pile and hook it to the backhoe type machine and lift it up. Driving them takes a bit more time to line up the pile correctly, but once you start the vibrating driver, they go down about 10' in 10 minutes.

The total cost for the dock work, excluding water and power was about $60,000. This was in eastern N.C. Bobby Prescott did the work and we were extremely pleased with the result. Admittedly eastern NC is a cheaper place to do this kind of work than SC.

I would recommend this approach. Concrete slats, because of their weight will not wash away. One thing that contributed to our damage was the use of home style, light gauge galvanized cross brackets that corroded to pieces. If you do just put a new decking on, make sure that the cross beams and stringers are through bolted in place. Don't use galvanized brackets. You should only use nails for the 4' deck boards, no where else.

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Old 10-21-2016, 11:34 AM   #6
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I would strongly look at other options as well. For a pier or dock today, I would choose concrete or composites over wood. I would choose metal frame. I would want to piles pulled and re-driven as you don't know what weakening of their hold might have been done. I'd look at where the water peaked and the top of them and if it went over them, use taller. And, if possible, I'd go to floating for as much of the pier as possible.

I look at damage done to docks by previous storms in other areas and part of the people chose to rebuild exactly what they had before while the other part chose to make changes. The next storm hit and the ones who upgraded their systems were very happy they did while some of the others were wishing they did.
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Old 10-21-2016, 12:25 PM   #7
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40k sounds way high if you just need to re-deck existing structure. Lumber prices are not particularly high. Can start decking at land's end, and work outward, walking on the deck just laid. So probably don't even need a barge or workboat??

One thing we found out around here in NC is that tall piers are subject to damage from waves slapping the bottom during the surge. Some old piers set low, like 2' above high tide did just fine. They were completely under water during the surge and the waves just went harmlessly over.

So consider building it low, even though it may look redneck.
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Old 10-21-2016, 01:21 PM   #8
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My dock, which is about 7 years old, cost $75 per linear foot for the "walkway" portion of the dock, which is 6 feet wide. The deck boards were 2x6, southern yellow pine (treated) with galvanized nails and bolts. I believe 6 ft. was the max allowed by CAMA at that time.

My advice would be to use stainless nails to secure the deck boards. I don't have much faith in galvanized "gun" nails, as mine started failing in about 6 years.

Your stringers and pilings may still be in place, but the stringers may have been pulled out-of-level due to uplift from the storm. If so, the dock builder would need to remove the stringers and/or re-drive the pilings to level the structure.

Just an FYI, none of the docks in my area have handrails.
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Old 10-27-2016, 03:38 PM   #9
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Was it insured? Our homeowners' policy includes outbuildings and other "permanent" structures. Looks like they are covered to 5% of main residence with same deductible. So, perhaps, even if not specifically included, the dock may be covered as an included structure. BTW, we have no choice but to pay for this coverage even though we have no such structures!! Hope it might work for you.
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Old 10-28-2016, 12:57 PM   #10
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stainless,or galvanized do not play nice with pressure treated wood.There are screws that are ACR rated for this purpose.
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Old 10-28-2016, 01:51 PM   #11
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Find someone to nail on some deck boards that you buy yourself. 8 foot long cut them in half is 4 foot long. If nailed maybe predrill the holes. Some deck screws cut their own holes as they go in.
If it was me, I would do it myself. The railings will be more difficult. Why not do this yourself?
Is is a status thing to be able to pay $40,000 dollars? If so then just pay up and get it done.
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Old 10-28-2016, 02:07 PM   #12
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For forty thousand dollars,you could easily find a local welder to make up some aluminum handrails,the could be bolted on for a fraction of those numbers.
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Old 10-28-2016, 04:23 PM   #13
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Send a private message to a member named swampu, Paul doesn't post often but owns a dock construction company and will give you straight answers. Think you are outside of his service area so no conflict there at all.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:35 AM   #14
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I examined the pier more carefully, noted the lumber sizes, lengths needed and determined the pier is actually closer to 250 feet long, not the 200 feet I had in my brain for some reason. Using prices from Lowes, the figure for just new walkway, supports for same and new cross beams where needed (at the pairs of poles that lost them) came to about $2,700. This doesn't include screws and perhaps $60 in bolts.

Since my first post on this I asked my guy a price for just the walkway and we do handrails later and he comes up with $28,000 of which $12,000 is materials !

So then I ask how he comes up with $12,000 when I come up with $2,700 and he replies he was assuming "marine grade" lumber and all stainless screws and bolts.

So the question is, are "marine grade" treated 2 x 8's and 2 x 10's really *that* much more expensive than the no. 2 grade treated lumber from Lowes ?

(and FWIW, Lowes does also have "severe weather" treated lumber for just a little more but it's so dark in color......I've never seen a new dock looking that dark.... I wonder if that is what dock builders use or do they typically use yet some other pressure treated concoction ?)

Lastly, I wonder if the type of treated lumber that was used 25 years ago on this dock might still have printed on the protected underside 2 x 10's exactly what it is ? We bought this place 22 years ago and the pier/dock always just looked like regular "big box store" treated lumber to me....but maybe it wasn't.

We are on salt water creek (big creek....river size)...not brackish.

Thoughts ?
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Old 10-29-2016, 09:09 AM   #15
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There are at least two grades of pressure treated lumber: above grade and below grade (or water). The above grade stuff is the typical Home Depot stuff. The below grade is used for deck posts that are driven into the ground or ground/water.


I think you will be fine using the Home Depot stuff for replacement decking, cross members or stringers.


FWIW I would take your contractor's statement that he uses "all stainless steel screws and bolts" with a huge grain of salt.


Galvanized steel is the standard for dock builders. When our 25 year old dock was destroyed in Irene, I personally pulled apart 30-40' of decking that washed up on my back porch. The nails held well and only had a little corrosion at the board/stringer interface. No corrosion inside the treated lumber. The bolts had no corrosion, and I reused them for another waterside project. These were 25 years old.


It sounds like he is a home deck builder where SS screws are used, more for aesthetics IMO. Even so, his estimates sound high.


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Old 10-29-2016, 10:01 AM   #16
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It sounds like he is a home deck builder where SS screws are used, more for aesthetics IMO. Even so, his estimates sound high.
Speaking of which I wonder if typical home deck lumber would be ok for the pier decking ? It's not as thick, but seems like it would be thick enough... and sure looks nicer with the rounded edges and lack of knots and other rot prone areas that no.2 pine often has. The uncovered out in the open deck at our house has never been treated in 22 years and looks fine after a power wash...but then it's not sitting directly over salt water either.

Of course composite "wood" would be even better but is too expensive and not as strong in weight support.
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:43 AM   #17
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I rebuilt my home deck last year with Port Orford Cedar. It is very rot resistant and should last a long time. I am redoing some outside steps with Alaskan yellow cedar now, it will last as long as the port orford. Both will outlast treated pine.

I am not using clear wood, but the cost is $15 for a 10' 5/4x6 plank of port orford cedar. The alaskan yellow cedar is a bit more expensive at $17.50 for a 10' 5/4x6. I don't think you can get away using 5/4x6 stock because of your span, but 2x6, 2x8 or 2x10 will be fine.

"Marine grade" lumber sounds like a ripoff to me.
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:18 AM   #18
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"Marine grade" lumber sounds like a ripoff to me.
Sounds suspect to me as well....but in going Google searches one finds people on other forums talking about their Home Depot pressure treated dock lumber starting to deteriorate in 3 years where their marine grade lumber is lasting 20+ years. So I don't know what to think.

We had some rotted boards replaced and other work done (new galvanized pole slides on the float) by an official dock builder a few years ago so I might call him to see what he uses. Even though he is almost certainly overwhelmed with work to do my work maybe he will least tell me what they use since we have a "history" with him.

There is a dock parts supply place here and I asked them if there were any more obscure dock builders that might not be overwhelmed with work and they say none they know of. A customer at the counter said he heard 2/3 of the docks in Beaufort county were damaged during the hurricane....but from what I have seen most are not severely damaged so that figure may be a little misleading.

We saw docks across from Johns Island (south of Charleston) on Wednesday that looked so long you might cross time zones to get to the end that looked fine....but they were newer than ours and probably built better.

The only thing holding our walk deck, support for same, and handrails to the pilings were a couple of nails in each piling...otherwise it was just resting on the cross beams between piling pairs...no brackets, nothing. Wish I knew who to dopeslap for that but we bought the property when the dock was already in
place.

Alway just assumed it was "built right" and never really occurred to me a 12 foot tidal surge and 60 knot winds might be possible here someday as the last serious hurricane here was over 100 years ago. Of course even this one was not "serious" in the sense that most homes are fine...but some major damage at some marina's like Dataw (major, as in the entire marina gone except for the concrete pilings (100+, 40 foot boat capable slips I would guess..as they have a travelift on site, most boats there were hauled out and ok however)....but minor at others like Ladys Island.

------------------------

Completely off the subject but as a funny aside our boat is cleaner than it has been since we bought it about 18 months ago....apparently the rain was so hard it "pressure washed" the outside quite well. With that severe a rain and wind, plus no canvas on the flybridge, I was astounded it didn't leak a drop inside.
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:59 AM   #19
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Speaking of which I wonder if typical home deck lumber would be ok for the pier decking ? It's not as thick, but seems like it would be thick enough... and sure looks nicer with the rounded edges and lack of knots and other rot prone areas that no.2 pine often has. The uncovered out in the open deck at our house has never been treated in 22 years and looks fine after a power wash...but then it's not sitting directly over salt water either.

Of course composite "wood" would be even better but is too expensive and not as strong in weight support.

Home decking like you are talking about is designed to be supported on 16" centers. Your deck is 4' wide and the stringers are probably 3' apart. Use treated 2x6" lumber, not home decking.

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Old 10-29-2016, 01:06 PM   #20
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Home decking like you are talking about is designed to be supported on 16" centers. Your deck is 4' wide and the stringers are probably 3' apart. Use treated 2x6" lumber, not home decking.

David
Actually my 4 foot wide walkway has three 2 x 10 stringers...a middle one....so that is 18" centers....did my otherwise slack dock builder go beyond the call of duty in that one respect ?

Actually, that would make repairs way simpler and cheaper if I could use only two stringers and 2 x 8's four feet long....seems like the even 2x walkway boards might sag or warp more with just two stringers however.... Thoughts ?

---------------

New question- Can galvanized nails be put in via conventional pneumatic framing size nail gun ....or must be manually hammered in ?
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