Docks > Frequently Asked Questions

Ask the Residential Dock Builders: Our Frequently Asked Questions

As Kelowna’s most trusted Okanagan commercial and residential dock builders, we get asked many questions throughout the year. From what kind of dock is best for my property to which lift is best suited to my boat, we’ve heard them all.

To keep our clients informed and to help make finding the answers to your most pressing questions as easy as possible, we’ve dedicated this page to answering all of those questions.

If we missed answering something you’ve been wondering about, please reach out. We’d be happy to connect!

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Quality Super Lifts on Shoreline Pile Driving residential dock

Are docks private property in BC?

Yes, the dock structure and lift(s) are private property; however, the water around it and the foreshore is not. You do need to provide foreshore walkway access to the public, allowing them to cross over or walk around your residential dock.

What are the different types of docks?

There are two types of docks permitted around Okanagan Lake:

  • Floating structures
  • Pile-drive structures

The structure can be built in a variety of layouts, dependant on local regulations, and consist of three different materials:

  • Douglas fir
  • Aluminum
  • Concrete

How much does it cost to build a dock?

The cost of building a dock begins around $30,000. This would be enough to build a basic wooden pile-driven residential dock. On the other end, a dock build could cost up to $200,000. This would include high-end decking materials, accessories and more than one boat lift.

How long does it take to build a dock?

Once the permits are in place, the length of time it takes to build a dock will mostly depend on the weather. When weather conditions are just right, the piles can usually be driven in just a few days, and a simple dock can be built in a few short weeks.

Where can I build a dock?

You are only allowed to build a dock on the foreshore property that you own and with projected property lines parallel to the foreshore 5m in from either property line. There may be special considerations made for narrow properties if permission is granted from the province of British Columbia.

When can you build my dock, and why can’t you give me an exact date?

Depending on which colour zone you live in, building can only occur during a certain window of time, typically between June 1 and September 30. The weather can also play an important part in dictating a build schedule.

To help keep costs down, we always try to schedule builds that are nearby at the same time to reduce moving our fleet and improve efficiency. These factors, however, make scheduling a little tricky. We always try to give our clients an accurate timeline, but specific date requests can be hard to accommodate.

How many boats can I have?

We can install as many boat lifts as you have room for, as long as they reach minimum depth requirements, don’t hang over property setback lines, and don’t interfere with the path of travel for yours and your neighbour’s boats.

Do I need a permit?

Yes, all dock work requires a permit, including and not limited to:

  • Pile replacement
  • Decking upgrades
  • Boat lift replacement and additions

How long does it take to get a permit?

A typical Section 11 permit for a residential dock takes a minimum of 45 days. In recent years we’ve seen permits take more than 60 days. It’s best to plan ahead as far as you can to avoid delays.

Do you build docks outside of Okanagan Lake?

On rare occasions we’ve serviced Kalamalka Lake and Skaha Lake. We’ve also prebuilt floating structures that are shipped and put into place with a crane.

Can I have a roof over my boat?

No. The provincial government has ruled that overhead structures are no longer permitted on Okanagan Lake. They’re also currently working to have overhead structures that already exist removed.

Can I park my boat on a buoy?

A mooring buoy may only be installed for the upland lot owner. At Shoreline, we don’t recommend long-term moorage with a buoy, but it can be a great option for guests.

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Looking for a Professional and Experienced Okanagan Dock Builder?

At Shoreline Pile Driving, we’ve been serving Okanagan residents for nearly 40 years. From building and servicing high-quality residential docks to installing large-scale marinas, we can do it all.

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