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The laidback living, the sunny skies, and the refreshing invitation of the lake are all highly sought after. The Okanagan lifestyle is one worth adopting, and coveting a home in Kelowna along the shores of Okanagan Lake is the surest way to live it. Once you’ve found your dream lakeside home, the next step is finding your way to the lake. That’s where a residential dock and custom boat lift comes into play.

Before you punch ‘Okanagan dock builder’ into a search engine and call up the first provider you see, you’ll need to do a little preparation first.

Here are five questions to ask your potential dock builder.

5 questions to ask your potential dock builder for Kelowna residential dock building

1. Do you take care of securing permits for building a residential dock in Kelowna?

Once you decide a dock and boat lift is in your future, you’ll need to get started on the permit process as soon as possible. Once the design is finalized, you’ll need to obtain a dock license and a Section 11 application.

This process can be lengthy and last anywhere from 45 – 140 days, depending on the requirements you’ll be faced with. However, if this sounds like something you’d rather not undertake yourself, seek out a dock builder that can make these arrangements on your behalf.

2. How often do I need to service my new dock and boat lift?

Just like the boats docks and lifts cater to, these structures require annual maintenance and servicing. By setting a schedule and making sure your maintenance appointments are in your calendar, you can reduce the likelihood of costly repairs and replacements.

3. Are there different dock types, and which one is best for Okanagan Lake?

The two most common types of docks are piling and floating.

Piling docks are built by driving heavy steel poles into the bed of the lake. The frame is then attached to these pilings. These types of docks are extremely sturdy underfoot and more permanent than their counterpart.

Floating docks are more versatile than piling docks, but are more susceptible to damage due to high-water events. They’re also much less stable than a piling dock, but they’re a great option for those seeking a more temporary solution.

If you are new to owning a waterfront home along the shores of Okanagan Lake, you may not know that in recent years flooding and high water levels have been a concern. Because of this, we recommend a piling dock for its strength and stability along with aluminum flow through panels to protect against quickly rising water levels.

One of our previous articles discusses Okanagan Lake water levels and how you can protect your structures during high-water events.

4. How long will my dock last?

The lifespan of your dock will vary greatly upon the materials you’ve selected for your build. A wooden dock will need to be rebuilt every decade or so as the wood slowly deteriorates over time while an aluminum dock will stand strong for a minimum of 30 years.

Building bigger boat docks for Kelowna residents

5. What if I buy a bigger boat? Will I need a new custom boat lift?

At Shoreline, we offer four types of boat lifts:

  • Personal watercraft lifts (PWC)
  • Single-mast electric boat lifts (SLP)
  • Quality super lifts (QSL)
  • Hydraulic boat lifts

The PWC lift is perfect for a Jet Ski that weighs up 1,680 lbs.; whereas, the other three lifts can handle boats weighing as much as 44,000 lbs.

If you’ve got a small boat now with plans of upgrading in the future, you’ll want to go ahead with a QSL boatlift. Applying for the necessary permits to swap out the smaller lift for a bigger one will take time, and that’s time you could be spending out on the lake in your bigger and better boat.

Before you build, make sure you’ve asked all the necessary questions and feel comfortable taking the next step. Feeling confident in your decision and developing a strong working relationship will make the entire building process even more exciting!