REPLACING WOOD: When swapping out your decking, consider composites. Though they are more expensive, they’ll last longer than treated wood, and can be kinder to the environment. Check local regulations regarding treated wood.  Other decking options include aluminum and vinyl.

SCREWS OR NAILS: Not a lot of people use nails anymore, unless they are using a harder wood like cedar for their dock. Galvanized or coated decking screws last much longer and are easy to install; most important, they keep dock components tightly fastened together.

STAIN & PRESERVATIVE: Environmental consciousness is key when applying a stain or preservative to your dock. Water-based products are the rule, and applying them in the off-season when water levels are lower will allow you to cover more of your dock while making it easier to keep the stain away from the water.