Decks are home extensions that can be elaborate and fancy or plain and simple. Homeowners build these extensions to increase the value of their homes. However, how much do decks weigh? We inquired from experts, and they gave us exact calculations.
Calculating the weight of a deck will depend on the type of timber or lumber and fasteners used in construction. A 10' by 10' deck made of southern yellow pine will weigh 950 pounds. Therefore, the estimated weight is 9.5 pounds per square foot.
You will need some basic math to do any calculations concerning your deck. Continue reading as we walk you through the dos and don'ts on deck weight.
Calculating The Weight Of A Deck
Decks can be free-standing or attached to your home. Free-standing decks are easy DIY projects, and the end product could be movable.
To calculate its weight, you'll need to consider some factors. The type of lumber or timber and fasteners used will add to the overall weight of the deck.
Different types of lumber weigh differently due to water density. For instance, southern yellow pine is heavier than white fir in water density.
Calculating The Weight Load Of A Deck
All decks should be primarily engineered to carry their weight and any additional weight. The load is calculated in pounds per square foot (PSF).
However, some calculations are in pounds per cubic foot. The weight per square foot will vary due to different soils and their bearing capacity.
The weight or load is in two sections:
The deadweight is the deck's weight. It's stationary! Therefore, it's referred to as dead weight. It could be 10 pounds per square foot.
Additionally, you have the live weight. The live weight consists of people, deck furniture, and other furnishings. It can total around 40 pounds per square foot.
Both live and deadweight give you a total weight of 50 pounds per square foot of the deck. Depending on the type of material used for construction, some decks can carry up to 100 pounds per square foot.
Ensure that you build your deck following deck building codes and requirements for residential buildings.
Deck Weight Redistribution
Your deck is an extension added to the house. Its weight is redistributed to the house and the footings. The footings in turn push the weight into the ground. The wider the deck footings are, the more resistance they will have.
Additionally, the type of soil in your locality will also contribute to a stable or wobbly deck. If you need footing for your deck, ensure you calculate the footings accurately.
Miscalculation of the deck weight redistribution could rip the house as it sinks into the ground like in quicksand.
How Much Weight Does A 10 by 10 Deck Carry?
When constructing a deck that is 55 pounds per square foot, you should multiply this with the area of the deck. A 10x10 will give you 100 square feet of deck area. Then multiply 100 by 55 equals 5,500 pounds. Therefore, the total weight the deck can carry is 5,500 pounds.
How To Determine The Footings
Typically, you get the area a footing holds by multiplying half the width by half the length of the deck. Next, take the footing area and multiply by the pounds per square foot.
For example, 25 square feet multiply by 55 pounds per square foot equals 1,375 pounds. To calculate the area of each footing needed, you'll divide 1,375 pounds by 13.88 pounds per inch of soil compression. The footing area should be 99.06 inches
Footings are usually round, and the right diameter is important. You might want to invite a professional to help build the deck if you want a complicated design.
Types Of Decks
Add a deck to liven up and completely utilize the backyard. Although, not all decks are restricted to the back of your home. Each deck design is unique with different benefits.
Here ate a few designs to choose from.
These simple and practical decks are popular in warmer climates. Sometimes they can be movable depending on their sizes.
Traditionally, they are rectangular or square. However, feel free to design other shapes and incorporate vegetation in your backyard.
Multi-tier decks are elaborate and can incorporate different materials. They are ideal for large properties and fantastic for family occasions.
You can have different zones on multi-tier decks for family activities. They need a lot of expertise in construction and can be expensive in the process.
If you need more living space and have no desire to construct a separate structure, you can erect an attached deck. It is simply a roofless continuation of your house.
Alternatively, you could add a roof for more comfort and keep the elements at bay.
Over The Garage Or Roof Top Decks
Homeowners with properties that have limited ground space can go for this design. You could either have the deck over your garage or on the rooftop.
Flat roofs are easy to convert into decks and add living space. The view and perspective will be breathtaking if you have a beautiful landscape in the vicinity.
Old is gold! Wraparound decks are old-fashioned and can turn all the space around the house into an extension of the house.
They are sometimes multi-tier, integrating the ground and first floors of the home.
Whether you want a new deck or to upgrade an old one, you'll need to shop for deck materials. Technology has brought lots of new and upgraded deck materials. Even the old faithful options have been spiced up for longevity.
Let's take a look at which deck materials are available in the market.
- Cedar Decking-This is the ideal decking for DIYs.
- Redwood Decking- A rather expensive decking option.
- Composite Decking- An interesting combination of polyethylene and wood fiber.
- Vinyl Decking-The latest edition that is made solely of PVC (polyvinyl chloride).
- Pressure-treated wood-This is fir infused with anti-rot agents.
- Ipe-A beautiful and exotic South American hardwood
Cost Of Building A Deck
The cost of building a deck will automatically include the material you've picked, labor, size, and the time spent to build it.
Typically, building a deck will cost you $4,092 to $11,383. Decking materials cost $2.35 to $12 per square foot. Therefore, more elaborate designs with expensive decking material will cost more.
Decks are sometimes dear investments. Scheduled regular upkeep will prolong the beauty and functionality of your deck.
Follow these easy steps for a prim and proper outdoor living space.
- Clean the deck thoroughly once a year. Sweep it regularly and clear any water puddles. Wash and clean any debris in the gaps to avoid wood rot, mold, and mildew.
- Stain the deck every two to three years. If you have a lot of foot traffic on your deck, use high-quality stains to last longer.
- Constant replacements of rotten or damaged deck planks to avoid worsening the condition.
- Don't use bleaching agents on your decks. Use mild natural cleaning agents.
- You will need to sand your deck before sealing it. But, do not use paint as a sealant.
- Cover any plants or shrubs on the deck when cleaning it.
On the other hand, don't be overzealous with the upkeep to avoid decreasing material durability, especially wood.
Here is a video with the steps demonstrated.
Additional Deck Furnishings
Having calculated the weight load of your deck properly, you can go ahead and utilize it to the fullest. The most popular furnishings for decks are:
Since the deck is extra living space, you'll require furniture. You can purchase outdoor furniture from your local home improvement store or online. Add umbrellas on open decks to shield you from the elements.
Plants And Shrubs
Decorate the deck with all-weather outdoor plants and shrubs to create a personal touch and feel to the space. Decks can seem unoccupied if not integrated properly as a living space.
Lights radiant a warm ambiance to the deck and tie it to the rest of the house. A well-lit deck will be inviting for dinner or a cup of tea in the evening. Outdoor string lights are the perfect lighting solution.
If you love camping and moonlight tales, you could put a fire pit on your deck. It will recapture any adventure moment in the safety of your home. Plus, it's additional heat on chilly evenings and nights.
Swimming Pool/Hot Tub
While entertaining can be fun, you could up it a notch with a more sophisticated deck. Lager and strong decks can have a swimming pool or hot tub added into the mix.
Decks are relatively heavy extensions to your home. Their weight will fluctuate according to building material. However, use the stipulated weight to avoid underestimating the weight during construction.
Ensure that your deck can carry the weight load of the furnishings you want. Don't miscalculate, or your deck will come crashing down like a deck of cards!
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