Looking for a spot at your house for an outdoor gathering? Wooden decks can hold a lot of weight while remaining in good shape and can last longer than traditional materials. So, how much load can a wood deck hold? We have researched this topic for you and got some tips for you!
To begin, it depends on how the deck is constructed and how you use it. Most decks constructed using regular wood structures can hold loads of 50 pounds per square foot (PSF).
To determine the actual weight that an average deck can support, consider the following factors:
- Wood Deck Foundation
- Wood Deck Framing
You can also calculate it as a 20% dead weight or the deck's weight itself. The weight the deck can support is 80% or 40 PSF. This includes people, furniture, and so on.
Wood decks, despite their elegant looks, can hold a lot of weight. Consider different weight capacities if you are preparing for a gathering or simply adding decor. Are you now ready to build that lumber deck? Keep reading to learn more before putting up one.
Strong Wood Deck Foundation
The most important element of your deck is its foundation. It is important to get your deck's appearance right. But you also need to be sure that you are standing on firm ground. Your wood deck’s foundation is important for its stability and holding of objects.
Think of your wood deck's base as support. It concentrates the load on a deck at certain locations on the ground. And because decks weigh less than houses, you must consider the foundation design for proper support.
When constructing a deck substructure, there are a few important considerations. It is important for you to adhere to your local building codes. This guarantees that you take steps such as ensuring that it sets footings deep into the ground to give backing.
This also ensures proper spacing of posts at six feet apart. But every deck is unique. So you should also consult the American Wood Council's DCA6 recommendations.
These deck components support the deck's weight when they are in contact with the ground. The deck could only be able to support 50 pounds per square foot (PSF) if it has the bare minimum of footings and their diameter.
If the footings are larger than necessary, the deck can support more weight. The type of hardware used to connect the footings, and the deck also affects the weight that it can support.
Most decks you see have footings first, followed by attaching post anchors. These are sonotubes with poured concrete inside.
Soil Bearing Capacity
Whatever you put on your deck will either cause it to lean sideways or sink into the ground, depending on the soil holding capacity. Your soil should be able to support 1,500 pounds per square foot.
Some soil types, such as gravel and sandy gravel, will have a higher concentration. For example, if the bedrock is crystalline, it might support up to 12,000 pounds per square foot (PSF).
Your region's frost depth and the local building regulations determine your deck’s foundation. Follow these guidelines for a stable deck foundation.
Sturdy Wood Deck Framing
The deck should support the weight of the people and objects on it. This component's stability will stop it from collapsing or tilting under the weight above. The framing is the skeleton of the deck and supports the decorative elements. It includes the surface, stairs, and railing.
Is it safe to put a hot tub on a deck?
Yes. You can place a hot tub on a deck. If it is above ground level by up to two feet and built properly, it can support around 100 pounds per square foot. This allows you to support a medium-sized hot tub full of people and water.
However, higher decks will need additional support. The additional support posts should be spaced 30 inches apart and set in poured concrete.
There should be no problem as long as your deck follows the building code. You should also place the hot tub on a level surface with well-treated wood to avoid water damage. Schedule any electrical, drainage, and upkeep access before placing the hot tub. Always consult a professional before installing a hot tub on any deck.
Can a wood deck support a pool?
Yes. As long as the deck follows the recommendations of experts, it can support the pool. Most decks hold 40 to 50 pounds per square foot of water, and one cubic foot of water is 62 pounds. An inflatable pool will exceed the weight limit of a wood deck.
Smaller pools with the least amount of water should not be an issue. A larger pool on your deck could cause several issues. The weight of the water affecting the wood and the constant swaying movement weakening the frame is the most serious issue with pools.
A professional's help is important if you plan to add a pool to your wood deck. This ensures that everything goes as planned.
Can my deck support a gazebo?
Yes. You can place gazebos on your deck. The deck needs to be sturdy enough to support the weight of the gazebo. Also, make sure the gazebo's height is appropriate for your needs - you don’t want to keep bashing your head on too low a roof.
You must adhere to the setup instructions that come with your gazebo, which may differ significantly. You need to be familiar with all gazebo and deck types.
Is it normal for a deck to shake?
No. Your deck needs to be secure. If your deck shakes as you walk on it, the floor beams and supports are loose. The components supporting the deck's construction can also have damage.
It can put your family in danger, especially if you have young children or elderly family members. This may be hazardous and require extensive repair or replacement. Fix any deck concerns as soon as you can.
To Wrap it Up
The deck extends your house, providing a place for you to bring your family and friends for comfort, relaxation, and entertainment. We hope you create a great outdoor space that is safe, stable, and as exciting as you want it to be.
Knowing the amount of weight a wood deck will support is crucial to avoid damaging your deck (and possibly harming people) in the future. It's easy to overstep the limits of a deck, so it's important to be aware of where your priorities should lie when planning an event that involves heavy objects.
The weight of your deck can be determined by its size and foundation. However, before beginning the deck-building project, always consult with a professional. They will identify any potential flaws in your deck's design and help you avoid any accidents along the way.
So that's it! With these tips, you should be ready to build the strongest possible deck. Have fun and good luck. After all, no one wants to spend their weekend rescuing a fallen deck. Check out our related posts for other deck maintenance tips: