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billg71

Putting your new KK on your deck? You need help!

11 posts in this topic

And I don't mean 4 or 5 of your buddies or a fork lift and a case of beer, you really, really need to get a structural engineer to evaluate whether your deck can support it safely.

It all boils down to gravity. You know, the force that keeps our feet on the ground and makes launching a satellite expensive. Your deck is designed to resist a reasonable amount of gravity, enough to keep you and your neighbors suspended above ground without crashing through it and being injured. IT IS NOT DESIGNED AND BUILT TO SUPPORT SEVERAL HUNDRED POUNDS OF WEIGHT IN A SMALL SPACE!  And if there's one thing a KK cooker is it's several hundred pounds of weight in a small space.

Deck design and how it's supported has varied over the years , we've all seen the news where the deck fell off the house and people got hurt. If your deck was built more that 15 years ago you're in the Wild Wild West era and I wouldn't put anything heavier than a lawn chair on it. Building codes began to address this and have increasingly mandated deck construction methods and design to the point that today any new house will have a deck that you can pack shoulder-to-shoulder at a party and have confidence you'll all survive the evening. But the codes don't address excessive loads like a KK weighing 500 lb. or more in a fixed location would be. That's where the structural engineer comes in.

I have to get a little techie here, we're talking about weight and the ability of a structure to keep it where you put it after all. Deck codes require a deck to support a minimum of 40 pounds/square foot of live load(think of a 160 lb. person packed into a 2'x2' square that follows them as they move around and fill your deck with those people). Big party, right? ;) But everyone has a good time and gets to take their chances driving home.

Now let's look at what the deck is made of and the stuff that sits on it, that's called dead load. Codes require decks to support 10 pounds/square foot of dead load. That's enough for the deck materials and a reasonable amount of chairs, tables, etc.. What happens when you place a 23" KK on that deck? The footprint of a 23 is 23.5" x 30", now you've got 550 lb of weight concentrated in a space that 2-1/2 people would occupy for a short time. Less space than that since the casters are recessed. And the cooker isn't walking around, once you get it there it's there. Do some arithmetic: your deck which is designed to support 10 lb/sft of dead weight is now supporting 110 lb/sft. That's more than an order of magnitude greater than design. This is Not  A Good Thing.

Looking at the BB32 you're increasing the load to 118 lb/sft. There are no dimensions available for the SBB42 but I'd expect a greater increase, maybe somewhere around 130+ lb/sft.

OK, techie hat off: What it all boils down to is that it isn't safe to put any of these cookers on any deck that hasn't been engineered for the weight and location of the cooker. You might get lucky and just experience some sagging in the first few years but eventually there will be a structural failure(we all fall down). As I said, that's Not A Good Thing.

I've made my living building houses and decks for the last 25 years, never had one fall down. I use software to design beams, I work with suppliers on load calcs and I'm pretty good at what I do. I wouldn't put my 22" Supreme on my deck without an engineered design. "Do you feel lucky, punk?" I don't.

Please get some professional advice before you plunk that new KK in the middle of your deck.

FWIW,

Bill

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my deck is concrete..... am I ok? just kidding.  Good post!

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Crap - if you have a wood framed deck, some amount of brain power, a few cinder blocks and a couple of 4x4's it's not too hard to shore up a deck for the weight of a KK. This really isn't rocket science. 

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Charles I totally agree, it definitely ain't rocket science. But common sense isn't as common as it used to be and I'd have to say the average homeowner just assumes his deck will hold whatever he can fit on it. And he wouldn't know a 4x4 if you hit him with one. ;) I've seen too many decks(and floors, and roofs) overloaded after the customer has moved in to think otherwise.

I may be a little cautious but liability insurance is a major expense for the business, if I don't absolutely know and have a code or calcs to demonstrate something I built will safely support something the customer wants then I have to refer them to a structural engineer. Knowing something will work and proving it in court are two very different things. And that goes for you as well: if your cinder blocks and 4x4s fail and your neighbor falls down and sues you, your HO insurance is going to throw you under the bus. It's sad that we've come to making decisions on who might sue us and how we're covered but it's where we are and we have to live with it.

I just want to make folks aware that you can't just haul one of these cookers up on the deck and expect it to stay there forever.

Best,

Bill

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I agree you @billg71 you just can't throw a KK up on a deck and think it's good to go. With that said a little common sense (if you have some) will go a long way. I sured up my porch with only a 16" and 19" just in case. With that said (again) send me a 42" my porch will hold without me worring about it. 

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If common sense was that common we wouldn't have all these rules lol there has been alot of balcony (deck) collapses over the years from just to many people on them things are rated for a reason if you walk into a lift it clearly states the amount of kilos or people it can hold. There are to many factors in play here the substrate, is it Sandy, clay or rock. Is the area prone to movement. These things should of been addressed before the decks installation. But if the OP is unsure I would get it looked at nothing wrong with being safe when it's you and your family involved or anyone for that fact. I live on flat ground with pavers and a pergola so I'm sweet

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I wonder how many deck collapses came shortly after someone said, "Hand me those cinder blocks, I can make this work." ;) 

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When I was in my teens a friends parents went out of town for the weekend. He threw a keg party and made the mistake of putting the keg on the deck. Parents came home to a collapsed deck. They were pissed. 

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I've been on a deck that experience a structural problem. Fortunately only the center anchor bolt failed and the deck only dropped about 4" in the middle and didn't collapse completely. Good thing, as it was about 12 ft off the ground. It did scare the living crap out of all of us (about 30 people) on the deck at the time though. Didn't stop the drinking either! 

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Tony, that is an  experience that I'm sure you don't want to repeat. :)

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It happened almost 30 years ago, but I still remember it well. And Yes, I don't want to experience that every again! 

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