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Ever wondered how much your house weighs?
Well, you’re in luck! This article contains a free civil engineering based calculator that will give you a fairly accurate estimate of your house weight.
However – I know this is the internet, and people want fast answers, so let’s start with some averages.
This is how much an average home weighs, depending on the square footage:
|House Area (sq. ft)||House Weight (lbs)|
Of course, the above house weights can only ever be ballpark figures. Every home is unique and special (just like us).
Use the calculator below for a more accurate approximation of your home’s weight.
House Weight Calculator
This calculator was put together according to the American Society of Civil Engineer’s (ASCE) Design Guide. Specifically, Chapter 3: Design Loads for Residential Buildings.
If you’re wondering, I’m the author and am a qualified Civil Engineer. Granted this is probably the most approximate set of calculations I’ve ever put together, but it should give you a reasonable ball-park figure of how much your home weighs.
All you need to do is follow the inputs below.
That’s a whole lot of weight!
House Weight Estimates: Calculation Guideline
Looking to understand how the calculator works?
Maybe you’re cussing me thinking I’ve pulled numbers out of thin air, or are just curious about the how it works. Well, let’s dive in to the details.
All the assumed weights themselves are hidden to save the calculator being overly long, so I’ll walk through them here.
Otherwise known as static loads, these are the loads are from the building itself. They aren’t expected to change throughout the lifetime of the structure – they’re the same on day 1 as they are on year 50.
The drop-down list inputs in the calculator correlates to the below values:
If you’re particularly eagle-eyed, you may notice that foundation loads aren’t included in the calculator.
Due to the complex options and huge amount of weight a foundation adds, it was omitted from the calculations. It would be too complicated to include as an input, and take away from the “quick-estimate” style calculator.
Plus, I consider a house’s weight to be everything above the ground. If you were to pick up the house and move it (like with a house mover), the foundation wouldn’t make the journey with you.
How Much Do Floors Weigh?
This is an often-asked question, so I wanted to give it a quick answer.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, floors weigh between 10lbs per square foot to 19lbs per square foot, depending on the material. Light frame wood floors are the lightest, with slate flooring the heaviest.
Note that this weight doesn’t account for goods and furniture which sit on top of the floor.
Any type of weight that changes over time is considered a live load.
This could be the snow on your roof which lasts a couple of days, or your expensive dining table that lasts for 10 years.
When it came to flooring, keeping the calculator simple meant that all floor loads are assumed to be 40psf, per note 4. The garage is added separately – removing the equivalent floor load area from the first story.
Decks and balconiessimply calculated from your area inputs, and the roof/attic loads are similarly applied depending on the input. Stairs are assumed to be 2ft wide by 12ft long, with 1 staircase for a 2-story building, 2 for a 3-story building, etc.
These live loads are likely way too heavy than in reality.
Since we’re working from a civil engineering design guide, this was always going to be the case. As engineers we err towards the worst-case situation, so these estimates are at the heavy end of the spectrum.
If you take a look at the room around you, it’s likely you have less than 40lbs of weight per square foot from goods alone.
The only accurate alternative would be to truly measure all the items in your home. Taking a percentage off these heavy estimates could work, but pulling numbers out of thin air isn’t exactly encouraged when it comes to load calculations!
The final estimation is a custom one, which is related to the exterior and interior walls.
Asking you to tally up the total length of your walls would be too much for a simple online calculator. Instead, I assume that the length of your exterior wall is roughly equal to the sides of your home area as a square. For example, if your home is a 1,000 sq. ft area, then it would roughly equal a 30ft x 30ft square. Meaning you would have around 400ft of exterior walls (per floor).
Interior walls are the same, assuming that two sets of perpendicular walls run through the home on each floor. In other words, two interior walls running across the home, and two walls running up and down – a total of 4 spanning across the home, per floor. This may be a bit of an overestimation, but again it’s better to be conservative.
House Weight by Amount of Storys
One common question is how much does a story add to a house’s weight.
Well, thanks to the calculator, we can find out!
Here are the numbers for a generic 2,000 square foot home with varying floors. Each story adds around 100,000lbs of increased weight. This is due to the added floor, wall, and furniture weight on each story.
|Storys||Total Weight (lbs)|
Sometimes in life, we ask a ridiculous question that has no right to be answered.
‘How much do you think our house weighs?’ is one of those questions.
I hope this quick guide has satisfied your curiosity, or helped give you a ball-park figure for hiring some house movers.
Please bear in mind these numbers are all approximations. That being said, everything in this article is according to the ASCE design guide, so the figures do have some merit!
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