Spring is around the corner, and summer will soon bring back all the activity outdoors. Sitting out on the deck is among the nicest things you can do with your family in this mellow weather.
Adding a sandbox for the little ones is a great idea. However, many people aren’t sure if they can put a sandbox on a deck.
This is a legitimate concern. In this article, we’ll explore the possibilities. Let’s see if your deck is ready for a sandbox or not.
The deciding factor here is whether or not the deck can handle the extra weight of the sandbox with all the sand you’d put inside it.
Additionally, you should include the weight of three or four kids. You might not expect all that many kids playing in the sandbox at any given moment, but we should always plan for the maximum.
The best way to fortify your deck is by using extra supports below the box, hammering in a couple of boards across the box, and using large deck screws for joining the box to the frame.
Adding extra supports from the box to the ground below. This should carry the central weight and provide the required support to the box.
If you intend to place a big sandbox, with a side length of more than 4 ft, then you’d need to add more vertical supports.
Accuracy matters in these constructions, and you should always make sure that the construction would carry the expected weight.
At this point, it’s appropriate to ask: how much does a sandbox weigh?
A square-shaped sandbox with a side length of 4 ft and depth of 6 in would contain about 480 lbs of sand. Assuming that the sand goes up 4 in only, which leaves a 2-in clearance for the kids to play and also to leave some space for the lid.
A wider, and slightly deeper, sandbox with a length of 5 ft, and a depth of 8 in, would hold 1125 lbs of sand. Here too, we leave a lid clearance of 2 in.
So where exactly do these figures come from?
Sandboxes come in various shapes and sizes. The most common are circular, square, and rectangular pits.
- The first thing you need to do is find the actual dimensions of the sandbox.
- Next, use this formula to calculate the volume of the sandbox:
The volume of a square sandbox = Length x Length x (depth – clearance)
The volume of a rectangular sandbox = Length x Width X (depth – clearance)
The volume of a circular sandpit = ½ x 3.14 x Widest distance across x (depth – clearance)
- Sand weighs on average 100 lb per cu ft. Thus, you can get an approximate value by using this simple formula:
Total weight of sand = 100 x Volume of the sandbox (in cu ft)
(Remember that 1 ft = 12 in)
To make matters easier, you can use an online calculator to figure out the weight of sand for the sandbox. All you need to do is just to measure the side lengths, the depth, and the clearance value.
Then, the online calculator would instantly give you a nice estimate of the expected weight. You might need to convert the dimensions from ft to in, but that’s quite simple. Just multiply the ft value by 12.
- The weight of the sandbox is primarily the weight of the sand, plus the weight of wood used in making the box and fortifying it.
- There are several types of play sand, with varying grain sizes, crystalline nature, grain density, humidity content, and looseness. This would naturally affect the weight of a cu ft of sand.
- The nominal weight of sand is in its dry non-compacted state. After a drizzle, the weight would increase significantly.
Now that you know the ins and outs of sandboxes, you can go ahead and pick the right spot to add this hugely entertaining feature to your deck.
Your kids would be ecstatic with all that fun!
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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