Building a deck? Here are 5 Reasons to Hire a Structural Engineer

Installing deck patio construction. boards with above ground deck


Pondering a new deck project for your house? It’s crucial to look beyond the exciting aesthetics and ensure the safety, durability, and code compliance of your planned structure. In the need for a professional who knows the in’s and out’s of designing and building structures? Here’s how hiring a structural engineer simplifies your building process, assures a solid construction, and gives you peace of mind.

1. Safety – Ensuring the Safety of Your Family and Friends

Your deck’s beauty and functionality are essential, but they take true worthiness when founded on safety. Structural engineers specialize in ensuring your deck is as safe for relaxing on a lounge chair or grilling burgers as it is for a graduation party:

Load Calculation:

Planning to have get-togethers, or want to include raised-bed planters? A structural engineer’s role involves accurately calculating the weight that your deck would have to withstand and ensuring the structure can safely bear that load.

Material Analysis:

With deep knowledge about various types of materials, structural engineers comprehend how different materials react under diverse loads and environmental conditions. Their recommendations are safety-assured.

Preventing Failure:

One crucial reason to engage a structural engineer is their expertise in averting catastrophic failures that could lead to injuries or property damage. They understand how to enhance the structural integrity of your deck, so it stands strong and durable for years.

Hot-Tub Hot-Tip! Supporting a Hot Tub on Your Deck – Key Considerations

Choosing to elevate your deck experience with a hot tub is a fantastic decision. However, it does present unique structural challenges. A hot tub can easily weigh thousands of pounds when filled with water and occupants. It is not just an object you simply place on the deck and fill with water. Your deck needs to be specifically designed to support that kind of intense load.

A structural engineer plays a crucial role in this. They will start by performing an in-depth analysis of the load-bearing capacity of your deck, identifying any potential weak points that could be a concern when the tub is filled to capacity. The engineer’s examination extends beyond the current condition of your deck, looking at key factors like the quality and strength of the deck’s materials, the design of posts and beams, the foundational structure supporting the deck, and framing techniques used during construction. This insight helps ensure your deck is structurally sound and ready for the heavy load.

Additionally, the structural engineer will analyze the placement of the hot tub on the deck. The tub’s location directly impacts the load on various parts of the deck. Strategically placing this weight ensures that no single part of the deck is overly burdened.

Additionally, the engineer will help you understand the local building codes and structural requirements centered around hot tub installations. Installation of a hot tub on a deck may involve permissions and inspections. Your structural engineer will ensure that your design and construction are compliant with these requirements while ensuring your deck can stand up to the demands of a hot tub.

We cannot overstate the importance of a structural engineer in a hot tub installment project. Safety should always be your paramount concern, and an engineer can ensure that your new deck with a hot tub becomes a place of relaxation, not a safety hazard.

2. Framing Experience – Quality Construction Ensured

Building a deck involves more than just selecting good-looking materials and fitting beams and posts. It requires sound knowledge and understanding of construction:

Construction Knowledge:

Structural engineers are well-versed with all facets of deck building, including loading calculations, understanding soil conditions, selecting suitable materials, and comprehending the framing process. They ensure that everything from the ground up is structurally sound.

Efficient Design:

Structural engineers have the expertise to design a deck that’s not only safe and secure but also aesthetically pleasing. They can integrate your requirements and choices, ensuring your deck reflects your style while being functional and efficiently using materials.

3. Understanding the Requirements – No Code Violations

Local building codes and requirements can be complex and ever-changing. Non-compliance can lead to legal hassles, penalties, and even forced reconstruction. Your structural engineer becomes your guide here:

Code Compliance:

They stay updated with the latest building codes and requirements pertaining to decks. They design keeping these prerequisites in mind so that you do not face any legal issues later.

Inspection Satisfaction:

Structural engineers ensure your deck’s design and structure meet all local building codes, ensuring an easy pass during inspections.

4. Family Peace of Mind – Assurance for Years to Come

Safety brings peace of mind. A properly built, structurally sound deck gives you the confidence to enjoy your outdoor space worry-free. With a structural engineer’s stamp on your deck project, you are assured of its safety and stability, reducing risks and protecting your family from possible deck collapses.

5. Inspector Satisfaction – A Trouble-Free Project From Start To Finish

Your structural engineer navigates the world of permit drawings with ease, ensuring your project is completed smoothly and meets Code. While you or your contractor most often speaks with the local building department, structural engineers can help with questions or additional discussions, ensuring your deck inspector is satisfied with the deck structure.

Bonus: What to Look for in a Structural Engineer

Now that you understand the importance a structural engineer brings to your deck project, what should you look for when hiring one?


Ensure they are licensed to practice in your state. It’s an affirmation of their qualifications and expertise.


Track record matters. Look for engineers who have successfully completed projects similar to yours.


The engineer should be able to explain complex engineering terms and procedures in an understandable manner, keeping you informed throughout the project.


Positive reviews and endorsements from satisfied homeowners can serve as a real testament to an engineer’s quality of work.

Hiring a licensed structural engineer for your deck project is one of the wisest decisions you can make, giving you the ideal combination of safety, aesthetics, and peace of mind. So, start your project on the right foot – connect with Veitas Engineers’ experienced team today!

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