Live Loads for Common Residential Construction

Articles > Live Loads for Common Residential Construction
Application Uniform Load Concentrated Load
Slope ≥ 4:12 15 psf 250 lbs
Flat to 4:12 slope 20 psf 250 lbs
With limited storage 10 psf 250 lbs
With storage 20 psf 250 lbs
Bedroom areas 30 psf 300 lbs
Other areas 40 psf 300 lbs
Garages 50 psf 2,000 lbs (vans, light trucks)
1,500 lbs (passenger cars)
Decks 40 psf 300 lbs
Balconies 60 psf 300 lbs
Stairs 40 psf 300 lbs
Guards and handrails 20 plf 200 lbs
Grab bars N/A 250 lbs


  1. Live load values should be verified relative to the locally applicable building code.
  2. Roof live loads are intended to provide a minimum load for roof design in consideration of maintenance and construction activities. They should not be considered in combination with other transient loads (i.e., floor live load, wind load, etc.) when designing walls, floors, and foundations. A 15 psf roof live load is recommended for residential roof slopes greater than 4:12; refer to ASCE 7-98 for an alternate approach.
  3. Loft sleeping and attic storage loads should be considered only in areas with a clear height greater than about 3 feet. The concept of a “clear height” limitation on live loads is logical, but it may not be universally recognized.
  4. Some codes require 40 psf for all floor areas

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