Homes in California constructed prior to 1950 weren’t instructed to have House Bolting during construction. Home retrofitting simply means two protecting phases in securing a home against shifting within a quake. The first part, which is necessary, would be to have retro bolts installed between the frame sill plate as well as the base of the home. The second part is placing plywood from the lower uncovered walls in two story homes. These are called “shear walls.” This adds reinforcement against swaying throughout an earthquake. If you have an older home and do not really know if it is retrofitted, you will have to go below the crawl space of the home and check out bolts every 16 inches on the sill plate. If they aren’t present, they could be installed by you or a contractor.
Just about all regions are subject to high winds. It is important that the residence is designed to withstand a high-wind storm. Knowing if the house is storm ready requires a few easy steps. Among the first things to consider is where you live. Coastal areas, for example, are more vulnerable to powerful winds, such as hurricanes. Local building codes of such areas typically require homes to face up to greater wind speeds than inland homes. You need to check with the local building department to discover the codes that govern your area. Another indicator of your storm-ready house is when it was built. Older homes might not have been created to resist high winds. In Florida, for instance, the building codes became much stricter after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992 and caused severe damage to thousands of homes. Research revealed that Florida homes built after 1996 suffered considerably less damage from Hurricane Charley in 2004 than homes constructed before 1996.
The cost mainly depends on how big the home and whether it is a single story or multiple stories home. To retrofit the house yourself, you’ll need to rent a power drill that will drill through cement and purchase the retro bolts at your local home improvement store. Then you can call for a number of quotations from licensed contractors and make a price comparison. Retrofitting is an absolute must in earthquake country. Without the retrofit your home can shift off the foundation. Throughout this process fires easily ensue from broken gas lines, water pipes break and create additional damage as well as the property inside of the home takes a severe beating. Depending in the magnitude of the earthquake as well as the shift which takes place, without retrofitting, loss of life or serious injury could result. In most cases the cost of retrofitting may be similar to adding a floor on the back of your home. Not cost prohibitive, but a wise investment decision in protection of life and property.
Homeowners usually take steps to “mitigate” or lessen the earthquake hazard to your dwelling. Retrofitting will be the mitigation process of bolting a wood-frame home to its foundation and providing sheer/pony wall strength. The goal is to improve a home’s structural integrity, but doesn’t mean it’s “earthquake proof” (as there is no such thing). Your residence can still sustain damage during an earthquake. Past earthquakes have demonstrated that homes not bolted to their foundation, or without the proper sheer wall reinforcement can sustain significant damage making your residence unlivable. Through a home retrofit class, learn about: home evaluation, permit process, proper bolt and plate set up basic safety and engineering solutions.
The price of House Bolting is determined by what needs to be done and if you can do any of it. Materials may cost as little as a few hundred dollars, or if you want, trained Crawl Space Protection contractors. Upon completing this class you can apply the retrofit yourself or perhaps be a knowledgeable client when hiring a professional contractor.