The process of retrofitting a home can involve any number of techniques, but depending on the expert contractor’s recommendation combined with the materials your home is built of, when it was built, and the home’s foundational needs, a variety of different procedures may be used to correct any foundational issues. Home owners have a lot of questions about what their options are when it comes to home retrofitting, and the answers aren’t simple or one-size-fits-all; in fact, you will likely need to get several professional opinions and conduct several inspections in order to get a better idea of what your options may be. With that being said, one of the most popular home earthquake retrofitting techniques is house bolting. Since this is one of the most frequently-used approaches, here are some of the common questions consumers have about the process:
Q: What is house bolting?
A: House bolting is simply a procedure that secures the above structure of a home to the below foundation, which is meant to keep it secure during seismic activity. Often performed by construction businesses who specialize in foundational work, it is a highly specialized area of construction that requires special skills and knowledge about foundational security. Using a combination of anchors, rods, and bolts, house bolting is a process designed for keeping a home stable and secure during a earthquake or other natural disaster.
Q: Why is house bolting important?
A: For many homeowners, house bolting and home retrofitting are last on their list of concerns. However, house bolting is critical for some home owners, and is a way of safeguarding your investment. House bolting is important because it can significantly decrease the amount of damage a building suffers due to intense earthquakes. In the past, especially in the area of southern California that rests on a fault line, homes have been destroyed and families have been devastated, and much of the destruction could have been prevented by precautionary house bolting procedures. Simple house bolting can prevent loss and devastation.
Q: What makes a good candidate for house bolting?
A: Any home is a good candidate for house bolting, because every home should be securely affixed to its foundation; however, there are some homes in particular that are especially in need of house bolting procedures. Homes that were built over two decades ago are particularly in danger of disrepair due to an earthquake event. Since these homes were built under less-rigid standards of construction, it is common for the structure to not be adequately bolted to the foundation. Furthermore, homes that have already withstood foundational damage or disruption, or homes that have evidence of foundational issues internally—such as cracked walls and uneven doorways.
Q: Is house bolting expensive?
A: The cost of house bolting is extremely reliant upon several factors. One important aspect that controls the cost of the procedure is the square footage of the home. Larger homes generally need more materials to adequately bolt down, and they are most complex projects. Additionally, if your home doesn’t have a crawl space, a basement, or other ways of easily accessing foundational components, then the contractor may need to resort to other methods to address the issue, which of course could cost more money. Another factor toward pricing is the location of the home. If the home requires additional foundational support because it rests on a slope or a hill, it will be more difficult to access and cost more in materials and labor.
Q: How can you start the process of house bolting?
A: To get a more accurate idea of what your home’s foundation needs, it’s important to first begin the process by finding a few contracting businesses you like in your area. Start by having inspections performed and getting quotes and estimates. This will give you a better idea of the cost and what the entire process will look like.
Troy Builders specializes in commercial, industrial, and home retrofitting in the areas of Tarzana, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Glendale, Long Beach and Woodland Hills, CA. Our licensed, bonded, and insured California contractors have invaluable experience with house bolting and foundational repair, and it is our mission to help safeguard our clients’ investments and futures with the work we do. For more information about our services, pricing, or our expertise, contact us directly. We look forward to helping your home be more prepared for the next big earthquake.