Does the City have information on what other homeowners have done to make their homes safer?
Most earthquake retrofits have involved improving the connection of the house to the foundation. This has been accomplished through use of metal straps, anchors, bolts, lags screws and/or nails to connect the wood sole plate to the foundation. This is probably the first area that should be retrofitted when considering and earthquake upgrade. In an earthquake, a house that is not connected to the foundation has a tendency to move or ‘walk-off’ the foundation, causing severe and sometimes irreparable damage. Even if the building itself is strong enough to withstand the motion, without a good connection to the foundation the rest is pointless.

Note: Typical building codes used in the State since 1960 have had a requirement that the foundation sole plate be anchored to the foundation by ½ - inch diameter bolts space six-feet apart along the foundation wall. Depending on the type of floor construction, you may not be able to see if these bolts exist (especially in a ‘post and beam’ type floor system where the sub-floor boards or plywood are nailed directly to the sole plate, covering the top of the bolt and nut). See Structural Mitigation for information on anchorage foundations and other earthquake retrofit information.

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1. Does the City have information on what other homeowners have done to make their homes safer?
2. After what year of build date are most homes considered safe because of code requirements for seismic activity?
3. I live in a three story town home. What seismic improvements might it need?
4. If my home has high beamed ceilings, what supports if any is recommended?
5. Should furnaces be attached to the walls like water heaters?
6. Our wood stove sits in the middle of the room and has at least a 10 foot section of pipe to the ceiling. What recommendations are there to better resist earthquakes?
7. How are deck supports upgraded to earthquake standards?
8. Should I worry about trees, Doug firs, near my home in an earthquake?
9. Does Beaverton offer some sort of certification on the work that will be reflected in the property record for the benefit of a future sale?