It's All About Building

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It's All About Building

What do contractors do? Well, they do sign contracts, but contrary to what their professional title suggests, the majority of their job involves building things. Some contractors create structures. Some contractors build plumbing structures. Others build roads. Yes, there is a lot of variety in the industry, but at the end of the day, it is all about creating structures and usable features from what were once raw materials. That's awesome, isn't it? Whether you are someone who is considering becoming a contractor or just a customer of contractors, we welcome you to read more about their work and profession on this blog.


Identifying Properties That May Need Soft-Story Retrofitting

Some buildings are more prone to earthquake damage than others. Soft story retrofitting can strengthen such buildings and reduce their risk of earthquake damage or collapse. All property owners should evaluate their properties and determine whether they need retrofitting.

Below are some factors that determine buildings that require soft story retrofitting.

Property Location

Earthquake risk varies by region; some areas face higher risks than others. For example, areas that have experienced earthquakes in the past face higher risks than others. In addition, areas that lie along earthquake fault lines also have above-average earthquake risks. Consider the retrofit if you have a property in such areas.

Government Laws and Regulation

Some jurisdictions require owners of soft-story properties to retrofit the properties. For example, the local government of Los Angeles uses specific criteria to identify weak buildings that require soft story retrofit. Owners of such properties have a limited window to retrofit their buildings. You have no choice but to comply with the order if you own such property.

Construction Design and Materials

Buildings that use relatively weak materials in their structures are likely to require soft story retrofitting than those with stronger materials. For example, some buildings use wood frames, which are weaker than materials like steel. In addition, large openings (such as large windows) on the ground floor also weaken buildings. Buildings with such designs and materials need retrofitting.

Property Age

Modern houses withstand earthquake forces relatively better than older properties. These days, builders understand what they need to prevent earthquake damage. The government also has stricter building codes than those in place years before. Aging buildings are more likely to require soft story retrofit than newer buildings.

Code Compliance

Many relatively new properties don't need soft story retrofit since they comply with modern building codes that consider earthquake-proofing. However, not every new building is code compliant.

For example, some people remodel or renovate their properties without using professionals and adhering to current building codes. Such properties might need soft story retrofitting despite their newness.  

Number of Storeys

An earthquake is more likely to affect a multistory property than a single-story house. The high center of gravity, weight above the first level, and the relative weakness of the upper levels explain the elevated earthquake risks for multistory houses. Thus, such houses typically need soft story retrofits than single-story houses.

Earthquake damage can cause serious damage, injury, and financial losses. Consult a professional building contractor for a soft story retrofit if your building requires it.