Lateral wall bracing has been in building codes since the HUD Minimum Property Standards of the 1950s. The purpose is to stiffen the structure against uplift and overturning (or tipping over) and shearing (or sliding) along its foundation or platform. Over the years, the provisions have been expanded and refined as floor plans became more complex, new materials became available, and as the damage to homes by earthquakes and hurricanes exposed gaps in the standards. Currently, builders can choose from eight methods to comply with the International Residential Code, and revisions to section 602.10.3 of the 2009 edition of the IRC made it easier to discern seismic and wind-load zones of their locations. “Those two forces act differently on a house,” says Gary Ehrlich, program manager of Structural Codes and Standards at the NAHB. “The revisions actually allow more flexibility to address them.” Consider the following tips and methods in the slideshow.