In seismically active areas of the country, home builders have to make sure their homes are as earthquake-proof as possible, says JLC contributor Tim Uhler. The majority of that responsibility falls on the shoulders of framers and foundation subs, whose primary role is installing a wide range of framing connectors and locating all the steel and hardware that needs to be embedded in the concrete.

Here, he details work on a two-story house that sits over a two-car garage “basement” on a hillside lot.

From a seismic perspective, however, the garage on the bottom floor creates a “soft story” that is prone to collapse in an earthquake unless it is reinforced with a lot of steel—in the foundation and in the framing hardware that must be installed at every level to resist the extreme forces of seismic activity.

Read more >