Agent

Getting house ready for the Big One

Is floor joist strengthening necessary?

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Q: I am strengthening my house in the crawl space by putting oriented strand board (OSB) shear panels on the cripple wall from the mudsill to the floor joists. I am wondering if the same application would work horizontally, by nailing or screwing panels to the bottoms of the floor joists. I would do this at the corners of the house, and "sprinkle" them throughout the field of floor joists. I think the floor joist spacing may be too wide, so I thought maybe I could do that shear scheme. My reasoning is that in a severe quake, that a "right-angled" structure might become a parallelogram. It seems it would help stiffen the joists and corners against flexing against and away from each other and thus guard the understructure against folding and crumpling. Is there a good reason not to try this? A: First off, kudos to you for installing shear panels on the cripple walls, the short wall between the concrete foundation and the floor structure. Make sure to con...