Homes with Unique Designs

The Problem

The design and construction features of some homes make them vulnerable to earthquake damage, especially if these homes are not specifically designed and built to resist earthquakes. Homes at risk are those with irregular shapes, large windows (which can break in earthquakes and scatter shards of glass), more than two stories, irregular walls, or porches and overhangs.

How to Identify

Many homes with these features are strong enough to withstand earthquakes and it is difficult to tell whether such homes need strengthening. If you have doubts about one or more of these features in your home, or in a home you are planning to buy, you should consult a licensed architect or engineer for an assessment.

What Can Be Done

A professional can advise you on how to identify and fix earthquake weaknesses if necessary. For example, large windows can be made safer by applying plastic film on them.