When it comes to buying or building a home, it’s important to mention that not a lot of people think about structural strength. After all, this is something that an architect or a contractor should worry about, right? What you’re worried about is the layout, the size and the total cost of buying/building the place. However, what happens to the people who make this oversight of assuming that the home’s structure is stronger than it actually is? What happens when you decide to add another floor or when the signs of structural damage start showing? Well, here are several innovations that might help you out.
1. Adding central core
The central core is, simply put, a carrying pillar in the middle of the building, which is supposed to unburden some of your rest carrying elements (like external walls, corner pillars, etc.). The biggest problem with adding a central core lies in the fact that it’s usually in the way. Placing a pillar in the middle of your living room will change your home’s layout (and not in a good way), as well as cause a long list of logistical problems. You may have to rearrange your furniture or even get some new pieces. Still, all of this is of minor concern when compared to the idea that your home is structurally compromised.
2. Protecting your home’s exterior
In the previous section, we’ve mentioned the fact that your home’s exterior walls carry a huge portion of your home’s weight. This is why protecting the exterior is always a great idea. One of the ways to do so is to protect your home from external elements with the help of quality cladding panels. In other words, this is a rather indirect boost to your home’s structural integrity. Other than this, it also helps you with your home’s visual appeal, which is a double-fold benefit you just can’t ignore.
3. Strengthening the foundation
The foundation of a structure is the key to its stability. Signs of the compromised foundation are foundation cracks, water damage, as well as wrapped ceilings and walls. Fortunately, there are several methods that can be used to strengthen the foundation of your home. You can try underpinning, jacketing, mud-jacking or even house-lifting and leveling. Each of these projects is far from simple (and far from inexpensive), however, the longer you postpone it, the bigger the damage on your home will be. In other words, pricy but inevitable.
4. Braced frame
A method commonly used on larger structures is known as a braced frame. What it involves is adding a framework around the place, which virtually acts as an additional layer of the shear wall. The reason why this method is so popular is due to the fact that it doesn’t require any kind of interior work. Remember the problem that we mentioned with the central core? Due to the fact that all the work takes place outdoors, this is no longer a concern. Now, some people might be worried about the looks of the exterior (once the work is done) but there’s really not much that you can do in these situations.
Ideally, you would examine the strength of the structure before making a purchase. Furthermore, you would bring a contractor or a seasoned inspector and notify them about any future works that you plan to do in the future. However, this is a step of precaution that a lot of people just outright skip (understandably). Also, plans change over the course of time. This is why it’s a good thing that you always have a way out. Although it’s not necessarily simple, the solution is definitely there.