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-   -   Does one visible bolt mean frame is likely bolted to foundation? (

MidgeTenant 05-25-2011 10:40 AM

Does one visible bolt mean frame is likely bolted to foundation?
I want to buy in San Francisco, and want earthquake insurance if I do. I talked to Amica and State Farm. Reps from both companies indicated that they'll insure if the frame is bolted to the foundation ... and not otherwise.

I'm thinking of making an offer on a house that, unfortunately, has a foundation-to-frame junction mostly obscured by paneling installed in the basement. There are only about five feet in which I can see the connection between foundation and frame. I have visited the house twice.

In those five feet, there's one bolt that clearly attaches the frame to the foundation. But I ordinarily would expect to see more bolts than just one, even in five feet.

If there's one bolt attaching the frame to the foundation, are there likely to be others, behind all that paneling? Or is that just wishful thinking on my part?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

nealtw 05-25-2011 05:49 PM

Bolts are usually 3 to 4 ft apart and it is unlikely anyone would put in just one. Engineers use a metal detecter to count bolts. New houses require a lot more than bolts to be earthquake proof. In L.A. evan if you have bolts and insurance You may want to update this ,a diy friendly job.

MidgeTenant 05-25-2011 06:56 PM

Thanks for your reply, nealtw!

So if I go to the next stop on this house, and pay for a home inspection, the inspector may be able to detect other foundation bolts with the use of a metal detector ... instead of having to take down all the paneling, which the seller probably wouldn't okay. Is that correct?

(I hope so!)

nealtw 05-25-2011 09:13 PM

Make he is aware of your need to know when you hire him. I would bet it has been bolted down.

911handyman 06-04-2011 06:20 PM

Code these days are at least one every 6ft. And one at least 12 inches from the corner.
There are more that you can't see.

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