DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

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riley 01-28-2009 12:27 PM

New to the forum
Hi all,

Ran across this forum looking for info on "cripple walls". My neighbor, here in the north Los Angeles area (Highland Park/Eagle Rock), was filling out an earthquake insurance form and asked me what a cripple wall was. Didn't know. Do now, he doesn't have one, but I do. Since I'm doing some fairly major plumbing and wall repair now I have a good section of it exposed and think it should be earthquake proofed while I'm at everything else. Why the heck not, huh? ;-)

fyi, a cripple wall is a short, less than 1 story, wall between the foundation and the first floor. The older ones are generally not reinforced, and even if the house is bolted down can fail catastrophically in a quake. We're due for the Big One, and my house is on a hill. Time to get ready.



Tess 01-28-2009 02:58 PM

Hi Riley,

I'm new to the forum as well and have already learned something from you:)
I can't imagine living in an earthquake zone but it's interesting learning about construction issues that you have there.

I wish you the best with your crippled wall.


inspectorD 01-28-2009 04:01 PM

Very good
Glad you shared. We all know what a cripple wall is, we just never think about it. Up here in the Northeast we have Raised Ranches all over the place, well those 4 foot wood half walls in the basement are cripple walls. A cripple wall is anything which is wood framed and under 6 feet in height. Many California homes have cripple walls due to the slopes they build on. They also need bracing to keep them sturdy. Plywood supported at all edges and nailed at all the seams works well.You can do this on the interior of your cripple wall.
Hope this helps, good luck on your project.

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