|Learned about foundations...
||[Jan. 25th, 2010|11:47 am]
1) Structural engineers *have* to warn you if they think you're in a seismically active area, and they don't see modern earthquake safety.|
2) No, "it's stood for 100 years" isn't good logic for this kind of thing, any more than "my application's been running fine for a year" is good logic to say that it shouldn't be broken now.
3) Relatively cheap and easy foundation improvements can be eye-poppingly expensive
4) "It *has* stood for 100 years, and I haven't seen anything causing me to suspect incipient failure" *is* a good recommendation, *if* I'm lucky enough to avoid earthquakes for a bit - it's the unpredictability of earthquakes that's the issue here.
So, in short, if I buy this house, I'm risking failure in the event of an earthquake; no one would build a house like this, not these days, not in Renton. But, while I shouldn't forget that, most 100 year old houses are probably going to have the same problem (since people didn't have modern building codes 100 years ago). Meaning, if I want a nice house in Downtown Renton, I'm looking at low earthquake safety.
In the fullness of time, I'll probably want to spend the ungodly amounts of money to put a better foundation on the house. But, it doesn't have to be next week, or next year... unless there's a major quake. It's a risk, and a real risk, but an acceptable one, from my perspective.