12:26PM | 01/13/99
I just bought a two story four unit building,
built in 1926, in Hollywood, CA. It has
some cracks thru the perimeter footing, and
the middle is pier and post. It needs some
leveling, too. (So why did I buy such a
dump? It's about 80 - 90 yards from where
I work.)

Code requires the crawlspace to be
at least 18 inches from grade (the dirt) to
the bottom of the joists. There are two
ways to make that happen: 1. I could make
like a mole for many months, or pay others
to do so, and excavate about 40 cubic yards
from under the building. --or-- 2. I could
get a contractor with hydraulics to lift the
whole shebang about 12-14 inches. Which is
likely to be the more cost effective
approach? If I go with excavation, how
does that affect the integrity of the
perimeter footing? My objective in all this
is to not just meet but far surpass all the
earthquake safety requirements.

Thanks for any advice...



12:42PM | 01/13/99
You did fine until you said earthquake. There are specifications for earthquake containment, however, local ordinances supersedes any generalities. Your biggest worry should be with your insurance people. If not done properly, no money for damage. For this reason you should contact your local building inspector. If you receive no satisfaction there then you may have to hire a structural engineer for guidance. Whichever route you end up taking, make certain that your insurance company approves the repair IN WRITING!!!!!!!!


02:07PM | 01/14/99
Actually, it's worse than that. Earthquake
insurance isn't even an issue any more,
because nobody out here can afford it.
It's a thing of the past.

The trouble with earthquakes is that they
don't fit the insurance business model.

Fire works fine, because a small and
relatively stable number of people will have
major fire losses each month. The cash from
all the other folks who buy insurance but
don't have fires is enough to cover those
who do, plus adequate reserves and profits.

But with earthquakes, everybody gets hit
hard at once. So, you're better off doing
your own investing, with the expectation
that you'd have to liquidate to cover the
loss if it happens.



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