Fortifying Wall Openings

Shandy Heil, Skinner, Patricia  |  4/7/2005 7:22:37 PM

Tips for specific openings:

According to recent wind technology research, it's important to strengthen the exterior of your house so wind and debris do not tear large openings in it. Next to roof protection, the three most vulnerable areas are windows, doors and garage doors.

A great time to start securing -- or retrofitting -- your house is when you are making other improvements or adding an addition. In both cases, your may have local building codes that require work to conform to certain requirements. Whether you have local building codes or not, and whether or not they include codes for wind resistant construction, you can elect meet or exceed wind resistance standards. Remember: building codes reflect the lessons experts have learned from past catastrophes. Contact your local building code official or permit office to find out what requirements are necessary for your home improvement projects.



Note: The term "fortified" is developing a special meaning within the insurance and home building industries. The Institute for Building & Home Safety (IBHS), an initiative of the insurance industry, has developed the "Fortified…for safer living” program to enhance consumer and builder interest in improving new-home disaster resistance. The program is inspection-based and requires a series of construction features that protect residences from natural disasters. The national, all-risk program is being piloted in Florida with a focus on windstorm, flood and wildfire perils. The LSU AgCenter hopes to work with IBHS and local insurers to bring this program to Louisiana.
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