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Home > Prepare Your House > Structural Risks > Living Space Over Garage

Living Space Over Garage

This house has one or more floors of living space over an attached garage. Its vulnerability to earthquake shaking comes from its position atop the garage beneath it, which:

  • Is typically a sizable open space, functioning like a crawl space within a cripple-wall house, with walls not braced to resist earthquake motion, and
  • Has one or more large doors that are not properly retrofitted to withstand earthquake shaking.
Garage-door openings can be retrofitted by installing new plywood sheathing or steel panels on each side of the garage door. Some garage doors require a steel frame to be properly retrofitted for earthquakes.

Adequately preparing a living space over a garage requires an engineered retrofit. You should hire a licensed structural or civil engineer to advise on your retrofit efforts.

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