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Designing a remodel - how to treat the existing structure

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I have a couple of small remodels on my desk - typically additions to a one
story wood frame home ranging from 100 to 300 square feet. It is, in my
opinion, unreasonable to expect full-compliance where the existing structure
needs a lateral rebalancing due to the addition. In this case what is the
best approach. Here is my opinion - I would be pleased to hear from others
on this topic.

1. Design the new addition by tributary area in compliance with the lateral
provision of the new code using ST-12 or the Tri-Country simplified design
approach AND
2. Calculate the existing capacity of the line of shear of the existing
residence where the addition connects and upgrade that line of shear to
accommodate the addition shear from the addition.

This seems like a reasonable approach. Anything more aggressive will, in my
opinion, destroy the remodeling industry by driving the homeowner away when
the work becomes much more intrusive than the owner is willing to tolerate
(not to mention more expensive).

Are their any code reference to his issue or other documents from FEMA (I'm
thinking of FEMA 273 which I believe deals with seismic upgrades to existing
structures) or HUD that apply?

Dennis S. Wish, PE
Structural Engineering Consultant
structures(--nospam--at) <mailto:structures(--nospam--at)>
(208) 361-5447 E-Fax
ICQ #95561393