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re: uplift straps/ home builders

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Jordan,
 
I could not find that article on their website, it was on NAHB.org ?
 
The IBC does not explicitly require uplift straps at roof framing members? Does this cover residential drawings that do not require a design professional? I mean, a stiff breeze can pull out a toe nailed rafter, that is just completely ridiculous. Even in non-hurricane areas of the country, there are thunderstorms with gale winds, tornadoes, etc. And what are they saving, the $1 on the uplift strap or the $1 it costs a framer to nail it up there? What are they going to eliminate next, the roof sheathing? Do you really need a 12" thick footing too? You are not really saving the homeowner money when their roof blows off, even if they have insurance.
 
I can tell when a building was built in the early 80s or before in Florida if they don't have any straps. I have even seen older houses with homemade straps from the metal band that goes around pallets of building materials. It is like they knew they had to do SOMETHING, but not sure what...
 
Another discussion(s) for another day:
Politics versus science/engineering in the areas of building design and building codes. Why are politicians influencing such important decisions that should be left to design professionals? Cases like the panhandle region of Florida where the Building Code had clearly lower standards due in part to heavy lobbying by builders in that region, and perhaps some politicians with some beach front property...
 
And why does the insurance industry in Florida and probably the Gulf states have their collective heads up their @$$?  Didn't California's insurance industry practically collapse/pull out of the state some years ago? Did the situation improve with better building codes, enforcement, and mandatory seismic upgrading, by creating a more controlled loss situation for the insurance companies? I don't understand why insurance rates are calculated basically on the replacement value of your house or building, without regard to the type of construction. You can get any ole tool shed insured and they will do it blindly. If I ran an insurance company, I would adjust the rates based on the type of construction, age, was it designed by a licensed engineer, etc. I would have inspections done by a licensed engineer to evaluate the structure before I insured it. And I would lobby like crazy for the toughest building codes and better enforcement. I won't even get into the financial mismanagements and poor decision making by our insurance commision and politicians....
 
And why has residential building for so long been acceptably lower tech and less restrictive then commercial construction? You would think people would want where they LIVE, sleep, take care of their children, etc. to be the strongest of structures. Most people care that their house has X square feet, vaulted ceilings, granite counters and 3 bathrooms. Truss uplift straps and load paths are not very sexy. And who needs a structural engineer with his extravagant fee of <1% of the construction costs? I think I may go get my realtor's license....
 
(off soap box, sorry...)
 
Andrew Kester, PE
ADK Structural Engineering, PLLC
Lake Mary, FL
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