Today I received an email from our infamous head of training at Kubotek - "Doc Walt." He recently completed the building of his house on the Jersey Shore. He feels fortunate that his house survived and chalks it up to both providence and designing the house in KeyCreator to withstand such a storm.
Here is the story in his own words and unedited:
Neighbors House doesnt withstand Sandy's fury
There are literally hundreds of houses like this or much worse on my street and the surrounding streets at the shore.
Over half of the homes were damaged or suffered serious water and wind damage.
In some places the house is partially collapsed into the ground like this but still there.
In other cases there is debris on the lot where the house once stood.
In the worse cases even the lot and part of the street are gone with water from the bay and ocean filling the location.
So we were unbelievably lucky. I’m still a little dazed.
As Stella and I walked down the street, climbing around sinkholes and mounds of debris we met neighbors staring in disbelief at the remains of their lives.
It was like being for real in the middle of one of those disaster films.
There was also a capricious twist to the scene. Often a house would be standing intact with the ones on either side destroyed.
By a combination of unbelievably good fortune and a well-built structure our house came through without a single shingle misplaced, no siding or window damage, no structural damage.
Walt's House - Unscathed by Sandy
For reference, if you ever build a house at the seashore do what I did when I built this one: (Even some of my family and friends shook their heads at my extra precautions.)
- I designed the house in KeyCreator, evaluating each construction step.
- I added almost three tons of additional concreate cribbing and several hundred feet of ½ inch reinforcing steel bars in the cribbing to completely encircle the house piers.
- This prevented erosion of the sand around the foundation.
- All siding was installed with nails every 8 inches instead of the typical 30 inch spacing used.
- Roof shingles had 6 nails to the shingle instead of four with special drip edges along rakes and soffits.
- I added over five hundred special steel structural straps tying all rood rafters and joists to wall farming and created special truss walls in the attic to react to extreme wind loads.
- Every joist to wall tie had both Florida hurricane straps and California earthquake slip plates installed. All the extra steel only cost a few hundred dollars and three weekends of extra labor.
- So design your house with KeyCreator, spend some extra time adding reinforcements, and say a prayer.
I provide the above information with a sense of gratitude, hoping that anyone else contemplating a building project take the time to add a little extra in their efforts to prevent a future catastrophe.
Once you finish off a house structure it is virtually impossible to add these extra goodies
Our first floor is 7 feet 5 inches above mean tide level and the water surge reached exactly 7 feet, 5 inches.
We know that because when we opened the front door there was the equivalent of about three gallons of water that had just started to seep through the door sweep onto the tile floor.
I have to remove and replace the waterlogged insulation batts in the floor joist spaces of the first floor but that is a simple job compared to what could have been.
Best regards and thanks for your concern during this crisis.