Optimal earthquake bracing to retrofit on older double wide.
(Palm Springs, CA, USA)
I recently bought a 1971 Skyline 40' double wide sitting on 20 old-style cement piers, which are not bolted to the frame. Some of the wood pier pads are quite deteriorated. A few of the piers are now hyperextended with no allowance left for further leveling. The foundation (or lack of an adequate one) reallly got my attention when two relatively small earthquakes in recent months caused my little house to rock and roll to the point of downright scary. The previous owners did a lot of upgrades... new ceramic tile throughout, double pane thermal windows, etc., some of which added a great deal of weight to the house. They should have had the foundation checked, house leveled and a steel pier system put in before the upgrades, but did not. In less than a year after the heavy tile was laid, there are already hairline cracks in the ceramic tile grout and some permeter sag. I'm now exploring a new foundation system, which one would think would be straight-forward and easy, but guess again....
My house is on a rental lot and is too old to meet requirements for financing, so I'm not concerned about FHA or bank standards, and I'm not able to retrofit a permanent foundation on rented land. I just want to feel safe in my home and have the best possible foundation for minimizing loss in a big earthquake. I've had 5 different contractors out. Each has told me something significantly different as to what would be best and most cost effective... to the point it's all become very confusing. Who knew there are so many different ways to go on this... and supposedly (according to each contractor) still meet California code for seismic bracing??? The contractor who was most convincing with his recommendation is, of course, by far the highest priced.
I've researched extensively on line, read the State of California code for mobile home earthquake bracing, and still I'm left with questions as to what is truly optimal on an older mobile home, or most effective without spending more money than is really necessary. I'm not looking for the cheapest system to meet some outside agency or party's requirements... I want what is truly most effective without gong overboard and spending more than is necessary. Does someone "in-the-know" have experience with this such that they can suggest a truly good system that does not cost an arm, a leg, and my first born?... and maybe recommend a reliable contractor in southern California to have it installed properly?