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Strengthening the structural frame of your house includes creating a "continuous load path" within your home. So what is a continuous load path? It's a method of construction that uses a system of wood, metal connectors, fasteners (like nails and screws) and shearwalls to connect the structural frame of the house together. A continuous load path is like a chain that ties the house together from the roof to the foundation.

A continuous load path is critical during an earthquake or hurricane because it helps hold the house together when ground forces or high winds try to pull your home apart. A home is more likely to withstand a seismic or high wind event and stay intact when all parts of the house – roof, walls, floors and foundation – are connected together.

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Although building codes require homes to be built with a continuous load path, not all parts of the country follow these national building standards. The age of your home can also help determine whether it has a continuous load path. Older homes, built before 1985, typically do not have a continuous load path.

To learn more about connectors and continuous load path construction, see Building a Well-Connected Home™.

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