When buying a new home, it's important to think about more than just the color of your countertops or what flooring you like. You should also talk to your builder about how your home is constructed to make sure it's built to code or above code. For most of us, we assume our house is being built correctly, but that's not always the case.

Here are a few questions you can ask your builder so you sound like a pro. The answer to all of these questions should be "Yes."

Is my home built with a continuous load path?
Your home should be tied together from the roof to the foundation.

Is my roof secured properly?
The roof decking should be securely nailed or screwed to the roof framing (rafters or trusses).

Is my roof connected to the top story (floor) of my house?
Roof framing (rafters or trusses) should be securely fastened to the top of the wall with metal connectors, such as hurricane ties, based on your local building code requirements.

Are the walls on each story (floor) of my house properly connected to each other? Are there enough shearwalls on each story (floor)?
The studs that run along each wall should be properly connected to the top plate and the bottom plate with metal connectors. If you live in a two-story house, the walls on the top story should be connected to the walls on the lower story with connectors or strap ties. Shearwalls with holdowns should also be installed at various locations within a home to resist racking and overturning forces.

Is the bottom story/floor of my house properly bolted to the foundation?
The mudsill should be attached to the foundation with mudsill anchors or anchor bolts.

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