California Man Builds Quake Proof Home In Edmond

Friday, May 23rd 2014, 6:45 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma is having earthquakes more frequently now than ever.

Protecting your home from damage isn't an easy task, but one builder in Edmond thinks he has it figured out.

The house may look like any other nice, big home in Edmond, but inside, there are multiple materials that can help it withstand a big earthquake.

"If you were to walk around the house, you wouldn't notice anything different, though a lot of the engineering goes into the concrete, into the walls and into the roof and ceiling system," said builder Daniel Bendel.

After 14 months of construction, Bendel says he's achieved an earthquake-proof home.

"Quite a bit of hardware and steel engineering all went into the house."

Bendel is a 5th-generation builder, from San Diego, who has lived through some major earthquakes. So in moving to Oklahoma, he took with him, his 20 years of seismic-sustainable building expertise a part of his company Bendel Homes Construction LLC.

"I want to be able to connect the roof to the foundation, well we do that with steel and hardware and a lot of nails," Bendel said.

Thousands of nails, 100 sheets of sheer panel, 55 strap-tie holdowns and several hurricane ties went into his 3700 square-foot East Edmond Chateau.

Each strap locks into the concrete and keeps the house from leaving the foundation. He has straps placed throughout his home, while he says they are only required at garage portals for Oklahoma standards.

"In addition for example, we want to take a structural piece of plywood, put it on the wall and we want to nail the heck out of it to make it completely solid."

Bendel's wife recalls feeling an earthquake as she was in the kitchen last winter.

"Felt like I was moving, everything was rattling around the kitchen, but nothing actually fell down," Rose Bendel said.

Their home is built up to strict California standards. Bendel hopes it's ready for Oklahoma weather.

"I hope that someday it will withstand a tornado, just because of the engineering that went into it," he said.

"It takes time and investment, but in the end, you're going to get a house that's going to withstand the elements, it's not just going to be an easy pushover."

If you're looking to add some sturdier features to your home, Bendel suggests that you hire a structural engineer, which can be costly but safer in the long run.

Click here for more information on Bendel's earthquake-proof designs.