Reasonableness of Thought

House structures are very simple

Virtually every structural element is what is called a determinate structure. Explaining what that means would take us far into the technical weeds. Suffice it to say that where you have determinate structures, tracing out how loads transfer through the structure is relatively easy and simple. Bending moments are not transferred from one member to another. Explanations of how loads move through the structure should be simple and easy to understand.

Why houses use simple determinate structures

One reason houses are designed and constructed as determinate structures is that when the foundation distorts due to expansive soils, or any other reason, the house structure reacts in predictable ways and the stress level in the structural elements changes very little. This is a complicated way of saying that even foundation distortion that is so severe that it creates large and numerous cracks in the brick veneer and the drywall will not cause the house frame to fail.

Studs bow, beams sag, framed walls rack, floors heave  

When a determinate structure is affected by foundation distortion, the mechanisms involved are very simple. They can be understood by any Professional Engineer. Even the average homeowner can understand how the various structural elements react to foundation distortion. 



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