Strengthen your home

Find out what you can do to strengthen your home and keep your family safer in an earthquake.

Cover image for the Earthquake Strengthen Your House booklet.

Earthquake strengthen your house

Some of the problems that could affect Wellington homes in an earthquake are relatively easy and inexpensive to fix, like tying the house to its foundations or securing a hot water cylinder. To identify any weak points, from the foundations to the chimney, use the Earthquake strengthen your house - Checklist 

Quakecheck Home Assessment Service

If you would like a professional assessment of your home, our Quakecheck service might be right for you. Quakecheck is a professional service that assesses parts of your house – chimney, foundations, roof tiles, and hot water cylinder. For $160 you’ll receive an inspection, written report, setting out priorities and indicative costs of any work needed to make your home safer.

To book or for more information, see Quakecheck Home Assessment Service.

Pryda foundation strengthening kits

Keep your house on its foundations in an earthquake, using the fixtures and fittings in the Pryda foundation strengthening kit. Each comprehensive kit has enough fixings and fittings for up to 20 piles – enough to greatly improve your home’s earthquake resilience. 

Before buying, you need to know if your house piles are concrete or timber as there’s a different kit for each. Pick up a kit right away from your local Mitre10 MEGA or order from Bunnings or PlaceMakers. For more information about the kits visit Pryda's website. This video shows you how to install the kit – it's easy:

Earthquake strengthening kits

QuakeFlex (L) and Seismic Restraints (R) earthquake restraint kits.

Resize

Keep your stuff safe

To prevent damage and injury in an earthquake, it’s a good idea to restrain your large appliances and furniture.

  • Seismic Restraints also stocks an extensive range of earthquake safety fasteners to secure common fixtures and furnishings in every part of your home. See their full range at seismicrestraints.co.nz
  • The Earthquake Commission has simple steps you can take to secure furniture, fittings and your hot water cylinder on: Quake Safe Your Home – Earthquake Commission

Things to think about before you start work

Building consent

Before starting building strengthening work on your property, check whether you need to get a building consent. In some cases may not need consent. It’s always good to check. Building Consents –Before You Start Your Project.

If you’re removing a chimney, check – Removing a chimney.

Heritage buildings and areas

If your building is heritage listed on the district plan or is in a heritage area, the Council's heritage staff can help you find out if you need a resource consent for proposed work, and discuss your project and building’s heritage values. You may be eligible for Built Heritage Incentive Fund. Check out the Council’s heritage list here: Heritage Sites.

Commercial or residential?

If you live in a building that is two storeys or higher and consists of three or more household units it is considered a commercial building under the Building Act 2004 and the Council’s Earthquake Prone Buildings policy. You can find out more about strengthening commercial properties at Earthquake-prone Buildings.

More information