I found the article on tornado damage fascinating ("In the Path of the Storm," 9/11). Among other things, I was amazed to see that Alabama apparently has a lax building code when it comes to mechanical fasteners. I am curious what the author thinks about attached garages, since he pointed out several houses where the damage seemed to be blamed on the large garage door. Does he think garages should not be attached? Or, if they are, what should be done to prevent such damage to the adjoining house? Rider Sporn Blue Mounds, Wis.
Author Bryan Readling responds: Garages are indeed vulnerable to high-wind forces because they have large openings with weak coverings - typically overhead doors - and are often built with less structural redundancy. However, in my view, the decision whether to build a garage attached or detached should not be governed by wind design, since...
to read the full article.