Homeowners in Wellington are being advised to get their foundations up to scratch to protect themselves if the city is hit by a major earthquake.
Researchers at Victoria University assessed 80 houses in the city and found 76% had foundations with deficiencies ranging from degradation to incorrect or non-existent fixings.
The study estimates the cost of fixing all the foundations of homes in Wellington at $250 million. However, that work would prevent about $1 billion worth of damage giving a net saving of $750 million.
The Society of Earthquake Engineers says unless homeowners are 100% sure their foundations safe, they should be checked by an engineer.
Executive officer Win Clark says older wood framed houses on steep hillsides are particularly at risk.