If you live in the Los Angeles area, your house may be vulnerable to earthquake damage. Fortunately, you can protect your family and your home with retrofit your LA home.
Seismic retrofitting is a process of strengthening a house’s foundation to make it more resistant to earthquake damage. It is a relatively inexpensive option for homeowners who are looking to strengthen their homes and prevent earthquake damage.
Los Angeles is known as one of the most seismically active regions in the world, so it’s no surprise that the city has a number of earthquake retrofitting laws. These laws require certain homes to be strengthened so they can withstand a major earthquake, thereby protecting the safety and value of the property owner.
The types of buildings that need to be retrofitted depend on their age and location. For example, the city of Los Angeles requires all wood-frame soft story houses and non-ductile concrete tilt-up buildings built before 1978 to be retrofitted.
This is because these types of structures may be vulnerable to falling off the foundation in an earthquake and sustaining serious damage from the force of the ground shaking.
Fortunately, there are ways that you can retrofit your LA home yourself. The first step is to visit your local building department and learn about the rules and regulations that govern earthquake retrofitting. You can also find a lot of useful information online.
Another good resource is your building department’s prescriptive plan sets (like a cookbook for contractors and DIYers). These guides will help you navigate the building department’s procedures to ensure that your project is done right.
Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary information, it’s time to begin the process of putting your plans into action. The next step is to secure a permit from your local building department.
In most cases, a permit will be required for any work that is likely to affect the public right-of-way, such as cutting into sidewalks or cutting through a streetscape. Additionally, if you’re replacing a window or door where there wasn’t one before, you will need to get a permit for that as well.
For most homes, the cost of retrofitting will be between $3,000 and $7,000. This is a small investment when compared to the amount of money that would be lost in repairing or replacing damages from an earthquake.
Depending on the type of home that you have, it might be worth your while to hire a contractor for your seismic retrofitting project. This is especially true if you’re considering a retrofitting project that involves the addition of braces or shear walls to your home’s structure.
Hire a Contractor
If you’re considering hiring a contractor to retrofit your LA home, you’ll want to take your time and find the right person for the job. The right professional should be able to provide you with a range of options for your project, answer your questions and give you an idea of how long it will take and what the cost will be.
The best way to do this is to get bids from a number of contractors for the work you need done and then compare them. The key is to find a contractor who offers fair pricing and quality work.
Once you have a short list of contractors, be sure to check their credentials and make sure that they are licensed, bonded and insured in California. This ensures that they have the right insurance in case something happens to them while working on your home.
It’s also a good idea to ask for references. The best contractors will be happy to give you a set of past customers you can call to see what they think about their experience with the company.
In addition, you can check the Better Business Bureau to see if they have received any complaints and if these were resolved quickly and professionally. Be sure to do this because sometimes even the best contractors can get a bad review from a customer.
Another important consideration is the type of retrofit that you’ll need for your home. Many types of homes are more susceptible to earthquake damage than others, and it’s important that you understand your specific home’s needs before deciding how to retrofit it.
For example, if your home is built with a raised foundation, you will need to retrofit it to prevent the walls from shifting off the foundation during an earthquake. This can be done by bolting or bracing the walls to the foundation.
If you’re in a high-risk area, you may qualify for a grant from the Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program. This program is administered by the CRMP and is available to owner-occupied, qualifying homeowners in higher-risk ZIP Codes.
When it comes to retrofitting your LA home, the cost will depend on several factors, including the type of retrofit you need. However, the average cost of an earthquake retrofit is between $3,000 and $7,500, depending on the size of your house and the labor involved.
One of the main reasons that homeowners should consider a seismic retrofit is because it can prevent costly damage to their homes in the event of an earthquake. This is especially important in Southern California, where the risk of a major earthquake is very high.
Fortunately, there are programs that can help you retrofit your home for free or at a low cost. For example, the Earthquake Brace + Bolt program offers up to $3,000 grants for owner-occupied homes in areas of high earthquake hazard, as well as supplemental grants if you have a household income of less than $72,080 per year.
Another way to save money on a retrofit is to look into green, or “energy efficient,” upgrades. These types of changes can significantly reduce your energy bill, which can also be a big savings for the family.
Many homeowners may be surprised to learn that their house could qualify for a free or inexpensive retrofit. These retrofits are aimed at strengthening the foundation and supporting the structure of houses that have been built improperly or with structural defects.
These include raised foundation older homes, post and pier houses, hillside houses and houses with living spaces over garages. These can all be vulnerable to earthquakes, so it’s important to consider whether your home needs a seismic retrofit before the next major quake strikes.
You’ll be able to find out more about the specific risks your house might face by contacting the Los Angeles Seismic Engineering Office. This department will be able to provide you with a list of recommended measures for strengthening your house against earthquakes.
Once you have a good idea of the steps required to strengthen your house, it’s time to start planning. This includes hiring a contractor or considering doing it yourself, deciding how you’ll pay for the work and scheduling a timeline for completion.
Insurance is a legal agreement that provides financial protection to you or a designated person, called a beneficiary, in case of losses due to unpredictable events. It’s a financial safety net that can help you recover after a disaster — such as fire, theft, lawsuit or car accident.
The insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance provider. When you file a claim, the insurance company pays you or your beneficiary based on the terms of your policy.
A homeowners policy can be purchased to cover a wide range of losses. It may cover your mortgage, personal property and liability. You may also be able to purchase additional coverage to protect your belongings from natural disasters, like earthquakes.
If you have an older home, it is important to consider earthquake retrofitting. It can prevent serious damage to your house during an earthquake, and it can save you money on repairs in the long run.
In Los Angeles, there are many ways to retrofit your home for earthquakes. A good contractor can make your home more resistant to tremors and improve the strength of your foundation.
Seismic retrofits involve anchoring your sill plate to the foundation and bracing the walls of your home to resist collapse during an earthquake. It’s a fairly simple process that typically only takes a few days.
Another benefit of retrofitting is that it can reduce your earthquake insurance premiums. Some insurance companies offer a discount for homes that have been retrofitted, and you can get a discount even if your home is not in an earthquake-prone area.
Earthquakes occur suddenly and without warning, and they can be deadly or cause extensive damage to your home. This is especially true if you live in a soft-story, hillside or other vulnerable home.
If you are planning to sell your home, it’s best to make sure it has been properly retrofitted for earthquakes. You should have a professional inspector check the work and ensure that you have made all the necessary upgrades to your home’s structure.
In some cities, it’s required that all soft-story buildings be retrofitted. You can get a grant of up to $3,000 from the California Residential Mitigation Program for retrofitting your home.