The best way to find a good retrofitter is to ask for referrals

Los Angeles has some of the best retrofitters in the world and they are here to help you save your home from earthquake damage. Whether you live in one of the city’s many raised foundation older homes, or you have a post and pier house, or a hillside house, a seismic retrofit can protect your home and save you money from costly repairs after a ground shifting event.

The best way to find a good retrofitter is to ask for referrals. You can also search online for local contractors who are certified by the California State License Board and have a proven track record of doing brace and bolt work.

Getting an estimate and finding out the cost of an earthquake retrofit is often easier than you think. A professional structural engineer can come out and give you an inspection and provide you with a quote for the work.

Earthquake Retrofitting Costs vary depending on the age of the house and its structure, but most of the time it will cost about $3,000 to $7,000. The costs of retrofitting an older home will vary based on the foundation type of the house, and if it is located in a prone area.

Raised foundation houses, or those with steps up to the first floor, are at the most risk of a shifting foundation due to shaking from an earthquake. These homes often have an area beneath the first floor that is referred to as a crawl space.

These older homes are especially vulnerable because they were built before the construction of earthquake-resistant building codes. The frame of hundreds of thousands of these older houses is not bolted to the foundation, and without adequate bracing and bolting, they are very likely to shift or topple off their foundations during an earthquake.

If you own a home that needs to be seismic, you may want to hire an engineer or a structural contractor to perform the work. It will save you a lot of money and headaches in the long run, as well as give you peace of mind.

The most common and most cost-effective way to get a retrofit done is to bolt the house to its foundation using steel moment frames. These steel frames can support the entire weight of the home and reduce the amount of construction needed to build up the walls and floors.

Another option is to enclose the crawl space under the first floor with a concrete or masonry slab that is then bolted to the foundation. This will give the crawl space more stability, and can reduce the cost of a retrofit to $15,000 or less for most homes.

Seismic retrofits are required for certain multistory wood framed buildings and non-ductile concrete buildings constructed before 1980 in the Los Angeles. These buildings meet specific criteria, and if the property owner doesn’t have proof of previous retrofits, they must make the necessary changes within a certain period of time.