Luxus Construction is a licensed general contractor that’s been promoting and performing seismic retrofitting throughout California for over six years. We want to educate everyone about the best, most affordable and safest ways to protect their homes under the worst possible conditions.
Seismic retrofitting is a process where a licensed contractor strengthens your home’s functionality and enhances its ability to withstand earthquakes and damage. This is done by bolting the house to its foundation and bracing the walls around the crawl space.
This is especially important if:
- Your home was built before 1979.
- The building has a wood frame.
- If you have a crawl space under the house, meaning it is on a raised foundation and more susceptible to the side-to-side motion earthquakes influence.
Seismic retrofitting utilizes processes set forth in the California Existing Building Code, Appendix Chapter A3. In some regions, such as the Bay Area, there are pre-approved Plan Sets for the procedures. This means:
- The Chapter A3 or pre-approved Plan Set can be used if the dwelling is a single family house with a wood frame and a cripple wall of less than four feet.
- Any property that does not meet the aforementioned criteria will need to have plans for seismic retrofitting designed by a professional engineer or architect.
- You will need a building permit.
Before the 1980s, residential seismic building codes were not consistently enforced as they are now, leaving then-new homes vulnerable to damage even during a moderate quake. Today, a retrofitting is expected.
Owners of pre-1979 houses are being offered incentives for getting their houses retrofitted. There are financial incentives for qualified homeowners. You can contact your home insurance company to find out more about the Hazard Reduction Discount, or call CA Earthquake Authority 888-933-9876. There is also the California Residential Mitigation Program’s Earthquake Brace + Bolt Program available to homeowners in specific California regions (877-232-4300). They offer education and initiatives in retrofitting to homeowners, contractors and building officials. Homeowners may be eligible for financing through an AllianceNRG PACE lending program. This program creates tax benefits through a configuration of third party loans.
Another good way to find out more about seismic retrofitting is to get in touch with a rep at Luxus Construction. We are experienced in modifying existing homes so that they are more resistant to ground motion, seismic activity and soil failure, as well as all associated programs.
Contact Luxus Construction to get started. Please call 310-270-8596 for more information.
Photos courtesy of The Bancroft Library, USGS and FEMA.