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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs About Earthquake Retrofitting and Foundation Repair

What is retrofitting?

Simply stated, it’s a process that ties a home together. It increase the resistance to earthquake damage and decreases the risk of injury. In short, it significantly strengthens the house.

How do I know if I need retrofitting?

Easy. Our trained inspectors will crawl under your home with a camera and a detailed check list. Crawl along with us if you like. You’ll receive a detailed report on the condition of your foundation and any water damage that may have occurred which may jeopardize the safety of your home and your family. We won’t ever sell you something that you don’t need. It all depends on the condition, type of structure, type of construction, the age of the structure and the level of protection you want for your home.

Is the inspection free? No hidden charges?

Absolutely. We only request a few minutes of your time to schedule the inspection and meet you on site. If your home is secured and doesn’t need retrofitting, we’ll tell you. If there are any problems, we can offer you the solutions.

What are the benefits of retrofitting my home?

Strengthened homes are safer to live in and easier to sell and insure. The Northridge earthquake showed us that strengthened homes stayed on their foundation in the same neighborhoods where retrofitting had not been performed on certain homes. Some insurance will no longer insure a home unless this work is done. Sellers of a home must also disclose to buyers if their home is unbolted.

How much does earthquake retrofitting cost?

The cost of the work varies. Some homes have cripple walls that need blocking or bracing, while other homes do not have cripple walls. Some homes have plenty of access to the work area while other homes have limited access because of heating ducts or small access holes. The cost of work will increase significantly if you need to replace an unreinforced masonry foundation or if your home experiences a lot of termite or fungus damage to the wood. You will get an idea of the fair value of the work to be done by getting A different bids from foundation contractors. We will provide you with an exact pricing during the inspection.

Most single family homes on level or near level lots can expect to pay from $2000 to $4000 for the total job. This price assumes a contractor did the work according to the department’s standard plan and there were no special conditions. Home owners who do the work themselves can help reduce this cost. There will be additional costs if you need to hire an architect or engineer.

Do I need a building permit?

Yes. The building permit process protects your interests by providing building inspections. We’ve done work in all cities in the Los Angeles County and we know exactly what we need to start each job and to get the right permits for each specific work that we are going to perform. In addition, knowledgeable and well trained city inspectors will check the quality and quantity of the work. This helps you make sure the job was done right. You will also have a permanent record in the city hall that the work was permitted and inspected.

How do I get a building permit?

Getting a building permit is nothing that you will need to worry about. First, we will crawl under your home to determine what details your plan will use. We will prepare a plan of your home, and will reference the details you should use. Second, we will take your plan to your city department of building and safety office. If your home does not have any special conditions and all your home needs is a department standard plan, pulling the permit will be pretty simple. If your home does have special conditions, your plan might need to be reviewed by an architect or engineer, who will review the plans and make necessary changes. It is then stamped and approved and sent back to the department of building and safety for final approval to move forward with obtaining the right permit to perform the work. The time-frame will vary depending on each city office and its requirements. Each permit has a permit fee that will cover the costs to review your plan, inspect the work and keep a permanent record of it.

Will my property taxes be increased if I retrofit my home?

Under section 74.5 of the California revenue and taxation code, seismic retrofitting work to an existing building is excluded from tax reassessment. To receive the exclusion, the assessor must be notified at least within 30 days of completion of the work. Contact the Los Angeles County Tax Assessor for details and current information.

Contact Weinstein Retrofitting Systems for a Free Estimate & Inspection today!