By Howard Cook, Founder and General Manager of Bay Area Retrofit

Find the house that looks like yours and discover what kind of seismic retrofit you need.

seismic retrofit contractor retrofits an older house

My house was built before 1940

A seismic retrofit contractor works on homes like this typical sample of home built between 1900 and 1940. There is a wall between the foundation and the floor you walk on. This wall, called a cripple wall, can collapse in an earthquake causing catastrophic damage and is something you may want a seismic retrofit contractor to look at. Approximately 90% of the homes in the older parts of the Bay Aera have cripple walls and require cripple wall retrofits. If you have 3 or more steps leading into the front door you probably have a cripple wall.  Seismic Retrofit Contractors can help you will this. Read more

Seismic retrofit of house without cripple walls.

My house was built between 1940 and 1958 on a flat lot

After approximately 1940 houses were no longer built with cripple walls unless they were on a slope. These houses do extremely well in earthquakes because the floor can be attached directly to the foundation with steel.  A good seismic retrofit contractor can help you with this.  These retrofits are usually 25% cheaper and 100% more effective. If you have less than 3 steps leading into the front door, this is the kind of retrofit you will need. Seismic Retrofit Contractors can help you with this.Read more

Seismic retrofit contractor bolting a new house

My house was built after 1958 to the present on a flat lot

Some Cities such as San Jose have required bolting since 1927, though most cities did not make bolting a part of their code until December of 1956. These bolted houses on flat lots still need retrofit work because even now the building code is inadequate.  You need to find a seismic retrofit contractor who understand the deficiency in the code. These kinds of retrofits are the least expensive type and are very effective.  Seismic Retrofit Contractors can help you will this.Read more

Seismic retrofit contractor working on soft story house.

My house has a living area above a garage

Houses with a living areas above a garage have a structural weakness called a soft story. The “soft story” is the garage because the garage door opening can collapse causing the living area above it to fall to the ground. These kinds of retrofits rely on large steel columns and extensive concrete work which only a specialist seismic retrofit contractor should do. They are expensive but also very effective. Seismic Retrofit Contractors can help you will this.Read more

seismic retrofit of a hillside home

My house was built on a hillside

Hillside homes are very dangerous and are life threatening. Previous earthquakes have shown that standard seismic retrofit techniques that use plywood and bolts do not work on hillside homes. These retrofits require that the seismic retrofit contractor use a special building code developed in Los Angeles after the Northridge Earthquake. These retrofits are very expensive, usually costing in the tens of thousands. Seismic Retrofit Contractors can help you will this.Read more

Injuries because there was no seismic retrofit

When the shaking starts what do you do?

The first thing you will hear in any earthquake preparedness class is “Don’t Panic!” and that is excellent advice. However, you can be sure you Will Panic!. Earthquakes are very frightening. I was at the center of a very large Northern California 7.2 earthquake in 1992 in a house that had not been retrofitted. It felt as if King Kong had lifted up the house and was shaking it violently. My wife and I were both knocked to the living room floor. Standing was out of the question because the shaking was so violent. Your Office of Emergency Services can help you with this. Read more

Member

eeri-logo struc-eng-icon icc-icon

Headquartered at:

Bay Area Retrofit
427 San Pablo Ave
Albany, CA 94706
With field offices in San Jose and Hayward.

Company License Info

Works' Comp #3900008328-011
Contractors Lic #558462
Bond #511-67-26
Liability Ins GL 3984008