Interviewed on local PBS & the NewsHour
Bay Area Retrofit’s Training & Engineering Background
Bay Area Earthquake Probabilities & Consequences

One of the 4 houses below looks like yours. See what kind of retrofit you need.

Cripple Wall Retrofits

If your home has more than 3 steps into the front or back doors you probably have a cripple wall.  This is a short wall between the foundation and the floor you walk on.  Unbraced cripple walls can collapse in earthquakes.  Preventing collapse is the purpose of a cripple wall retrofit.

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No Cripple Wall Retrofits

If you have no more than 1 or 2 steps leading into the front and back doors you will be able to attach the floor directly to the foundation with steel.  After these houses are securely attached to their foundations they are probably the safest and most most protected houses of all.

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Houses with Living Area Above the Garage

Homes with living areas above a garage are hazardous because the garage door openings can collapse with catastrophic consequences.  This condition is called a soft story and the only thing that can keep this damage from occurring is a soft story retrofit.

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Earthquake Brace and Bolt Program: It Needs a Retrofit 

A co-author of Earthquake Bolt and Brace mandatory seismic retrofit guideline looks at its many faults and cannot find any strengths. The Earthquake Brace and Bolt  program does not want you to watch this video!

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Keeping Safe and Preventing Injuries

Former damage inspector and injury documentarian for the Federal Emergency Management Agency explains how best to protect yourself and your family from injuries and keeping safe.

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Houses on a Steep Hillside

Home built on steep lots are very prone to catastrophic damage where fatalities can and do occur.  Hillside home retrofits must follow a special building code that is practically unknown in the Bay Area.  Very few seismic retrofit contractors know how to install hillside home retrofits.

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Finding a Contractor

A seismic retrofit contractor with over 25 years experience shows you how to identify a competent contractor.  Find out which codes they should know, the type of research the should have done, and how to get references from engineers and professionals who can judge their expertise.

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Our Contributions to the Field

Howard Cook, Bay Area Retrofit’s founder, has been building retrofit shear walls for 25 years.  Here you will learn the easy to follow tricks of the trade that make building shear walls simple. You will not only learn the how of building shear walls but learn the engineering theory behind them.

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