How to get $3,000 for an Earthquake Retrofit

The Earthquake Brace and Bolt Program (EBB) requires that either one of two retrofits standards is met:  Appendix Chapter A3 or Standard Plan A, You can also hire an engineer, but his fees  alone will usually cost more than $3000, and most engineered retrofits are needlessly expensive to install.

If you live in Oakland

Oakland will not approve work done with Appendix Chapter A3, but they will approve Standard Plan A retrofits, so in Oakland,  Standard Plan A or an engineer are your only choices.

In Oakland you have two options.

Give the City simple plans using this template, go to the Oakland permit office and give them $250 and the plans.   They will set up a meeting with a building inspector at your house for a pre-inspection within a four-hour window, probably on the next day.

If the building inspector discovers that you missed something and Standard Plan A will not work, you must go back to the permit office and apply for a refund.

If it will work, then you go back to the permit office and your permit will be issued and you can start work.

If your contractor applies for the permit will not get a discounted $250 permit fee, there is no pre-inspection, and the standard permit  fee will be around 12% of the job cost.  Bay Area Retrofit does not do assessments just to see if you qualify for Standard Plan A.

For example, if your job costs $8000, the permit fee will be around $700.  The contractor will charge around $450 to process the permit as a part of his bid or will simply blend it into the total bid price.  Then you will pay around $1000 in taxes on the $3000 which leaves you with $850.  If you contractor does all the work to get to that point it is still worth it.

 Questions about the program?

Earthquake Brace and Bolt:

(877) 232-4300

They are quick to answer the phone and are very helpful.  Make sure and talk to Jim.  He is one level above the person who answers the phone.