How to Pay For Earthquake Retrofitters in Los Angeles

Many Los Angeles area residents are aware of the importance of strengthening their homes to help protect them from earthquakes. Luckily, there are a number of financial options available to help pay for the costs of a home retrofit.

Adding Earthquake Insurance to Your Policy

Most homeowners’ insurance policies will reduce the cost of earthquake coverage by up to 5% when you have your home retrofitted. Also, the California Earthquake Authority provides grant programs to eligible Los Angeles area residents who want to strengthen their homes to withstand earthquakes.

The Strictest Seismic Retrofit Laws in the Nation

Last fall, the city of Los Angeles passed Ordinance 183893 which requires the retrofitting of certain structures that do not meet specific safety standards. The ordinance is designed to help prevent buildings from being catastrophically damaged in a future earthquake.

Identify Your House Type and Vulnerabilities

To determine what retrofit your home needs, the first thing you need to do is to assess your building. A licensed structural engineer can do this for you by examining the foundation and exterior of your house to determine which structures need a retrofit.

Generally, older homes that are built on raised foundations with a crawl space underneath the first floor need a seismic retrofit. These houses often shift off their foundations during shaking due to the fact that their frames are not bolted to the foundation. These types of homes can be easily strengthened by bolting them to their foundations.

The cheapest way to do this is by hiring a local, experienced contractor who can complete the retrofit within a matter of days. However, if you are willing to do this yourself, you can save thousands of dollars by learning how to do it correctly.

Another option is to hire a company that specializes in earthquake retrofits. These companies can evaluate your building and then provide a complete list of retrofit requirements. They can also provide estimates and a quote for your project.

They will then help you make a plan and budget for the project. They can also assist you with finding a qualified contractor and scheduling the project.

In addition, they can also advise you on any funding sources you may be eligible for. This is a great way to make sure that you can afford your new home.

Optimum Seismic is one of a handful of Southern California firms that have grown in response to this seismic retrofit mandate. The company began in 1984, when a former UCLA civil engineering graduate named Ali Vahdani saw the need for a local firm to perform these assessments and retrofits.

The company has a team of professional engineers and technicians that can handle all aspects of your earthquake retrofit in Los Angeles, including conducting the inspections, preparing your building for a retrofit, and designing your structural system. They can even provide a cost-benefit analysis that will help you decide whether a retrofit is the best choice for your building. They have been working with clients throughout the Los Angeles area for over 30 years.