A “soft story retrofit” may sound a bit confusing, but it can help your home or office to withstand an earthquake. When we say “withstand an earthquake,” that includes the dangerous period after an earthquake as well. Many of our customers have chosen this particular type of retrofitting for many reasons, not all of which includes protection from seismic events. As a retrofitting construction company in LA, we’ve handled many of these kinds of retrofits over the years. Now, we can put that experience to work on yours. In this article, we’ll lay out what a soft story retrofit is, why you may decide to get one, and how we can help.

Soft Story Retrofit from our Retrofitting Construction Company in LA

A retrofit doesn’t have to add any structural elements or alter it in any way to improve your building. The kind of soft story retrofit we make attaches a steel frame with an underneath grade beam to the building’s already existing frame. The reason for this steel beam is simple: it adds extra support to areas that might be vulnerable in an earthquake. See, earthquakes can cause buildings to move laterally. That kind of movement can tear the weak areas of a building apart. This addition provides extra support to the weaker areas of the building. Hopefully, you never have to worry about an earthquake striking your home, but a retrofit could prevent structural collapse.

Retrofit In Case of a Quake

No one wants to have to think about earthquakes. However, it’s best to be prepared. That’s what a soft story retrofit can be: preparation for the worse, should it ever come. Instead of an earthquake causing the building to collapse or become unusable, a retrofit could give you a real chance to prevent that. Indeed, there are even proven examples of retrofits having prevented loss of life during an earthquake. There are few things more terrifying than experiencing a major earthquake. A soft story retrofit can make your building strong enough to withstand it.

More than Just Earthquake Prevention

Yes, many of our customers get a soft story retrofit because it could help keep them home in better shape should an earthquake occur. However, it can also help tremendously should you want to sell your home or even refinance it. For example, a soft story retrofit can increase your property’s value or stabilize it. Having a soft story retrofit your home can be very attractive, a point in its favor for someone who’s looking for a safe home to raise their family in.

Insurance and More

Another benefit to a soft story retrofit is that it can give you better insurance rates as well as mortgage options. It makes your home safer. This kind of retrofit gives you the opportunity to reduce your liability, as you’re making a decision to improve the safety and security of your home. In fact, many of our customers have used a soft story retrofit to successfully reinforce their assets. This is the kind of addition to your home that makes your home that much more lucrative.

In fact, for many buildings, a retrofit might be mandatory. Here in southern California, Ordinance 183893 recently passed. This ordinance requires homeowners to retrofit non-ductile concrete buildings as well as pre-1978 wood-frame soft-story buildings. As you might imagine, those buildings weren’t really designed to withstand the worst of an earthquake. A retrofit can make them strong enough to withstand the earthquake as well as what comes after the earthquake as well.

This is one of the rare improvements you can make on your home that will give you peace of mind. An earthquake is a genuinely traumatic event. We’ve been doing this for a long time. We know how to make the soft story retrofit process as easy as possible on our customers. It’s important to keep in mind that we take care of this. You shouldn’t have to worry about whether your frame can handle earthquakes. We provide all necessary services so that you get your Certificate of Compliance. You won’t have to be concerned with earthquakes or ordinance compliance.

The first step our soft story retrofit professionals take is a free inspection of your property. This is not one of those inspections with “hidden fees” or that kind of thing; we perform a completely free and thorough inspection. Through careful examination of the soft story area as well as the rest of the structure, we develop an estimate on what your project will cost. You can trust that what you see with this estimate is what you will pay. In fact, we make it as detailed as we can. It separates the engineering and construction into two separate phases. To schedule an inspection with us or to get more info, head to our site or give us a call at (818) 629-0923.

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