Frequently Asked Questions About Retrofitting

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Planning on getting your home an earthquake retrofitting but isn’t sure how and what detail you need to know before entirely making up your mind to go for it? Have other questions with regards to earthquake retrofitting which you demand answers on before actually deciding what you would want for your home or apartment? Great! Hopefully you’ll get to find answers to at least some of your questions here. Below is a list of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and its answers all about earthquake retrofitting.

Does my building/house/apartment need a retrofitting? 

Is your building/house/apartment constructed before the year 1980? Do you believe that your building is in need of improved stability, especially during earthquakes? Do you own a wood-framed building or a soft-story building? The purpose of earthquake retrofit is to strengthen the connections between the structure and its foundation, so if you answered yes to any one of those questions, this means that the structure that you own does need a seismic retrofit. 

My building has survived many earthquakes already. Is there still a need for retrofitting? 

If that’s the case, then that’s good news! However, do take in consideration that not every earthquake has the same strength and magnitude, which could mean that your building is still not totally earthquake proof. If a stronger earthquake unleashes its terror, would your building still manage to stand tall? It probably will but also probably won’t. But when talking about natural calamities, you can’t just rely on probability. You don’t  know when nature would hit you with its worst, such as The Big One, so as much as possible refrain from taking such risky chances. Think about the lives that could be in danger if your building isn’t made to last after one more earthquake. So there, you have your answer: yes, your building still needs a seismic retrofit.

How much does a seismic retrofitting cost? 

There’s no one particular price that could answer this question nor a particular price list where you can find which deal matches your building’s needs the most. How old is your house or building now? How big is it or how small? What materials is it made of? What do you use it for? There are many questions that have to be answered first before you can get the actual digits but if you would like to see at least an estimated cost, the average cost of an earthquake retrofit is around 1 to 3 percent of your home or building cost. 

Is a building permit needed before starting my earthquake retrofit? 

Yes, you’ll be needing a building permit for this project. Make a documentation, apply for the permit, and have a detailed plan. Typically, it takes up to 38 days to have your plan application approved and it doesn’t end on simply waiting. If the plan you’ve submitted doesn’t meet the current code, your plan could actually be disapproved by the city engineer and it will be sent back for some corrections. If you think it’s such a hassle to do revision and wait over and over again, then know that hiring a professional earthquake retrofit company could greatly lighten up your work. A trusted professional earthquake retrofit company may have a contractor to do the work plan for you. 

Do I have control over how the improvements will be done to my company?

You will have options with regards to the type of improvements that will work on your property, you also have options when it comes to the materials and construction techniques that will be used in retrofitting your property, and you can, of course, choose what will most likely make your building as strong as possible. So, to answer the question, yes, you have control. 

How long will it take to complete the process of seismic retrofit?

There are many factors to consider before you can get an estimation of the duration of the construction. Factors such as the size of your property and the use of the building included. For your reference, the seismic retrofit construction of a small apartment complex with 4 to 6 units, including its garage could take up to two weeks. 

You might have probably figured it out already – earthquake retrofitting a home, an apartment, or any building is not a Do-It-Your-Own project which you can simply go for on your own. In retrofitting, no matter how big or small your property may be, it is best to let the professionals do the work for you. It takes time, effort, and definitely the right knowledge just to have such delicate work done without any problem. 
For more answers to your questions check out our FAQ page.