Video: Does My Home Need a Seismic Retrofit?


Is the area that you live in at risk for seismic activity? Do you know if your house could withstand an earthquake?

Did you know that doing a seismic retrofit, if it’s not, could easily protect your house and protect you in the event of an earthquake? Stay tuned and we’ll tell you more about it.

So let’s talk about how do you get your house safe? How do you bring it up to current code? And that’s going to involve a seismic retrofit.

What is a Seismic Retrofit?

If your house was built before seismic code was implemented, then there’s a good chance that the framing of the house is not attached to the concrete foundation.

The Basics of Seismic Retrofitting

This is a UFRP bracket, and it’s designed to attach the framing to the concrete.

There’s a lot involved in seismic retrofitting, but the basics are that you need to bring it up to current code so that if this foundation moves with the Earth, the framing above stays attached to the concrete.

There’s two main ways that you would retrofit your house. You would either do a prescriptive seismic retrofit, which is what we’re doing here, or you would do an engineered more custom seismic retrofit.

Prescriptive Retrofit

You really need to determine the type of foundation that you have, the type of framing that you have, and the quality of the materials you’re dealing with to determine which is appropriate for your home.

If you have relatively good concrete and you have a prescriptively built home, a prescriptive retrofit, which is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to go, is going to fit the bill.

Custom Retrofit

If you have a unique home that’s got unique architectural features, if it was custom built or you have maybe a clay block foundation, CMU block foundation, maybe the concrete is really soft and crumbly, and those situations you may need an engineer to help you design a proper retrofit.

Why Should I seismically Retrofit My Home?

There are a couple of reasons why you might want to retrofit your home. It could be that it helps you to sell the place. It could be that it’s a very dangerous type of construction and you really need to do it to keep your house safe and keep your family safe. It could be for peace of mind.

Oftentimes, people do a retrofit because they’re going to do a remodel project like we’re doing here. And this is the perfect time to do it, because once you build walls and once you add all the beautiful finishes, you can’t get to the space that that retrofit would occur.

Why is This Homeowner Retrofitting Their Home?

One of the reasons this homeowners are doing a retrofit is because they wanted to convert this unfinished basement to a legal finished space. So we’ve come in and removed a lot of the existing finishes.

We’ve installed these UFRP brackets connecting the sill plate to the foundation. There are a number of other basic brackets that are going to be installed to the post and the beam inside these joist bays.

Once we start to finish this space, all this hardware, while it looks great, is not going to be visible anymore. That will all disappear, but the house will be much more secure and safe.

Importance of Professional Assessments

If you live in a seismic prone area, you should definitely consider a seismic retrofit. You want to work with professionals that can assess your home appropriately and make the proper recommendations in repair to get your house up to code so that it’s safe and it protects you and your family.

Definitely check out the article in the description for a deep dive in how to understand what needs to be done. When it needs to be done. Continue to inform yourself and stay tuned for more valuable insights and information that’s going to guide you through your remodeling journey.