Formal Credentials Or Certifications Of Earthquake Retrofitting
Make sure to check out how much experience the company has, and how long it has been in business. There are no formal credentials, or certifications, in the field of earthquake retrofitting. Make sure that the company you hire has both training and experience in seismic modifications, a thorough knowledge of the steps that are needed and they need to be up to date on the local building codes and regulations. You can find most of the answers to these questions on their website. If the website does not have this information listed, it is up to you to pick up the phone and call them. A reliable company will have qualified customer service agents who can answer your questions and schedule a consultation for you.
Army of Builders is a full-service seismic company that serves the greater Los Angeles area. We aim to deliver your soft-story retrofit in a timely, efficient, and most of all, cost-effective way. Once you hire us, you can relax knowing that a qualified professional will take care of you. From your initial consultation to the city inspection at the end of the project, we will be with you every step of the way. Your contractor will update you on a regular basis in case anything changes with the deadline, work needed, or construction costs, so there will be no surprises when the work is finished. Don’t be penalized for missing the deadline, start the process of your Los Angeles soft-story retrofit by calling Army Of Builders now.
Is Your Building Listed In The LA Soft-Story Retrofit Program?
Longtime residents of the greater Los Angeles area have been waiting for a larger earthquake to hit any day. If you are new in the area, do you know is your building listed in the LA soft-story retrofit program? A notice to comply was mailed out to most buildings and apartment owners in 2016. These notices went out to the buildings’ owners that are listed as soft-story structures. The first round of notices went out to owners of buildings that fall under Priority or 1 or 2 under Ordinance 183893. If your building has less than five residential units, your notice should have been mailed out later.
If you are planning on updating your property, you have two years to submit your retrofit plans to the city. On the other hand, if you are going to just demolish the property then you must submit those plans to the city within 3.5 years.
Which Structures Are The Most Vulnerable
If you have not received a letter to comply with the city it does not mean that you are off the hook. The city of Los Angeles Department of Building Safety spent over two years assessing city structures in order to decide which structures are the most vulnerable in case a major earthquake strikes. After this extensive assessment, they have compiled a list of over 13,000 buildings meeting their criteria. This means it is likely that many owners on the list may have been overlooked. Don’t be the one who ends up having to pay huge fines later because you didn’t do your homework now. Note that almost all soft-story buildings that are built before 1994 need to be updated.
What Makes Buildings Soft-Story?
Any building with three and more stories that has a ground floor with a large open space, such as a parking garage, is a soft-story building. Those large open spaces are what makes these types of building vulnerable. Most of them do not have a shear wall which makes them very unstable during an earthquake. The upper floors generally tend to collapse down on top of themselves and once it happens the building can not be repaired anymore.
After World War ll, the city of Los Angeles grew at a rapid rate. A huge number of apartment complexes began popping up all over the city. The problem with these older apartment complexes is the designs used during that time were not what they are today. Technologies have advanced both the durability and quality of the materials used and also the construction techniques found in most retrofits. Any building constructed between 1950 - 1980, will need to be retrofitted in order to be compliant with the LA soft-story retrofit program. If you are still not sure if your building is a soft-story or not, the best thing to do is to contact a Los Angeles retrofit contractor to schedule a consultation.
Completing A Soft-Story Retrofit
Understanding the steps involved can create a lot of confusion. To make it simpler for you, start by finding an experienced Los Angeles retrofitting contractor. Here at Army Of Builders, our professional contractors have already completed over 90 soft-story retrofits in the Los Angeles area and know exactly what it takes to bring your building up to code.
The best soft-story retrofit contractors will offer a free initial consultation. At this first meeting, one of their professional contractors and seismic engineers will go over everything with you. The engineer will inspect your building and create a detailed plan of the work that is needed. Then they will call you to schedule a follow-up meeting. At this meeting, they will go over your retrofit options and provide you with a detailed report that covers all of the work that needs to be done, a timeline for completing it, and an estimate of the cost.
Before any construction can begin, you will need to acquire the proper building permits from the city. Your Los Angeles retrofitting contractor will submit all of the paperwork the city requires to obtain the permits you need. It takes about 38 days to have the application approved and permits issued if everything is submitted right the first time.
Along with the application, you will need to pay a plan check fee and a detailed plan of the work that is needed on your structure needs to be submitted with the other documents. Filing the application and work plan is only the first step towards acquiring the necessary permits. A city official will go over the work plan to make sure it meets the current building codes.