The Benefits of Being a Retrofitter in the Los Angeles Area

If you live in an area that experiences earthquakes, it’s time to retrofit your home. This will help your house stay safe from potential damage and save you tens of thousands of dollars in repairs.

In order to do this, you’ll need to identify your house type and its vulnerabilities, determine the type of retrofit you need, and create a plan for carrying out the work.


Los Angeles is among the most earthquake-prone cities in the world, and retrofitting your home is an excellent way to protect yourself and your family from disaster. In fact, research has shown that spending a small amount of money to strengthen your home can help you avoid a much larger repair bill after an earthquake.

The cost of a seismic retrofit depends on the size of your home and foundation type, as well as labor costs. However, most retrofits are less expensive than the cost of repairing an entire house after an earthquake.

Typical retrofit costs can vary from $25,000 to $160,000, depending on the amount of steel reinforcements needed. This includes adding additional support to the first-floor support poles of soft-first-story buildings, as well as the walls of those structures.

Seismic retrofitting a home requires an extensive amount of preparation and coordination to ensure that the work is completed correctly. In addition, it usually involves multiple inspections by city officials during construction.

Another issue that can affect the cost of a seismic retrofit is the building’s condition and its history. Many older homes that were built before 1980 are still at risk of damage from an earthquake because they were not constructed according to modern earthquake safety standards.

There are also some older homes that may need special retrofits because of their specific foundation types, such as raised-foundation houses or hillside homes. These can increase the cost of the retrofit because they involve more labor and strategic methods to support the structure properly.

Fortunately, the city of Los Angeles has a cost recovery program that allows property owners to pass on up to 50% of their retrofit costs to tenants. This amount can be applied to the monthly rent of all rental units, if approved by LAHD.


When it comes to retrofitting your home, you’ll need to take into account several factors. In particular, you will want to consider the cost, time it takes and how your new features will affect the energy efficiency of your property.

Getting an efficient heating system is a good place to start as this can make your house more comfortable and reduce your energy bills. It’s also a good idea to install solar panels as this will reduce your carbon emissions and add value to your home in the process.

The best part about retrofitting is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get it done. In fact, there are a number of funding programs available that could help you afford to improve your home’s energy efficiency and safety.

In addition to the aforementioned solar panels and heat pump, other technologies include energy efficient windows, insulation and air tightness measures. These are all lauded as the biggest green upgrades you can make to your home.

You can also choose to have your home retrofitted for earthquake protection. This type of upgrade is a great way to protect your investment and your family’s safety.

It’s important to note that the retrofitting process requires a thorough inspection of your property to determine what work needs to be done. This will ensure the project is completed as efficiently and effectively as possible.

After the initial assessment, it’s time to move onto planning and design. This is where a professional contractor can be invaluable. An engineer can recommend the best way to carry out your upgrade and suggest the right materials for the job. This will save you a lot of headaches down the line and will ensure you don’t miss out on any features that would make your home safer or more energy efficient.


If you’re a Los Angeles home or business owner, it’s important to make sure your building can handle a big earthquake. Earthquakes are extremely dangerous and can cause devastating damage to homes, businesses and people. The most common way to mitigate these risks is to retrofit your home or building to be more resistant to a big earthquake.

One of the first safety measures is to have your home inspected by a professional who specializes in foundations and earthquake retrofitting. They can analyze the condition of your foundation and provide you with a free assessment, as well as recommendations on how to strengthen your foundation.

Then, you can work with a contractor who is licensed to perform the retrofitting. These contractors can help you understand how the work will be done and what the expected cost of the project will be.

Another safety measure is to contact your local Building and Safety District Office and request an inspection. These offices are staffed by inspectors who can answer your questions and help you navigate the permit process.

In Los Angeles, if you own an apartment building that is wood-frame construction with at least four units, the city has adopted the strictest seismic retrofit laws in the nation. This law requires that all pre-1978 wood-frame soft-story buildings and non-ductile concrete buildings undergo seismic renovation to improve their resiliency to a major earthquake.

These requirements address critical safety concerns by ensuring that tenants and visitors to these buildings can escape safely in the event of an earthquake. Many owners of these buildings have been aware of the law for some time and have already taken steps to retrofit their structures.

Optimum Seismic has been working closely with the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA) to promote this new law and educate building owners about the requirements. The association has hosted a series of community workshops, and Optimum Seismic has presented at their annual Expo.


The best thing about being a retrofitter in the LA area is that you are part of an active community with a wide array of like minded individuals. The benefits of this community include an excellent networking and social media presence, a well-defined customer base, and a plethora of local experts to turn to for advice, guidance, or the occasional rant. The most gratifying aspect is that the company is able to operate in an environment where it can be trusted to deliver on time and on budget every time. Keeping this in mind, the business has developed a nimble and efficient workflow to ensure quality control and customer satisfaction is never an issue.