Destructive earthquakes like the Northridge earthquake in 1994 caused various residential damages and severely destroyed homes in Southern California. So, in order to keep your Los Angeles County home sheltered from unpredictable elements, such as storms and seismic activity, the only option is to obtain earthquake brace and bolt services.

Because strengthening your home’s foundation through seismic retrofitting helps to make a house habitable after an earthquake.

Today, we’re going to break down in detail about earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program, as well as its application process and benefits in the following guide. So, if you live in Los Angeles County, this blog is helpful for you.

Let’s get started!

Do I Really Need To Brace + Bolt (Retrofit) My Home?

Earthquake Brace and Bolt Program 2022

The Los Angeles area isn’t properly protected due to sudden movements of huge blocks of the earth’s crust- the Pacific and North American plates, which leads to higher risks of earthquakes.

Earthquakes can destroy a house’s frame and collapse the walls that support it, making the structure unsafe and uninhabitable. So, if your home is built before 1980, it’s essential to comply with building codes to make them attune earthquake risks. And, earthquake brace and bolt services can benefit you from that.

These bolts and braces provide the most reliable insurance available for your building, securing the foundation against seismic damage. The bolting procedure involves anchoring the home’s frame to its concrete foundation through bolts so that it doesn’t slide during seismic activity, while the bracing process strengthens and stiffens crippled walls to prevent collapse. Both steps are the most effective methods of mitigating damage from a large earthquake.

In simple terms, if you live in an older home with a crawl space, the answer is YES.

What Is an Earthquake Brace and Bolt Program?

Earthquake Brace and Bolt Technique

Generally, the earthquake brace and bolt program is a grant program designed for eligible California homeowners to provide up to $3,000 toward a residential seismic retrofit. This program is applicable in a select number of higher-earthquake-risk ZIP Codes.

EBB is designed by California Earthquake Authority (CEA). The main purpose of this program is to strengthen your home to lessen the damage of seismic activity. However, the eligible houses must meet California Existing Building Code Chapter A3.

It typically specifies that the home must meet certain criteria – such as – wood framing, being built on level ground or slope, having a raised foundation, or having specific types of cripple walls to brace and bolt the foundation.

Thousands of California homeowners have already completed retrofits with EBB. Even the 2021 program also introduced a Supplemental Grant with a household annual income of $72,080 or less as funding permits to help low-income homeowners pay for seismic retrofits.

Generally, the earthquake brace and bolt cost depends on the brace and bolt types of retrofits, which could range from $3,000 to $8,000.

So, if you seek to receive funding, it’s important to participate in this program. For knowing about the earthquake brace and bolt program 2023, you can reach us at (424) 248-5090.

The Brace and Bolt Program Eligibility

In order to participate in the Earthquake Brace + Bolt program, homeowners need to check their eligibility and follow the EBB Program rules and terms.

Here are the following requirements to apply for an EBB grant if (among other criteria):

  • Must have proof to show that you own the home and that it’s your primary residence.
  • You live in one of the EBB program areas, which are designated by ZIP Code.
  • Only one EBB registration is allowed per homeowner.
  • Live in a home that was built before 1980.
  • Must meet the structural requirements of a California Existing Building Code (CEBC), Chapter A3.
  • Your house has a raised foundation or crawls space under your house.
  • Your house has level ground or a slight slope.
  • Not already completed a “brace and bolt” earthquake retrofit.​
  • Homeowners must meet all program deadlines and submit the required documentation.
  • An EBB retrofit contractor must be listed in the EBB Contractor Directory.
  • If a homeowner receives a bid for a retrofit of more than $10,000 from a contractor, the homeowner must request two bids from contractors on the EBB Contractor Directory. If the homeowner chooses the higher bid, he /she must explain why.
  • If a homeowner chooses to do the project as an owner/builder, labor will not be reimbursed.
  • Labor won’t be reimbursed if the homeowner does the project as a homeowner/builder.
  • A final inspection of the retrofit must be done by a local building inspector, who will confirm that the retrofit complies with CEBC Chapter A3.
  • Other grant funds for the retrofit may not be available from any other program.

Once the EBB approval is accepted, you’re eligible to receive a building permit. However, make sure the house meets all the qualifications for the earthquake brace and bolt program in CA. This is the responsibility of homeowners.

Additionally, you must be able to prove that your annual income is $72,080 or less to qualify for the Supplemental Grant.

Which ZIP Codes Are Eligible?

Only certain ZIP codes are eligible for the Earthquake Brace + Bolt program. In each program year, two new areas are added based on the following two criteria, which are equally weighted:

  • Earthquake Hazard: The hazard of earthquakes in California is identified using the USGS earthquake hazard map.
  • Earthquake Vulnerability: The earthquake vulnerability of California is determined by the percentage of houses that were built before 1940 (US Census Data). In older houses, earthquake bracing and bolting are more likely to be needed.

While selecting new earthquake brace and bolt program zip codes for next year, these two factors are combined. A governing board for the California Residential Mitigation Program, which advises the EBB, approved this selection process.

Here is the list of earthquake brace and bolt program zip codes:

Apply For Brace & Bolt Program in Los Angeles, CA

Do you want to be part of an earthquake brace and bolt program in CA?

Then, it’s essential to qualify for the EBB program rules and terms in order to receive up to $3,000 toward an earthquake retrofit to lessen the potential for earthquake damage. As we discussed above, EBB also offers a Supplemental Grant on top of the $3,000 EBB grant for low-income homeowners.

So, how to register for an EBB program? Let’s find out!

Registration Process

Applying for the EBB program is a simple process. Here are the following steps:

  • Once the registration is open for EBB, visit the Homeowner Registration page.
  • Now, answer the complete list of qualifying questions – What is your ZIP code? What year was your house built?

Important: Make sure that you answer the qualifying questions completely and accurately. This will ensure that you’re eligible and your house qualifies for earthquake retrofitting in Los Angeles. If your house doesn’t qualify, you won’t get the grant for a complete retrofit. Don’t forget to review the questions.

  • If you require a Supplemental Grant for funding in addition to the $3,000 EBB seismic retrofit grant, make sure your household income is $72,080 or less. And, you also need to submit verification of income.
  • Are you having trouble submitting your information online? You can always contact Customer Service at (424) 248-5090. We’ll assist you.
  • You may use this Registration Authorization Form (PDF) with your registration if you need a third-party representative to complete your registration.

Selection Process

Upon the close of registration, an electronic system will randomly select homeowners from the registration forms submitted. This decision must be made by EBB for each application.

During the selection and approval process, EBB will contact applicants through email and will be available to answer questions. And, the homeowners who successfully registered for the EBB program will get the notification through email – whether they are selected for the program, or whether they’re on the waitlist.

If spaces become available, EBB will consider people from the waitlist throughout the program. However, being on the waitlist doesn’t guarantee eligibility or inclusion in future EBB grant programs.

Important: Keep the following things in mind:

If you want to remain eligible for a $3,000 grant and Supplemental Grant, we recommend that never obtain a permit or start retrofitting construction work before.

In case, if registration is closed, Sign Up to Recieve Earthquake Brace + Bolt Updates from EBB.

Every year, registration is open for 30 days, during which time California homeowners can apply for the program. You’ll get notified when and where registration will begin.

EBB Retrofit Process

So, your approval is accepted for the EBB program or successfully has been selected into EBB. What’s next?

  • Now, log on to your EBB Homeowner Dashboard, where you have to upload pre-retrofit & post-retrofit photos along with the required documents to receive approval. This Dashboard will take you through each step of retrofit and notify you if something is missing that you have to add (such as additional information).
  • On the other hand, if you applied for the Supplemental Grant, you need to submit the electronic Income Verification Form (Form) on your Dashboard within 30 days to ensure that your household annual income is $72,080 or less. Failure to submit the Form within 30 days will end up in losing the opportunity to receive a Supplemental Grant.
  • Within 12 weeks (90 days), you need to collect pre-retrofit photos and documents, plus hire a professional contractor from EBB’s Contractor Directory or decide to Do-It-Yourself as an owner-builder.
  • You have six months (or 180 days) to complete your retrofit once EBB has reviewed and approved your pre-retrofit documentation.

Step-by-Step Guide To Recieve EBB Grant ($3,000)

In the following section, we discuss the whole EBB retrofit in detail. So, let’s dig deeper!

Phase 1: Pre-Retrofit

If you’ve been accepted into the earthquake brace and bolt program, you have now 12 weeks to submit the required pre-retrofit photos and documents, plus select a contractor.

  • Hire a contractor to do the retrofit work either from EBB’s Contractor Directory of licensed contractors or do-it-yourself as an owner-builder. Review here What You Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor (PDF).
  • Meet with earthquake brace and bolt contractors and choose one or do the work yourself as an owner-builder.
  • Now, get a building permit and upload it to your Homeowner Dashboard. Or, ask your hired contractor. They’ll help.
  • Upload all necessary documents (building permit, plans/drawings, pre-retrofit photos, proof of occupancy, a W-9 form (if necessary), and bid) to your Homeowner Dashboard.

Phase 2: Earthquake Brace + Bolt Retrofit

Once the pre-retrofit documentation is uploaded and EBB approved it, you have the next six months to complete the Brace + Bolt retrofit task. Read the instructions on your homeowner dashboard to go through this process.

Generally, an Earthquake Bolt + Brace (EBB) retrofit involves bolting the foundation to the frame of the house and bracing the “cripple walls” in the crawl space with plywood. During an earthquake, this prevents the house from sliding or toppling off its foundation. wood-framed, pre-1980 houses with raised foundations qualify for EBB seismic retrofitting.

We have a separate article on – how to brace and bolt the house to protect them from earthquakes. Read Here!

Phase 3: Post-Retrofit

After completion of the retrofit, you need to submit the final documents to EBB for payment within 30 days through the homeowner dashboard.

  • Attached 3 photos showing the completed retrofit.
  • If indicated in your Homeowner Dashboard, upload photos of your house’s exterior. Read the instructions and examples on Homeowner Dashboard for what must be included in your photos.
  • Add 2 photos of the water heater strapping. Take two photos of the properly installed tankless water heater; no strapping is needed.
  • Take 1 photo of the crawl space access.
  • Once the installation is complete, take a photo of the signed building permit.
  • Get an invoice from a contractor if you hired one. You should clearly break out labor, materials, overheads, and profit on the invoice.
    Do-it-yourselfers should provide all receipts, such as for their building permit and any building supplies they have purchased.

Phase 4: Payment

EBB typically mails incentive payments within four weeks of final approval. For instructions on completing and submitting an electronic Payment Authorization Form, please refer to your Homeowner Dashboard.

LUX Construction Group – Take Help From Professionals!

There’s a 99% chance that if you live in California, you’ll be affected by a 6.7 or larger magnitude earthquake within your lifetime.

So, what are you waiting for?

Apply for the earthquake Brace + Bolt program to strengthen your home from unpredictable damages. We’re ready to help you with this. We, at LUX Construction Group, have a team of general earthquake brace and bolt contractors who handles everything, from plans & permission to construction work. You don’t need to worry. Just reach us today at (424) 248-5090 and get instant help from our representative.