Los Angeles Soft-Story Retrofit Contractors

Lux Construction Group is one of the best soft-story retrofitting company in Los Angeles. Soft story retrofitting in Los Angeles is mandatory since this area is an earthquake-prone area and is considered a challenging area for construction companies.

It is one the most seismically active regions in the world, with a substantial risk of a catastrophic earthquake along with frequent smaller tremors. Thus, making Earthquake Proofing Retrofit is a necessity rather than a choice. It is required for residential and commercial property construction. According to seismic experts Retrofitting softstory buildings is very important to safeguard commercial apartments & building structures.

The city of Los Angeles is committed to a program of seismic retrofitting to bring the community’s vulnerable buildings up to modern safety standards. The goal of the mandatory retrofit program, under Ordinance 183893 and Ordinance 184081, is to reduce structural deficiencies by the most economical and feasible method. These important upgrades will make our city safer against earthquakes. For more information about the program and how your building can be seismically retrofitted.

Los Angeles’ new Soft Story Retrofit Law require the retrofitting of wood-frame apartment buildings to better withstand a major earthquake, according to a Times data analysis. 13,500 so-called soft-story buildings have been identified that will probably need seismic strengthening.

los angeles soft-story-retrofiting contractors

Los Angeles Earthquake Retrofitting

Seismic retrofitting is the modification of existing structures to make them more earthquake-resistant. Earthquake retrofitting is done for homes that can experience significant damage or destruction during a major earthquake.

In LA, modern building codes are adopted to protect old buildings that are prone to earthquake damage. Some of the techniques mentioned in the seismic retrofit ordinance are applied to build a solid structure.

⭐ Identify Vulnerable Buildings in Los Angeles

The following criteria are used to identify the most vulnerable Buildings.

  • Consist of 2 or more stories of wood frame construction.
  • Built under building code standards enacted before January 1, 1978.
  • Contains ground floor parking or other similar open floor space.
  • The program does not apply to residential buildings with 3 or fewer units.


Soft-Story Compliance Report
LADBS Non-Ductile Concrete Retrofit Owner’s Guide
LADBS Non-Ductile Concrete Building Checklist
LA Seismic Retrofit Program: Property Owner’s Guide

⭐ Does Your Home Need SEISMIC RETROFIT in Los Angeles, CA?

To determine your need for seismic retrofit for your home in the city of Los Angeles, you’ll first need to find out when the home was built. The properties built before 1980 must opt for seismic strengthening. The old house doesn’t follow the building codes which makes these buildings highly risky to collapse in case of seismic activity.

Finding the best optimum seismic for your house construction is better than leaving everything to the seismic retrofit contractor in Los Angeles. You can review your house type or hazard and confirm the need for earthquake/seismic retrofits.

  • If your house is constructed with Raised Foundation Houses.
  • If your house type is Stem-Wall Houses.
  • Cripple wall construction with short wood frames.
  • If you have built an ADU.
  • If your house is a Hillside House.

How is Seismic Retrofitting or Earthquake Retrofitting Done?

Our core team starts with a comprehensive and accurate assessment of your house/building and its current foundation. It is vital to check the foundation for effective, earthquake retrofitting that provides high stabling to the buildings. Following the inspection of the building, our experts will determine which seismic retrofitting techniques for buildings will be applied. There are more than 10 methods used for soft story retrofitting a building. There are as many variables to ensure a solid foundation’s integrity. Some of the must-have variables are:

  • The structure’s physical location, i.e. hillside, valley floor, near a lake, river, or drainage basin.
  • The current condition of the foundation and structure.
  • Past, unrepaired damage from earthquakes or other ground-shifting events. 
  • Poor original construction

We take the project forward only after prior assessment and checking the structure as per the described variables Taking it further,  a well-managed time-framed plan is established to make repairs for pre-existing foundation and structural issues. 

Earthquake retrofitting on a damaged foundation may not be of much help. Fortunately, we find earthquake retrofitting Los Angeles area homes usually does not require too much foundation work as foundation inspections are required in property sales. With Los Angeles being a real estate favorite place, a solid foundation is normally seen.

Once a strong foundation is checked, we would begin the actual seismic retrofitting. Wall anchors and continuity ties are the most common methods of retrofitting concrete tilt-up structures. We use steel brackets to provide a more reliable connection between the roof and the wall to prevent the separation of the two during a seismic event.

Benefits of Soft-Story/Seismic Retrofitting

  • The process of a seismic retrofit by a professional, Los Angeles soft story retrofit contractor requires great attention and planning. It can help in creating structures that can withstand and face situations like an earthquake.
  • Soft Story Retrofit Specialists provide a free consultation and evaluate the site so that a cost-effective plan can be created with all the safety measures as per soft-story construction rules.
  • An additional benefit of soft-story retrofits for building resiliency is that it helps in increasing the lifetime of the building. The steel fittings, fixtures, and other retrofit solutions convert a loosely connected part of a building into a unified structure.
  • As an owner, you may not think that a soft story retrofit can help in improving your sales by increasing the profit margin, but it can. In Los Angeles, retrofitting houses is the first quality that customers look for when buying new houses. Even the tenants look for retrofitted buildings. Therefore opting for a soft-story retrofit construction is a business gain for owners.
  • Another benefit of soft story retrofit in Los Angeles is that it not only minimizes your risk of costly earthquake damages, but you will also be able to lower your earthquake insurance premium. So, it will be a wise decision to go for a retrofitting process.
  • Soft-story retrofit cost is an additional burden during the construction phase but Los Angeles soft-story retrofit contractors offer attractive deals and provide maximum benefit to the building owners.

 Soft-Story Retrofitting - Soft Story Construction

Soft Story Retrofit Cost in Los Angeles

Earthquake fitting is not an option in the city. After the actual inspection of the site, our team provides the actual cost. However, we must be aware that the earthquake retrofitting cost in Los Angeles is high.

While our prices are competitive, so is the quality of service and commitment to work. The new technology and machinery allow us to provide the best retrofitting option for residential and commercial buildings.

Lux construction group is one of the leading earthquake retrofitting company in Los Angeles. If you have a home or building that needs to be brought up to current earthquake codes, i.e. the new Los Angeles soft story retrofitting laws, contact us today and fix an appointment with one of our executives.

Soft-Story Retrofit Construction for Building Resiliency

Lux Construction Group is serving as a soft story retrofit contractor in Los Angeles. We are involved in providing this service to multiple properties, including apartment and commercial buildings

Many of you might ask the question, “What is a soft-story building?”. Well, a soft-story building has three or more floors located over the ground level, large doors and windows, commercial spaces, and other openings in a place. The shear wall is typically required to provide stability.

Without providing extra strengthening in a city like Los Angeles, such buildings may be prone to structural damage during an earthquake. The first floor of a building is weak due to fewer sheer walls. Beams surrounding open parking spaces are not strong enough to support the entire building during a significant earthquake.

That’s why in the year 2015, an ordinance to establish mandatory standards for such soft-story buildings was passed.  The sole purpose is to safeguard the multi-story building and minimize structural loss during earthquakes. This building constructed pre-1978 must obey the ordinance as per the instructions issued by the Department of Building Safety and seismic retrofit. Soft Story Retrofit Contractor has to implement it by 2022.

The construction of soft story retrofit started when the trend of multi-story buildings with a soft story came into existence. Today, seismic retrofitting is applied to every new construction. It increases the life of the structure as the material having a long life is used. We use ply, steel and other retrofitting material to solidify the structure. Also, during the construction, water leakage and other underground fittings are required to be managed for laying down a concrete foundation. We take care of all these things by ensuring the inspection of the project on a weekly and monthly basis.

⭐ Preventive Measures for Earthquake Retrofitting in LA California

Los Angeles is amongst the most seismically active regions in the world, with a substantial risk of a catastrophic earthquake along with frequent smaller tremors.

Thus, before planning earthquake retrofitting of Los Angeles residential or commercial properties, it is better to get it evaluated by the contractors providing retrofitting solutions.

Some of the preventive measures that are considered to have an effective earthquake retrofitting are:

  • Keep checking the foundation bolts.
  • Identify places that need immediate repair.
  • Keep checking the drainage system and electrical connections.
  • Discover if your home needs bracing and bolting.

What We Offer

Seismic Retrofitting is one of our specialized areas along with construction work. From complex situations to simple repairs our experienced team always has a solution. Our in-house architect and designers could provide a variety of design and drafting services to your construction project.

Ensuring the safety and security of your buildings, we strictly build structures with the help of an experienced team and well-adopted advanced equipment.

  • If your building has to undergo a soft-story retrofit, the process can be immediately started by taking a quick review of the site.
  • Our retrofit experts will walk through your property to analyze and assess the conditions and outline all the requirements by making a practical plan and a cost estimation for the same will be shared with you.
  • As a successful soft story retrofitting contractor, we focus on cost-effective and efficient construction solutions. We have civil, architectural, and structural staffs that have achieved excellence in doing the work to acquire permits.
  • Common solutions utilized are steel moment frames and plywood shear walls to add the proper support.  Our company treats every project as a unique project that requires a customized solution. Therefore, a separate plan according to the need is made which is a cost-effective, long-term solution and provides safety from earthquakes.
  • We provide a free evaluation to check the strength and foundation of your building in case you are looking to take the expert’s view, you can approach us or can drop an email. Our team will contact you soon.
  •  We have provided reliable soft–story retrofitting solutions to some of the complex buildings in Los Angeles. You can have a glance at them. It Will help in building a trustful relationship.


LA Soft Story Retrofitting FAQs

What Is a Retrofitting Process?

Soft story buildings are the ones that require constructional changes due to reasons like bad foundation and less solid structure, especially the weak structure of the first-floor area of a multi-storeyed building.

Retrofitting is the process to provide solutions like tilted structures, solidifying the weak areas, implementing steel frames, and so on. The solutions ensure that buildings become earthquake-resistant   In Los Angeles, the engineers and architects recommend not delaying the process as the city has proximity to earthquakes.

The process might start with checking the strength of existing walls. They can be replaced with stucco, drywall, or applying plywood. If required, new shear walls are added. You can even add a steel frame. It will enhance the look of the building but it is an expansive solution. Depending upon the construction need and the cost you are ready to invest in, the construction contractors might suggest some other solutions to you.

What do you mean by Tuck-Under Parking Garage?

Numerous multi-storeyed buildings have their basement as the parking area. Due to this, there are chances that the first and second-floor construction doesn’t have a solid foundation. On top of that, if the foundation is weak and there is a load on the first and second floors without proper ventilation, the building seriously needs a soft-story retrofitting solution. The new building constructed now takes care of these factors while designing and laying down the foundation of the building.

 What Is The Soft Story Retrofit Program?

Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit Program (MSSP) is a part of retrofitting ordinance passed for the multistory buildings in Los Angeles led by the Earthquake Safety Implementation Program. It requires mandatory retrofitting of non-ductile buildings and wood-frame soft-story buildings constructed before 1978.

However, it talks more about the wooden structures but if you are an owner of an old building then you must get your building checked. A timely retrofit solution will be able to save your building from collapsing due to earthquakes or soil defragmentation.

What Is The Purpose Of Soft-Story Retrofitting, Los Angeles?

This soft-story program helps minimize the risk of damage to buildings during earthquakes. Essentially, retrofitting is to make sure that the tragedy due to natural calamities is minimized.

The retrofit program provides guidelines to the building owners to fortify and reinforce their buildings. This improves performance during seismic movements. 

The Los Angeles area is prone to earthquakes and other natural calamities. To minimize the loss and risk of damage, retrofitting solutions are recommended. They strengthen the foundation and ensure the stability of the buildings.  Significant seismic benefits help in increasing the lifespan of a building.

What are the conditions of Soft Story Retrofitting in Los Angeles?

The mandatory ordinance declares that a building has to undergo retrofitting solutions under the following conditions:

  • If the building has more than 2 floors with a wooden structure
  • If the building is constructed before 1978.

 If the building has a tuck-under parking or an open space on the first level.

What’s The Time Limit To Comply With Soft Story Retrofit law?

The department of structural analysis provides a time limit of 2 years to comply with these solutions. At this time, you need to do the following:

  •   Retrofit the building.
  •   Dismantle the building.
  •  Evidence of a previous retrofit job on the building.

 Plan to complete the process within a minimum of 3.5 – to max 7years period as set by the structural planning department.

Areas We Serve:

Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Pasadena, Malibu, Glendale, Burbank, Torrance, West Hollywood, Inglewood, Culver City, Whittier, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Downey, Marina del Rey, and Hawthorne.