Everything to Know About Soft Story Retrofitting

Posted June 12, 2019, under Blog

Soft story buildings are multi-unit structures that were built with a weak or vulnerable first floor. This is known as the “soft” floor, which usually acts as a space for tuck under parking.

Because of the way these buildings have been constructed, the open design of the ground floors are more likely to collapse during seismic activity because they lack the reinforcement necessary to withstand the shaking of a large quake.

In cases of seismic activity in higher magnitudes – which we especially saw during the 1994 Northridge earthquake – the upper floors of these buildings collapsed on top of these “soft” floors, leaving the apartment buildings destroyed.

On November 22, 2015 retrofitting all wood-framed soft story buildings in Los Angeles was made mandatory. There are an estimated 13,500 soft story structures throughout Los Angeles that need earthquake retrofitting.

Under the law, property owners have been given seven years to fix these wood-frame soft story structures and 25 years to fix concrete buildings.

As a property owner, it’s important to get these soft story structures retrofitted as soon as possible. The longer you wait to seismically retrofit these structures, the greater the chance a total loss can occur after the next large earthquake.

While progress is being made throughout Los Angeles, on January 7, 2019 it was estimated that there are 4,500 remaining buildings in the area that have yet to submit retrofitting plans.

Why choose Julian Construction:

There are a lot of companies offering soft story repair in the Los Angeles area. We believe experience should be the deciding factor. Julian Construction was formed in 1994, and our focus has always been on building foundations, doing repair, replacement, earthquake retrofitting and house leveling. We have inspected over 20,000 foundations.

If you talk to another foundation contractor, ask how long they have been doing foundation repair. Not how long they have been in business. There are some contractors in the LA area who have been doing foundation work for a year or less. Would you trust the safety of your apartment building to them?

If you think you own a soft story structure, contact Julian Construction today.

You can schedule a free inspection with us, where we’ll send over one of our qualified foundation specialists to inspect and analyze the area in order to determine the best way to strengthen the building.

To schedule a free inspection with Julian Construction, click here or call us now at 877-407-3876. A representative will review the information you provide and contact you to schedule your inspection.


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