Soft Story Retrofitting


Why should I Retrofit my property?

Your property is an investment and possible source of income. Some insurance companies have dropped policyholders if they have not upheld retrofit standards.


If you do not retrofit within the time period that the mandated ordinance says, you will be fined and a potential lien could be placed on your property.


The building will be flagged and you will not be able to rent the units to tenants.

Good To Know

Soft story building

A soft story building is a multi-story building in which one or more floors have windows, wide doors, large unobstructed commercial spaces, or other openings in places where a shear wall would normally be required for stability as a matter of earthquake engineering design. A typical soft story building is an apartment building of three or more stories located over a ground level with large openings, such as a parking garage or series of retail businesses with large windows.

Buildings are classified as having a soft story if that level is less than 70% as stiff as the floor immediately above it, or less than 80% as stiff as the average stiffness of the three floors above it. Soft story buildings are vulnerable to collapse in a moderate to severe earthquake in a phenomenon known as soft story collapse. The inadequately-braced level is relatively less resistant than surrounding floors to lateral earthquake motion, so a disproportionate amount of the building's overall side-to-side drift is focused on that floor. Subject to disproportionate lateral stress, and less able to withstand the stress, the floor becomes a weak point that may suffer structural damage or complete failure, which in turn results in the collapse of the entire building.

Soft story failure was responsible for nearly half of all homes that became uninhabitable in California's Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, and was projected to cause severe damage and possible destruction of 160,000 homes in the event of a more significant earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area. As of 2009, few such buildings in the area had undergone the relatively inexpensive seismic retrofit to correct the condition. In 2013, San Francisco mandated screening of soft story buildings to determine if retrofitting is necessary, and required that retrofitting be completed by 2017 through 2020.

In Los Angeles in 2016, following San Francisco's ordinance, the city adopted a similar ordinance targeting soft-story apartment buildings first. This ordinance is to reduce structural damage in the event of an earthquake by reinforcing soft-story areas with steel structures. A soft-story building is described as existing wood-frame buildings with soft, weak, or open-front walls and existing non-ductile concrete buildings in the ordinance. Most of these buildings were built before 1978, before building codes were changed.

Los Angeles property owners are being targeted by the size of their buildings. The first group of ordinances went out May 2, 2016, with sixteen or more units and more than three stories. The second is July 22, 2016, with sixteen or more units and two stories. The third is October 17, 2016, with sixteen or fewer units and more than three stories. The fourth is January 30, 2017, for nine to fifteen units. The fifth is May 29, 2017 for seven to eight units. The sixth is August 14, 2017, for four to six units. Then on October 30, 2017 condos and commercial buildings will receive their orders to comply. Property owners have two years from the date of the order to have approved plans. Then 3.5 years from the order to obtain the permit. Total completion and certificate of compliance must be issued by seven years of the date.

1. Set a date for an INSPECTION with one of our SPECIALISTS. One of our QUALIFIED INSPECTORS will visit your property for a proper and detailed Foundation or Soft Story inspection. 

You can book online here or

How to Start

2. We will send you our detailed PROPOSAL. You can review our proposal and of course we are open for any questions or concerns that you might have. We will be more than happy to answer all of your inquiries. 

3. We will take care of your PROJECT. We will handle AS BUILT DRAFTING, DESIGNS and ENGINEERING CALCULATIONS of your PROJECTS. 

4. We will get your property plans ready for you. We will also get the PERMITS and APPROVALS for your city*!! So, you can RELAX!! *LA County and surrounding areas.

5. Job Walkthrough. The project manager will conduct the Job Walkthrough with the property owner or property manager to notify and show about the work to be executed and what to expect. 

6. Notification to tenants. We will notify your tenants if applicable with the job schedule to proceed with the construction.

Soft Story Retrofit Shoring

7. Shoring. It is applied with a temporary support structure to stabilize and replace it with a stronger structure.

Soft Story Retrofit Demolition and Excav

8. Demolition & Excavation. Break down or remove part of the existing structure. All debris will be removed daily for the proper safety of you and residents.

Soft Story Retrofit Drag

9. Structural Drag Connection. Drag loads are due to lateral loads generated in high-wind or seismic events. Each project is unique, we will see if your project needs to install the structural drag.

Soft Story Retrofit Steel

10. Steel. New Steel structure will be erected to connect between your existing building and new foundation.

Soft Story Retrofit Rebar

11. Rebar. It is a steel bar or mesh of steel wires used as a tension device in reinforcing concrete and reinforced grade beam structures to strengthen and aid the concrete that is under tension.

Soft Story Retrofit Concrete

12. Site-poured Concrete. It means that the concrete material is poured, molded, and cured onsite.

13. Seismic Shut Off Valves (optional). These small devices are installed to instantly stop the natural gas supply in order to protect the structure if a gas leak occurs during an earthquake.

Soft Story Retrofit Stucco and Paint

14. Stucco and Paint. Good News! We will apply a building material used for the protective coating of walls and ceilings then paint to make sure your property is safe and beautiful.

15. Cost Recovery.


Book Your Free Consultation Today!

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