Watch this excellent video about the Brace and Bolt Program and it can help you prepare for the next earthquake.

 Things You Should Know About The CEA Earthquake Brace and Bolt Retrofit Program

  • Their staff is very helpful and if they don’t know the answer they will send you to someone that does.
  • They are not going to allow a “voluntary seismic retrofit” where you may or may not get any protection.  See this video to find out how the CEA is protecting you spending a lot of money and getting nothing in return.
  • You must use Standard Plan A, Appendix Chapter A3 of the California Existing Building Code, the Los Angeles Plan Set, or hire an engineer.  Use Standard Plan A or Appendix Chapter A3 if you can because engineers are expensive.  These guidelines will give you a good retrofit and save you a lot of money.


  • You have 12 weeks from the time you received your acceptance letter to get the permit and 8 months from the time you received your acceptance letter to finish the work.  No exceptions.
  • Partial retrofits are not allowed.  If you have a living area above a garage in addition to a crawl space you must retrofit both parts of your house or you will not qualify.

Administrative Considerations

  • You will be assigned a “portal” on their website that you use to do your part in administrating the program.  It is very intuitive and simple to use and if you have problems their staff is always there to help.
  • Contractors have their own portal that they use, often in conjunction with yours.


  • They are great about making sure you get your $3,000 promptly.  Only pay your contractor once you receive your check.  This way you can be sure the contractor did everything he was supposed to and the building department made sure the retrofit followed their requirements.
  • In short, it is a great program and will make your retrofit affordable and high quality.