East Bay Retrofits are Unique
East Bay seismic retrofits are special because so many East Bay home are over 80 years old. These houses were all built before
there was a code to make sure homes are earthquake resistant. We find many homes that are not bolted, many that have un-braced cripple walls, and more importantly, many of them are very close to the Hayward Fault. This fault will cause an enormous earthquake and it will probably be quite soon. Homeowners and retrofit contractors are doing their best to protect their homes against earthquakes, but the task often seems overwhelming. The most serious problem is the lack of a seismic retrofit building code. The second problem is lack of training for contractors. Except for the City of San Leandro, no East Bay city or county offers training for East Bay contractors.
East Bay Retrofit Contractors Training and Guidelines
The one regional attempt to train retrofit contractors was made by the East Bay based Association of Bay Area Governments. Bay Area Retrofit was an instructor in this training, but it lasted only two hours, which is not nearly enough time to teach someone the principles and practice of seismic retrofitting.
Many East Bay cities do provide contractors copies of a the deeply flawed retrofit guideline called Standard Plan A. Which, though better than nothing, as a rule offers low quality at a high price. The City of Berkeley has a transfer tax program which encourages this East Bay City to protect their homes. Unfortunately, it uses Standard Plan A as a central part of its program.
South Bay Homes
South Bay homes like those found in San Jose and Sunnyvale, usually require no cripple wall retrofits which is quite different from East Bay homes almost always need cripple wall retrofits. Please check out both of these web pages to see what kind of retrofit you need.