Why This is All Necessary

The Hayward Fault

About Bay Area Retrofit

Who Are We?

NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and PBS Channel 

8 Foolproof Tips on Finding a Good Seismic Retrofit Contractor

How Does a Retrofit Work?

Homeowner’s Guide to Residential Seismic Retrofitting

Seismic Retrofits of Houses Built before 1940

Seismic Retrofits of Houses Built on Flat Lots Built After 1940

Seismic Retrofits of  Already Bolted Houses

A General Review of Retrofit Design and Installation Principles

Seismic Retrofits of Houses with Living Area Above a Garage (Soft Story)

Seismic Retrofits for Houses Built on Hillsides

Lead Based Paint

Cripple Wall Retrofits:Most Houses Built before 1940

The Vital Plywood to Mud sill Shear Wall Connection

A General Review of Cripple Wall Retrofit Principles

Cripple Wall to Shear Wall Conversion Process – Step by Step

Shear Wall Overturning

Plywood Performance is Seismic Retrofitting

Porches and Cripple Wall Retrofits

Framing a Cripple Wall Before a Shear Wall Conversion

How to Retrofit a Short Cripple Where Bolts Won’t Fit

How to Attach the Entire Floor to the Shear Wall

Be Careful About Nail Penetration in the Plywood

Cripple Wall Retrofits and Stepped Foundations

The Dangers of Pressure Treated ACQ Lumber

Building a Shear Wall from Scratch

Cripple Wall Retrofits and Top Plates

Foundation Bolting

What Does a Foundation Bolt Do?

Many Bolted Houses Have Big Problems

Everything You Wanted to Know About Foundation Bolts

What are the Best Washers for Foundation Bolts?

The Problem With Over-sized Bolt Holes

Bolt the House to the Side of the Foundation?

Plate Washers

Attaching the Floor to the Shear Wall

What Are Shear Transfer Ties For?

Attaching the Shear Wall to the Floor with Lag Bolts

Keeping Your House Attached to a Hill

My Floor is Damaged: Will That Impact My Retrofit?

Do I Need to Connect the Floor I Walk On to Anything?

What is a Shear Transfer Diaphragm?

Shear Blocking, Just to Be Sure

Soft Story Retrofits

Soft Story Buildings and Houses

The San Francisco Soft Story Mandate

Using Rotation With a Soft Story Retrofit

Special Metal Walls Can Keep Your Garage from Collapsing

Retrofit Building Codes and Permits

How Much Does a Seismic Retrofit Cost?

Bay Area’s Regional Guideline: Standard Plan with Calculations

Critique of Standard Plan A 

Government Seismic Retrofit Guidelines

The Los Angeles Retrofit Building Code

The Retrofit Designer’s Bible

Screening Your Seismic Retrofit Contractor

Which Retrofit Building Code?

Financial Assistance

Government Money for Your Seismic Retrofit

Get a Berkeley Seismic Retrofit Grant


Engineering and the  Retrofit Mudsill Connection

Critique of Appendix Chapter A3 of the CEBC

Critique of Standard Plan A

Seismic Retrofit Engineers Answer Essential Questions

Archaic Building Materials: Is Your House Already Earthquake Proof?

Seismic Retrofit Guidelines

Why Do I Need to Know How Much My House Weighs?

The Simpson StrongTie Catalog and Other Published Reports

Plywood Science

Tensile Strength of Steel and Wood Continuity Ties

The Hazards of ACQ Lumber

Moisture on Plywood: Its Impact on Shear Walls

The Earthquake Resistance of Drywall


Old Foundations

Testing of Old Foundations By the Structural Engineer’s Association of Southern California

What If I Need a New Foundation?

Can I Retrofit My House Using Only 3 Foundations

How to Get a Lot of Protection With Minimal Foundation 

Retrofitting a House Using the Center Foundation

My Mudsill is Embedded into My Foundation

Foundation Capping


San Francisco Soft Story Mandate

Soft Story Retrofit Engineers in San Francisco and the Bay Area

The Wrong Soft Story Retrofit Engineer Can Cost You a Bundle

The Dangers of Pressure Treated ACQ Lumber


PDF Library

Advanced Information for Retrofit Professionals

The Dangers of Pressure Treated ACQ Lumber

Technical Bulletins NER-272 and ESR-1539

The Simpson StrongTie Catalog and Other Published Reports

What Happens to Stucco in Earthquakes

The Post to Beam Connection

The Performance of Drywall in Earthquakes

Balloon Framing

The Dangers of Pressure Treated ACQ Lumber

Tests and Reports

The Shear Wall Rosetta Stone: Research Report 154

Shear Wall Blocking in Exterior Siding

Slant Nailed Shear Wall Nailing

Shear Wall Laboratory Tests and Retrofit Applications Found in Research Report 154

When the Retrofit Contractor Screws Up – Sheet Metal Shear Wall Repair

Wood Tensile Strength and Residential Seismic Retrofitting

Does Green Lumber Impact a Retrofit’s Strength?

Construction Details For Contractors

Angle Iron Retrofits – Will They Work?

Ineffective Retrofit Techniques

A  Library for Retrofit Design