hillside foundation repair

Hillside Foundation Repair

The greater Los Angeles area is a beautiful part of the country to live in, but it is not without its drawbacks. Homeowners need to keep their buildings secure since the threat of seismic activity is always looming. Hillside homeowners especially need to ensure that their structures are secure. Read on to discover everything to know about hillside foundation repair in L.A.

Related: How To Choose Foundation Repair Contractor

Hillside Retrofits & Repairs 101

Hillside foundation repair, hillside restoration, and hillside retrofits are beneficial procedures that help secure a hillside structure. Since a building is only as strong as its weakest link, it’s crucial to have your Los Angeles hillside structure properly secured before seismic activity hits. Hillside foundation repair requires professional experience and expert care.

hillside home

Hillside retrofits and repairs are particularly challenging, as contractors work to ensure that the foundation can support the full weight of the structure. Another concern is that the building will not slide off its foundation during an earthquake or extreme weather. That is why professional hillside retrofits are necessary for Los Angeles area homes.

Related: How To Inspect Your Home Foundation

Los Angeles Hillside Ordinance

Los Angeles homes that are wood structured or old are particularly susceptible to damage from natural disasters. In addition to earthquakes, homes in the L.A. area are vulnerable to other natural disasters. Buildings have buckled due to strong winds, storms, mudslides, and fires. The city of Los Angeles created a new ordinance to keep hillside residents safe.

Home repairs are no longer just necessary, they are required. Older hillside structures, those that contain wooden foundation aspects, or ones that have shown signs of weakness now require hillside restoration services. If you are a hillside homeowner in the L.A. area who has not received a seismic retrofit, it’s time to book a property inspection.

How To Spot Foundation Damage

Signs that your hillside home needs a seismic retrofit or hillside foundation repair include cracks in the structure, leaning chimneys, slanted structures, windows or doors that have difficulty opening, and signs of water intrusion. Floors, windows, and ceilings that are warped or buckling are also signs of potential foundation failure.

When it comes to assessing cracks in your hillside structure, those that are wide, horizontal, clustered close together, and clustered around door or window frames are particularly problematic. It’s necessary to book a home inspection if you notice potential signs of foundation problems. Attempting to fix the issue may lead to you concealing a bigger problem. Ignoring signs of foundation problems can quickly lead to more issues and higher costs.

Related: Types of House Foundation

hillside repair

Potential Hillside Home Dangers

Hillside foundation repair and hillside retrofits are crucial for maintaining a secure structure. Foundation issues damage the structural stability of the home. Not only does the greater Los Angeles area have a high risk of seismic activity, but hillsides present precarious areas to have a home if it is not properly retrofitted. Therefore, seismic retrofits are non-negotiable.

Seismic retrofits are necessary to ensure that the home can withstand the impact of an earthquake. Proper retrofitting will prevent the building from collapsing in on itself or sliding off the foundation. Hillside homes that do not have a seismic retrofit leave residents vulnerable to injury or even death. A building that is not adequately secured therefore jeopardizes both the residents and the property value.

Related: Earthquake Retrofit Overview

L.A. Hillside Foundation Repair Solutions

At California Foundation Works, it is our priority to secure your home and protect your loved ones. A professional team of hillside restoration experts can assess your hillside foundation repair situation. Factors such as soil quality play a huge role in determining the health of the foundation. After the initial inspection, we can devise a plan to secure your Los Angeles area hillside property.

Using caissons or piles is a popular L.A. area solution to stabilize a home during a hillside retrofit or foundation repair. Structural engineers can ensure that the load of the structure is transferred to one of these support options for maximum structural stability. Grade beams can also be used for reinforcement to transfer the load of the building to the ground as a form of support. Different repair solutions are offered based on the nature of the problem.

Why Us?

At California Foundation Works, we strive to keep homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area safe one building at a time. Our team of expert contracts carries years of field experience that we bring to every project. From hillside foundation repair to earthquake retrofits to installing a yard drainage system, we’re your one-stop-shop for all repair, retrofit, and renovation needs for commercial and residential buildings in the greater Los Angeles area.

Have you noticed cracks in your L.A. home foundation?

Are you concerned about the stability of your hillside home?

arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

CONTACT US FOR A FREE* HILLSIDE RETROFIT INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

    Security Question:

    river rock foundation repair

    River Rock Foundation Repair

    Many homes throughout Los Angeles and nearby cities are constructed with river rock foundations. River rock foundation is often favored for its curb appeal, though it can suffer from problems similar to those that brick foundations experience. The following information will assist homeowners in dealing with a potential river rock foundation repair or replacement.

    Related: Foundation Maintenance Guide

    River Rock Appeal

    Many homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area seek homes that have a distinct personality and curb appeal. Some of the most charming structures are historic homes, which sometimes have brick foundations or river rock foundations. While these foundation types create uniquely appealing homes, like any kind of home foundation, they can contend with issues over the years.

    river rock foundation

    As structures age, signs of damage often begin to appear due to natural wear and tear of materials. Brick and river rock foundations in the greater Los Angeles area are also particularly vulnerable to the effects of seismic activity. Homeowners may notice that the rocks or bricks in their foundation have begun to degrade, crumble, or come loose. These problems can occur due to several different reasons.

    River Rock Damage

    One of the biggest problems that river rock foundation homeowners face is the mortar degrading. The river rock in the foundation can become loose over time if the mortar begins to degrade as it ages. This could cause the rocks to be easily pulled out or fall out of the foundation.

    Another issue that river rock foundations and brick foundations face is dealing with unreinforced masonry. These foundation types are classified like this because there is no steel rebar present to hold the rocks or bricks together. Therefore, seismic retrofits are not possible for these foundation types, which means that earthquakes are particularly problematic for brick and river rock foundations.

    It’s critical for homeowners to inspect their foundation regularly and be on the lookout for signs of foundation damage, such as cracks, crumbling bricks, water intrusion, visible slants, doors and windows that stick, and leaning chimneys. Homeowners should avoid repairing cracks or replacing bricks until a professional has evaluated whether or not an issue is surface or structural.

    Additionally, brick or river rock foundation problems might not be visible on the surface or to the untrained eye since cracking can occur in the interior due to seismic activity. It’s therefore extra important for homeowners with these types of foundations to book regular professional inspections.

    Available Foundation Solutions

    Fortunately, there are solutions available for river rock foundation replacement or repair. One successful foundation repair solution involves installing a sister foundation next to the original foundation to bolster the river rock. A sister foundation installation maintains the original curb appeal of the home while providing structural security and protection.

    Sister foundation installation is a less expensive option when compared to foundation replacement. However, if the foundation is in such a state of disrepair, foundation replacement might be necessary. Be sure to maintain your foundation and book regular inspections to avoid requiring such extensive work

    Sometimes only partial repair work is needed depending on the level of damage. If the river rocks or bricks are intact, then re-mortaring might be all that is needed to solve the problem. The old mortar will need to be carefully removed, with the original materials being replaced with new mortar.

    However, if the original materials are compromised, other repair options will be necessary. If the materials are only just starting to show their age, they can be treated with a sealant for protection against smoke, water, and other erosive properties. If the materials are too damaged for this treatment, they will likely have to be removed and replaced. During this process, the structure can be examined to ensure safety. The extent of replacement will depend on how large the damaged area is.

    Related: Foundation Repair Los Angeles

    river rock crack

    Understanding the Causes

    The best way to maintain a healthy home is to understand the root of problems. That way, homeowners can address issues in a way that offers long-lasting solutions rather than temporary fixes.

    Professional inspections provide a thorough evaluation of the home so that solutions can target problems at their source and prevent them from occurring in the future.

    Brick and river rock foundations are considered timeless, making them common foundation types for charming historic homes. However, it’s natural for homes to experience aging over time, which can manifest in crumbling, buckling, or staining of materials. Restorative work is therefore needed to return the home to its original integrity.

    Historic homes sometimes contain air-dried bricks, as opposed to kiln-fired bricks, which make the materials more vulnerable to erosion. Chemicals such as car exhaust can begin to wear river rocks and bricks down over time and warp the original materials.

    Foundations can also suffer due to seismic activity, initial design flaws, nearby construction, invasive tree roots, and changes in the soil. If you’re concerned about the structural integrity of your river rock or brick foundation, be sure to book a professional inspection as soon as possible.

    Why Us?

    At California Foundation Works, we work to keep the greater Los Angeles area safer by strengthening one home at a time. We collaborate closely with clients to help them achieve their dream homes without ever sacrificing quality or safety.

    Are you interested in securing your structure?

    Call today to discuss the process! We’re happy to answer all questions.

    Is your river rock foundation beginning to crumble?

    Are you in need of foundation repair or replacement?

    arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

    DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

    CONTACT US FOR A FREE* RIVER ROCK FOUNDATION INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

    Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

      Security Question:

      foundation repair contractor

      How to Choose the Right Foundation Repair Contractor

      Foundation repair is an important project to undertake, as foundation comprises the backbone and structural safety of your home. Therefore, this isn’t a project that should be performed by just anyone. With a wide variety of options available to the greater Los Angeles area, it’s important to evaluate which qualities comprise the right foundation contractor for your project.

      Related: Types Of Home Foundations

      Check Online Reviews

      Reviews are something people check when shopping for many products and services. When it comes to choosing the correct foundation repair contractor, it should be no different.

      Check out review sites such as The Better Business Bureau (BBB), Angie’s List, Yelp, and more to see what people have to say about potential contractors.

      A+ Rating

      Look for specific cases of customer and contractor interactions to narrow down reoccurring issues or strong areas.

      Seek out any repeat concerns that are made and be wary of contractors with unethical complaints made against them. Keep in mind that no company is perfect, but by reading reviews, you should be able to narrow down your choices and get a better understanding of what services you can expect. Doing your research ahead of time will save you a lot of headaches and could stop you from potentially picking an unethical company.

      Look for Warranties

      One important aspect of choosing a foundation repair company is picking one that offers a warranty. Be wary of companies that do not offer warranties. If a warranty is not offered, it can mean one of two things; either the contractor doesn’t care about the health of your home or they are not confident in their work. Warranties mean that a foundation repair contractor can back up their work with both money and reputation.

      Seek out contractors who offer around a 10-year foundation warranty. These types of warranties mean that the contractor is confident in their work and cares about the lasting health of your home. Warranties are in place to reinforce that the company is doing the job right the first time, which is what a homeowner deserves. Be sure to always completely read and verify your warranties to make sure that there aren’t any loopholes.

      Research the Business

      When evaluating potential contractors, check to see how long they have been in business. Companies that have been in business for longer have more experience to bring to the table, meaning they are prepared for surprises and changes. It also suggests that the company will be around after the work is finished, should you require anything else from them.

      On the other hand, rookie companies might be trying to get their footing and could potentially sink. Companies that frequently change locations might be trying to hide from bad reviews.
      Experience and reputation go a long way for companies. More established companies have a verifiable reputation in the community. This is something that you can search out and establish a clear image of. Look for a company that people in the area can trust and turn to, meaning they are a respectable and reliable choice for a foundation repair company.

      To verify how long a company has been in business, run their California license number through the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Contractors State License Board portal.

      Related: Foundation Repair Los Angeles

      home insurance

      Verify Details

      Before selecting your foundation repair company, you want to be aware of all variables of how they operate. Understand their payment terms very clearly, since you don’t want unexpected pay changes to occur after the project starts. Be wary of contractors who ask to be fully paid before the project is completed. Be sure that a clear payment schedule is established and agreed upon in writing.

      Verify that the company has all of its required permits and that they will get your home in compliance with all building codes. This means that they won’t be cutting any corners or trying to scam you by using subpar building materials.

      Also ask to see all licenses, credentials, and affiliations. Never choose an unlicensed contractor for any work. If a contractor can’t meet the bare minimum requirements, then they are not at all suitable. Inquire about specific training and specialties and see the paperwork to back up information. Additional areas to check are references and insurance. Check that the insurance comes directly from the insurance provider of the company and that it is still valid. Be thorough in your evaluation. Foundation repair is a significant service, and you don’t want to choose a less qualified contractor for the project.

      Check Quotes

      Foundation repair is an important and necessary investment in the long-term health of your building. You never want to skimp on costs and risk subpar work. However, it’s also important to make sure that you aren’t getting misled. You need to ask questions and fully understand the requirements and needs of the project.

      Don’t allow cost to be the biggest factor in who to choose, as better companies often offer higher quotes due to premium materials. This is worth the money saved by choosing a cheaper company that uses shoddy materials.

      However, you need to be aware of how much the project will cost, what payment plans are available, and an estimated timeline of the project. Ask many questions so that you know what to expect from your contractor for your foundation repair project. Get your estimate in writing so that you won’t be receiving any unpleasant surprises at the end of the project.

      Related: Sister Foundation Solution

      Choosing California Foundation Works

      At California Foundation Works, we make it our mission to deliver reliable, fast, and efficient services. Communication is one of our core focuses as a contractor team. We understand that home repair work can be stressful, which is why we try to reduce as much worry as possible. We’ll be there every step of the way from the initial consultation to securing permits to the final touches.

      We focus on client communication and collaboration so that homeowners are aware of progress throughout the project and can weigh in on any preferences and changes.
      We vow to secure your home so that it can best weather any storm Los Angeles has to offer. Our team of highly skilled contractors shares decades of hands-on experience that we carry to every project. Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.

      Your home is probably the most significant investment you will make in a lifetime. Don’t put it in the wrong hands. Make your next home repair or renovation as efficient, easy, and hassle-free as possible by teaming up with a contractor you trust.

      Is your home beginning to show its age?

      Are you considering booking a foundation inspection?

      arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

      DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

      CONTACT US FOR A FREE* HILLSIDE DRAINAGE INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

      Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

        Security Question:

        MYTHS ABOUT FOUNDATION REPAIR

        5 Myths About Foundation Repair

        With earthquakes lurking on the horizon, foundation repair is especially important for Los Angeles area residents.

        However, not all of the information about foundation repair is accurate. Let’s explore some of the top myths surrounding foundation repair information to uncover the truth about this vital home repair service.

        Related: Foundation Maintenance Guide

        MYTH: Foundation damage is due to how the home was built

        While some cases of foundation damage are due to an initial construction flaw, that is not the leading cause of foundation damage.

        Foundation damage is a natural process that occurs over time, as a degree of settlement is something that should be expected for all homes. The reason why settlement occurs is almost always directly linked to the soil beneath the home.

        foundation underpinning

        Soil expands in wet periods and contracts in dry periods. This can create an unstable base for the home, with constant changes pressuring the foundation base to cause cracking. However, this is not something that will be caused by slightly overwatering your yard vegetation. Having lush plants and landscaping can keep soil healthy since roots absorb water and act as a barrier.

        Therefore, it’s important to maintain consistent vegetation watering, especially during droughts if possible. Other causes of foundation issues can be due to environmental problems, invasive tree roots, local construction, and seismic activity.

        MYTH: Foundation repair is an extremely expensive project

        While foundation repair can be expensive, routine inspections and home maintenance will help you keep track of problems and attend to them quickly. That means that there is a good chance your foundation repair might not be as extensive as you fear. Therefore, don’t worry about the price until the evaluation has been professionally performed and payment options have been discussed.

        Foundation repair will cost money, but that money won’t be your undoing. Talk with your contractor about project budgeting, potential insurances, payment options, and ways to save money. In some cases of necessary retrofitting projects in Los Angeles, there are ways to apply for reimbursement. Seeking multiple quotes before working with a trusted contractor is one way to ensure that you won’t be overspending.

        MYTH: Cracks are a sign of a bad home that shouldn’t be sold

        Cracks are one of the easiest to spot problems for homeowners. Many believe that cracks are a sign of foundation damage, though they are more likely a symptom of something occurring. It is important to remember that cracks indicate different things. They are not necessarily a sign of extreme foundation problems.

        More definite signs of foundation damage include windows and doors that have trouble opening and closing, cracks in beams and walls, slanted ceilings and floorboards, crooked chimneys, and a leaning home. Some cracks are mere surface issues that can be plastered easily. However, it is extremely important to not blindly fill in cracks.

        If cracks are an indication of a larger foundation issue, then filling in the cracks is akin to putting a bandaid on a broken bone. Filling a crack or leak is only a surface solution that will not address any underlying issues. It’s always important to have a contractor inspect the cracks and determine the extent of potential damage before any repairs are made.

        Related: Foundation Repair Los Angeles

        foundation repair

        MYTH: Homes with foundation damage should be avoided

        While the idea of a “dream” home is one with a perfect foundation, this isn’t always the reality.

        The truth is that any home, no matter the age, can suffer from foundation damage. If you own a home for many decades, it’s highly likely you will deal with foundation issues at some point. 

        That doesn’t mean that you need to deal with foundation repairs on top of the stress of buying a new home, but it also means that you don’t have to eliminate a home because of foundation issues. Instead, understand what condition the home is in and what solutions are available.

        Fortunately, there are a wide array of foundation solutions available for homeowners these days. Investing in the foundation of your home is also investing in the property value and the safety of residents. A properly installed foundation can last for many successful decades, so improving the foundation of a home now can save you a headache down the line. Remember that almost all foundation problems can be fixed. Just be sure to book an inspection and be aware of potential problems and solutions before signing your name to any home.

        MYTH: Homeowners should wait for the “right” time for repair

        Understandably, homeowners worry about the cost of foundation repair because they aren’t aware of available payment resources. This can lead to avoiding repair work and delaying repairs until the homeowners feel more financially secure.

        Unfortunately, this is a very dangerous idea that will only lead to costs escalating. When homeowners ignore necessary repair work, they run the risk of problems getting worse. That means that a simple case of foundation repair might turn into an entire foundation replacement. Not only is this considerably more expensive, but it’s also more time-consuming and invasive.

        Delaying repairs also threaten the safety of residents. Since earthquakes can strike the greater Los Angeles area at any time, homes must be properly reinforced to withstand seismic impact. Foundation issues almost always get worse over time. It does no favors to your wallet or building residents to delay necessary foundation repairs.

        Related: Foundation Repair Insurance Coverage

        Why Us?

        Are you looking for the most reliable foundation repair information?

        At California Foundation Works, it’s our mission to keep homeowners safe one home at a time. Our team of experts brings decades of field experience to every project, and we collaborate closely with homeowners to achieve their dream home.

        Our company values include communication, safety, and efficiency, as we cut no corners when it comes to creating safe and beautiful homes.

        Is your foundation showing signs of wear?

        Are you looking for a local Los Angeles foundation repair?

        arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

        DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

        CONTACT US FOR A FREE* FOUNDATION INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

        Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

          Security Question:

          Foundation repair

          Foundation Repair Timing

          Smart homeowners pay attention to their foundation, as they know it plays a critical role in the longevity of their structure. Perhaps you have recently started to notice changes with your foundation, but you don’t know if it needs to be addressed immediately. How do you determine if you’ve reached the point of no return? Learn more about your foundation to understand when home repairs are necessary to preserve the integrity of your home foundation.

          Related: Foundation Maintenance Guide

          When to Repair Foundation

          Over time, the soil beneath the home contracts and expands due to changing moisture levels. Changing soil creates an unstable base for the home and causes settlement to occur, which eventually will need to be addressed. Many new homeowners believe that foundation repair is not something that they must do.

          However, even newer homes could be suffering the effects of foundation failure. Issues such as construction failure, poor soil compaction, and significant terrain changes can cause a newer foundation to suffer as well.

          foundation repair

          At the same time, homeowners who have enjoyed many unproblematic years with their foundations are not out of the clear. Foundation repair may be necessary for the future since foundation settlement is a natural process that homeowners must face. Other issues that can exacerbate foundation problems include new construction in the area, changes in weather, droughts, and growing plant roots.

          Therefore, when to repair your foundation is not dependent on how old or new your house is. Instead, the deadline for repairing the foundation depends on the nature and extent of the foundation problems.

          Identifying Foundation Problems

          How bad is it? You might be asking yourself this question if you’ve noticed any problems with your foundation. Perhaps you spotted a crack and are debating if it’s cause for concern. Signs that indicate it is time for a foundation repair include sloped floors or ceilings, doors and windows that have difficulty opening or closing, slanted walls or a visible exterior building slant, water intrusion particularly around crawl spaces, and unusual cracks.

          Troublesome cracks include ones located around window and door frames, clustered closely together, unusually large, horizontal, or exceptionally wide. Dangerous cracks, known as dynamic cracks, can continue to widen and spread if left untreated.

          You should also inspect the exterior of your home for loose bricks or perturbing parts, such as nail heads. Another indicator of foundation damage is a leaning chimney, as all of these signs point to foundation settlement and shifting. To avoid reaching the point of no return, one thing you must do is regularly monitor any cracks you find. Write down the size and date of the cracks to monitor if they are changing.

          It is necessary to call a professional for any cracks larger than 1/16th of an inch wide, though you may choose to monitor smaller cracks on your own to see how the situation unfolds. However, it’s always smart to play it safe and have any worrisome areas evaluated to avoid having problems worsen.

          Related: Foundation Repair Los Angeles

          Crawl space repair

          Determining Degree of Damage

          An untrained eye will likely have difficulty determining how bad a crack is and when a sign of foundation damage will be harmful. That’s why it’s always helpful to book a professional evaluation as soon as foundation damage warning signs are noticed.

          Though there is no set deadline as to how quickly foundation problems need to be handled, ignoring a problem can lead to costly repairs.

          In extreme cases, complete foundation replacement might be needed to rectify serious foundation damage problems. Leaving suspicious cracks untreated could severely impact the structural security of your building, so it’s always wise to err on the side of caution. Cracks in the wall could comprise the load-bearing capability of the structure, leading to dangerous damage.

          Additionally, signs such as difficult to open windows and doors, uneven floors, and gaps above cabinets might indicate issues with the soil. If that is the case, then professional help will be needed.

          However, other issues, such as water intrusion, could likely be fixed with a new drainage system and may not require foundation repairs. Or perhaps it’s due to plumbing issues, which is often covered by insurance. Overall, it’s best to contact a professional to determine the extent and nature of the damage.

          Best Time for Repairs

          Whether you suspect a foundation problem or know something is wrong, there comes a time when you must do something. But is there a superior time of year to make necessary home repairs?

          The answer is not really, as different times of the year offer different advantages for foundation repair. The cooler months offer a harder ground and a marginal increase in foundation stability, making it a preferable time of year to observe and monitor damage. The wet and warm months make cracks more visible, as water damage becomes more apparent. This makes it easier to assess damage in some cases, as foundation damage is often more obvious in the rainy season.
          The reality is that in some cases, foundation repairs can’t wait for the “ideal” circumstances. Fortunately, foundation repairs can be performed year-round with maximum results in every season. Ask yourself, how bad is it?

          Can the problems withstand unpredictable weather? For greater Los Angeles area residents, the answer is often no, since earthquakes are constantly on the horizon. Therefore, the best time for foundation repairs is as soon as possible.

          The longer the homeowner waits to address the problem, there will be a greater extent of damage and subsequent repair cost. In conclusion, it’s best to play it safe, book a complimentary home inspection, and get started on securing your structure!

          Why Choose Us?

          At California Foundation Works, we strive to keep homes safe by attending to one household at a time. Our customizable and flexible foundation repair solutions allow us to tailor our repairs to fit the exact needs of our customers. We work within your budget to deliver premium services at the most competitive price on the market. From the initial consultation to the final touches, we’ll be there every step of the way for full communication and updates. Call now to get started on your home repair or renovation journey!   

          Related: Sister Foundation Solution

          Have you noticed signs of foundation damage?

          Are you ready to solve your home problems once and for all?

          arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

          DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

          CONTACT US FOR A FREE* FOUNDATION INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

          Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

            Security Question:

            post and pier

            Post and Pier Foundation

            When it comes to building your dream home, there are many choices to make. While selecting decorum and color schemes is certainly fun, choosing what kind of foundation is a less glamorous but highly critical step in the process. Since the foundation comprises the base of a home’s structural security, choosing the right foundation is highly important.

            Today we’re going to explore the pros and cons of post and pier foundation to discover which type of foundation is right for your home.

            Related: Post and Pier Repair

            Foundation Choices

            Which type of house foundation is best for your property depends on where your home is built.

            Post and pier foundation, also known as post and beam, is a great choice for areas where the contractor would encounter difficulty digging a traditional foundation. This makes it easier to construct stable foundations in areas dense with trees or near to the ocean since the post and pier foundation raises the home and can offer protection from high tide.

            post and pier

            Stilted houses that are popular in beach communities are largely constructed from post and beam foundation to allow the vertical pillars to transfer the building load to the soil. Reinforcement beams are added on top of the column to create this type of house foundation, with the piers supporting the beams from out of the ground. The combination of posts, piers, and beams provides a wooden foundation type that differs from the traditional slab foundation.

            Post and Pier Pros

             

            This wooden foundation type is ideal for construction sites that encounter difficulty with digging a slab foundation. This makes post and pier foundation ideal for areas with soil conditions, steep slopes, water, and tree roots. Due to the elevation post and beam foundation prevents surface water from entering the home and causing damage.
            Post and pier foundation also is fitted with a built-in crawl space that provides easy access to wiring, ductwork, and plumbing to ease plumbing, mechanical, and electrical repairs and installations. Such repairs face far more challenges in concrete slab foundations. Additionally, this foundation type allows for air circulation beneath the home to greatly reduce the chances for mildew and rot. As a final bonus, post and beam foundation is usually a less expensive choice when it comes to selecting a house foundation, though this varies depending on individual construction factors.

            Post and Pier Cons

            When it comes to any foundation type, of course, there are specific drawbacks. The downsides of the post and pier foundation can be mitigated by taking precautions. Heavy insulation is essential for post and beam foundation, as critters have easier access to infiltrating the floors. Insulation is also needed to ensure energy-efficiency.

            Overall, this wooden foundation type must be protected from the elements through proper insulation. Fortunately, this can be done by the right team of contractors. Routine foundation inspections are also encouraged, as the damage of one post or pier can lead to significant overall foundation damage if not repaired. It is also critical to keep the crawl space beneath the home properly sealed to prevent the growth of mold due to water intrusion.

            Related: Foundation Repair Los Angeles

            door crack

            Foundation Considerations

            Overall, the best foundation choice for your home should be able to satisfy the needs of your specific location. Soil characteristics, elemental factors, and load types all play a role in determining if a wooden foundation or a slab foundation will best suit your home. Since price is an important factor for many homeowners, it’s important to consult with a contractor to get an idea of different foundation type costs, as well as project duration. For example, post and pier foundation takes more time to install than traditional slab foundation, extending project times.

            A highly important factor that contributes to determining which type of house foundation to choose is the soil. Soil plays a huge role in the overall health of the foundation, in turn dramatically affecting the structural stability of the home. Post and beam foundation offers more stability when it comes to contending with shifting soil. Since continual soil expansion and contraction due to changing moisture levels can cause significant damage to a slab foundation, post and pier foundation offers an important advantage for difficult soil areas.

            Why Choose Us?

            At California Foundation Works, we strive to keep Southern California residents safe by attending to one household at a time. We provide a variety of home and yard services to greater Los Angeles area homes to keep residents safe and satisfied.

            Our company values include efficiency, honesty, and communication, as we work with the homeowner each step of the way to collaborate on home repairs and renovations. Ready to get started?

            Related: Sister Foundation Solution

            Are you in the process of making necessary home renovations? Considering which foundation is right for you?

            We’re here to help!

            arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

            DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

            CONTACT US FOR A FREE* FOUNDATION INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

            Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

              Security Question:

              type of foundation

              How to Identify Which House Foundation You Have

              Whether you’ve purchased your home or are looking into building your dream house, there are many components of the building’s interior that you should familiarize yourself with.

              Today we’re going to explore the different types of foundations your home might have to help you understand and identify more about your home’s structure, including concrete slab, crawl space, basement, and pier foundations.

              Related: How To Inspect Your Home Foundation

              House Foundation 101

              Why does it matter what type of foundation your home has?

              Owning a home is one of the biggest investments a person can make, and the foundation of the building comprises the home’s structural integrity.

              Without a healthy foundation, the future of the building is limited. Therefore, it is important to know about your home’s foundation and regularly inspect it for signs of deterioration.

              driveway installation

              The type of foundation your home resides on is determined by several factors, including home location, local building codes, soil composition, water levels, and frost line. Soil composition plays a pivotal role in the health of the home since expanding and contracting foundation can cause foundation settlement, cracks, and damage.

              Soil-related foundation damage often occurs due to fluctuating moisture levels and can be reversed with foundation repair services. It’s the homeowner’s job to keep excess moisture out of the home to ensure its lasting structural health.

              Concrete Slab Foundation

              A concrete slab foundation is considered standard, as it is the most common type of modern home foundation. How do you know if you have a concrete slab foundation?

              Well, concrete slab foundations simply consist of concrete poured directly on the ground. After the foundation is prepared, the home is then constructed on top of this concrete base. Drainage pipes and steel rods are used for reinforcement, with the slabs measuring from 4-8 inches in width.

              Homes constructed with slab foundations will not have space existing between the foundation and home. This means that there won’t be a basement or crawl space area underneath the structure. Instead, the home will rest directly on the foundation. This differentiates this foundation type from the others.

              Many favor the concrete slab foundation due to its low construction cost. This option is by far the cheapest on the market, and it also provides a quick solution for home builders. Professional contractors can swiftly lay a concrete slab base, with its quick drying time making it easy to rapidly resume construction.

              Additionally, the lack of air space between the foundation and home prevents pest infestation and mold growth. Since slab foundations are low-lying, it’s important to ensure the yard has proper drainage to prevent flooding and water intrusion. Additionally, this type of foundation is more susceptible to warming because of the lack of ventilation existing between the foundation and home.

              Crawl Space Foundation

              A second popular foundation option is the crawl space foundation. This foundation type is constructed on blocks with a small space existing between the floor joists and ground. For added reinforced, concrete pillars are used for structural support. Contractors prefer crawl space foundations when the soil presents digging difficulty.

              You will know your home is constructed with this foundation if there is a space beneath the home that acts as a small basement area. Crawl space foundations typically leave an area of roughly 3 to 4 feet high beneath the ground and floor joists. Some use this space for storage.

              Crawl space foundations are favored for being one of the most durable options on the market. They are particularly useful for homes located in areas that have a higher groundwater level. The elevated crawl spaces allowed for more protection against water intrusion, as well as better airflow in the warm months. Additionally, many appreciate the extra storage space that crawl spaces add.

              While crawl spaces are particularly advantageous, they present a few issues to contend with. Though the ventilation of the structure is ideal in hot months, it can cause heating issues in the cold months. Fortunately, this isn’t an issue for people who live in warm regions.

              Additionally, be sure to always seal and insulate your crawl space to prevent intrusive moisture and pest presence.

              Related: Crawl Space Vapor Barrier

              crawlspace

              Basement Foundation

              Does your home contain a basement? Well, many areas of the country turn to basement foundations to reap many benefits.

              Basement foundations can be built with blocks or poured. Concrete pillars support the above-ground structure, leaving standing height space underneath the home. Basement foundations tend to be dug at least eight feet above the footing of the home, leaving sizable space beneath the home for living or storage.

              Basement foundations are favored by many for the additional space they allow, whether for living or storage. This added square footage creates an ideal opportunity for renovations in the future.

              Additionally, basements offer natural ventilation beneath the structure. This can prove handy when it comes to cooling the home during the warm season.
              However, the many benefits of the basement foundation do come at a steeper price, as this is a more expensive type of foundation.

              Additionally, you will have to familiarize yourself with maintenance issues to ensure that your basement is adequately cared for. To prevent water intrusion, basement flooding, and unwanted growths, yard drainage systems such as French drains can be extremely helpful to install.

              Pier Foundation

              A final type of foundation to discuss is the pier foundation. Pier foundation is often not the first choice, though it is a strong foundation solution. Instead, it is often recommended for lands that would have difficulty laying traditional foundations. You can rely on this foundation to be one of the most durable and long-lasting choices, as it offers tremendous support without many drawbacks.

              Wondering if your home has a pier foundation? One of the best ways to find out is to check if there is a crawl space beneath your home. While concrete slab foundation rests directly on the ground, the other types of foundations will have space between the ground and floor joists. Pier and beam foundations have crawl spaces to serve for the electrical and plumbing line access.

              While pier foundation might seem superior, it does come at a cost. Because it is the most expensive foundation solution, many homeowners only use it for smaller areas, such as detached structures or sheds.

              Potential drawbacks include sagging or creaking floors and ventilation issues. However, these problems can be avoided by hiring top-grade contractors and keeping up with routine inspections and maintenance

              Why Choose Us?

              At California Foundation Works, it is our mission to equip your home with the safety and satisfaction you deserve.

              Our team works to create custom solutions to satisfy all consumer needs while working within individual budgets. Interested in updating, repairing, or expanding any areas of your home?

              Call today to book your complimentary home inspection so that we can get started on your home repair journey together!

              Related: How To Know If Your House Needs Foundation Repair

              Have you noticed signs of foundation damage?

              Interested in learning more about how to secure your structure?

              arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

              DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

              CONTACT US FOR A FREE* FOUNDATION INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

              Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

                Security Question:

                floor leveling

                Floor Leveling Inspection Guide

                The COVID-19 pandemic has left many of us housebound, and one way to try and alleviate stress is to stay busy. Fortunately, the extra time at home creates the ideal opportunity for home inspections. By taking the time to inspect your property, you can protect one of your greatest investments and insure for the overall health of your structure.

                Today we’re going to explore how to inspect your home to ensure that there are no flaws with the floor leveling.

                Related: Foundation Leveling Process

                Foundation Damage Roots

                When homeowners find they have floors that sink or are uneven, these problems are often caused by foundation issues that have likely not been detected.

                Foundation damage causes a chain reaction of problems throughout the home, from warped floors to cracked walls to a shifting structure.

                But let’s back up for a moment. How does foundation damage occur in the first place?

                floor leveling

                While a degree of settlement is common as time passes, more serious foundation problems often have a clear culprit. Foundation damage can arise through continual elemental wear and tear or due to an initial construction failure, but one of the biggest factors behind foundation damage is the soil the house sits upon.

                Expansive soil is often tied with foundation damage and uneven floors. Excess moisture causes soil to expand, while dry periods cause it to contract. This continual fluctuation can lead to foundation movement and cracks due to continual ground shifting. In turn, this can lead to a host of foundation damage effects both inside and outside of the home.

                Similar issues will also occur if the soil was not properly backfilled or if tree roots disrupt the soil. Overall, soil issues are a leading cause of foundation damage and should be taken seriously by homeowners.

                Search for the Signs

                Chances are you have some extra time around the home these days, which means there is no better opportunity to spot the signs that your home needs floor leveling. Preventative work is the most cost-effective way to protect your home, and detecting problems in their earliest stages will always lead to cheaper repairs.

                Fortunately, signs of floor leveling problems are often easy to find. We walk on our floors every day, so we are more sensitive to noticing slopes, cracks, loud floors, warped boards, and other unusual changes. However, since floor leveling problems are often indicative of foundation issues, you should also search your house for other foundation damage warning signs.

                Signs to be on the lookout for include cracks in both the exterior or interior walls. Pay particular attention to cracks that are unusually wide, long, or clustered closely together. In addition to slanting floorboards, warped walls and ceilings are also a sign that something is amiss. Check for doors and windows that have difficulty opening and closing, and if your home has a chimney, see if it is slanted.

                You can also examine your home for signs of water intrusion, which can be spotted due to secondary issues such as insect or pest infestation or mold, mildew, bacteria, or fungus growth. The latter signs can often be detected by strong, musty odors, as well as breathing difficulties. You can also check crawl spaces for damp walls and floors.

                Exploring Leveling Solutions

                Nobody wants to find problems with their foundation, but if you do, we’re here to help. At California Foundation Works, we offer custom solutions to meet the individual needs of each of our clients. This means that every repair project is unique, though there are certain steps that many foundation repair projects follow.

                Floor and subfloor leveling services are likely needed in cases when foundation damage has affected the levelness of the flooring. Additional services include concrete leveling or basement repair services depending on the degree of the damage. Fortunately, floor leveling projects are more affordable than you might think.

                Consider any work a necessary investment in the future of your building and the safety of its residents. Foundation repair services are needed to permanently restore the integrity of the building and resolve any damage to guarantee that the property value of the building remains protected. Though some floor leveling solutions may take up to several weeks, floor leveling is considered a non-invasive procedure.

                However, you should never attempt to perform a floor leveling project on your own, as it requires professional expertise.

                Related: Foundation Underpinning Retrofit

                door crack

                Floor Leveling Process

                Floor leveling returns the home to a level position, providing a restorative facelift and structural security boost.

                Floor leveling services are aimed to return the home to its original levelness, as well as strengthen the structure to guard it against damage in the future.

                One trusted form of foundation leveling known as pier and beam foundation involves using a jack or lift for leveling. 

                In a process called shoring, the home is very carefully raised so that beams or jacks can be attached underneath. Internal damage is minimized by lifting the jacks with extreme care and precision to protect the interior of the home.

                Another way to attend to leveling issues is to excavate weakened areas of the home and install concrete or steel pilings along with concrete piers. Repairs can be performed on all types of foundation, including basement foundation, slab foundation, and pier and beam foundation.

                If foundation damage is causing your floors to warp, then you must contact a professional contractor as soon as possible. Weakened homes that don’t receive necessary repair solutions will continue to warp, crack, and shift, eventually threatening the safety of residents and the longevity of the structure.

                Homeowners who have elevated homes, especially located on hillsides, should be particularly wary of shifting structures due to mudslides, earthquakes, and other natural threats.

                Have you noticed warped floors? Are there cracks around your home? Concerned about your home’s foundation?

                The last thing anyone needs at this moment is more problems to contend with. Take the time to perform a routine home inspection so that you can catch issues before they have the opportunity to worsen.

                Here at California Foundation Works, our team of expertly trained contractors is available around the clock to offer full home repairs and renovations. It is our goal to keep greater Los Angeles area residents safe by fortifying one home at a time.

                Call today to book your free home inspection!

                arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

                DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

                CONTACT US FOR A FREE* FLOOR LEVELING INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

                Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

                  Security Question:

                  foundation crack

                  How to Inspect Your Home Foundation

                  As people do their part to stay safe and curb the spread of COVID-19, the issue arises as to what to do with all of the free time many are left with. One thing you can do to both occupy your time in the present and protect your assets for the future is to perform a home inspection and ensure that all areas of your home are operating problem-free.

                  It may be hard to stay positive during such trying times, but by focusing on what you can do at home, you can help take your mind off the stress. By using the quarantine time to inspect your home and tend to repairs, you can also help to regain an element of control over your life and your assets.

                  Related: Foundation Maintenance Guide

                  Understanding Foundation Health

                  Have the time to brush up on your foundation knowledge?

                  Foundations can become damaged over time with persistent elemental wear and tear, through design flaws, or due to natural settlement. While all homes settle to an extent as time passes, the degree of settlement depends greatly on the soil. Soil expands during periods of excess rainfall and contracts during drier months, which can create an unstable base for your home. This constant flux in pressure can lead to an unstable foundation and cause cracking.

                  foundation crack

                  This can cause a myriad of problems throughout the home, in addition to structural instability. Though it initially may not seem like the ideal time to book home repairs, it’s in the homeowner’s best interest to rectify foundation issues as soon as they are spotted.

                  Foundation damage will worsen over time, which can cause more expensive repairs and open the possibility of requiring expensive and invasive foundation replacement. Avoid future stress by spotting foundation damage warning signs today and taking control of the situation while you have some extra time on your hands.

                  Search for Signs with Spare Time

                  Greater Los Angeles area residents are in a fortunate position when it comes to home health, as the recent rainy period can help to reveal potential foundation damage. Soggy or misshapen floorboards, damp crawl spaces, and visible liquid can all indicate water intrusion and a potential breach in the foundation integrity.

                  Cracks are one of the most obvious indicators of potential damage and can also contribute to water intrusion. Inspect your home for cracks that are unusually wide, closely clustered together, or horizontal. Search around door frames, crawl spaces, and fireplaces for signs of damage. Warped floorboards, walls, ceilings, and an overall slanted house appearance are also clear signs that the foundation might be compromised.

                  To check if your home is warping due to an unstable foundation, verify if your windows and doors can open and close with ease. Doors and windows that stick can be yet another indicator of potential foundation damage due to shifting structure.

                  At Home Yard Inspections

                  If your driveway, patio, walkway, or other concrete fixture is beginning to show its age, then you are faced with two main options. You can demolish and remove the concrete installation and find a new way to occupy the area, or you can resurface the concrete to return it to its original appearance.

                  Concrete resurfacing provides new life for stained, cracked, discolored, and chipped concrete to create a cost-effective way to resolve aging concrete.

                  Related: Foundation Repair Los Angeles

                  door crack

                  Exploring Solutions

                  So you’ve noticed some potential problems. What’s next?

                  At California Foundation Works, we offer complimentary foundation inspections so that we can provide a thorough home evaluation and propose potential solutions to meet your home’s unique needs.

                  The great news is that the majority of cases of foundation damage can be rectified with stabilizing foundation solutions.

                  Each repair solution will be customized to meet your unique needs, so every repair project operates differently depending on individual variables. In some cases, this process involves pier and beam reconstruction and preventative support installation. Pier and beam stabilization allows the home to be filled with supportive piers connected to concrete beams that are reinforced with steel.

                  Other solutions include concrete slab stabilization, floor leveling, and installing a supportive sister foundation. Book your free foundation inspection today so that we can get started on discovering your home’s unique solution.

                  Focus on What You Can Fix

                  Here at California Foundation Works, we are happy to offer services that can assist with creating financial stability for your future. Owning a house is one of the most significant investments you can make in a lifetime, and most of our services are still operational despite the uncertain times to offer construction work to keep your family safe and happy and your future assets protected.

                  There may be a lot that is out of our control at the moment, but fortunately, there are steps you can take from your home to ensure that it is protected and can safely house your loved ones for many years to come.

                  Why Choose Us?

                  Our team at California Foundation Works is dedicated to bringing your home repairs, renovations, and projects to fruition while maintaining all safety protocols and standards. It is our mission to ensure the safety of your family, and we’re achieving our goal one house at a time.   

                  Related: Sister Foundation Solution

                  Interested in booking a complimentary foundation inspection or other home services? Call today!

                  arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

                  DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

                  CONTACT US FOR A FREE* FOUNDATION INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

                  Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

                    Security Question:

                    soft story retrofitting in La

                    Soft Story Retrofit Spring Season

                    Homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area have likely heard some buzz about soft story retrofits, but today we’ll explore the full scope of the process.

                    In Los Angeles county alone thousands of buildings have received mandatory retrofit ordinances mandating that they update or demolish their soft story structures.

                    While this process can seem daunting and overwhelming, breaking down what soft story structures are, exploring the retrofitting process, and discovering the best time to retrofit will allow the stress to be removed from this major, but necessary, building renovation project. Ready to get started?

                    Related: Soft Story Retrofit

                    Reasons Behind the Retrofit

                    If you’ve received a mandatory Order to Comply in the mail, then you’re already aware that your building has been identified as a soft story structure. And you’re not the only one.

                    Over 20,000 buildings in Los Angeles alone have been marked for being structurally unsound due to having a weakened ground floor that is structurally unable to support the floors above it in the event of seismic activity.

                    earthquake retrofitting

                    This is often the result of having large open areas on the ground floor, such as parking areas or excessively sized windows. While it certainly isn’t good news to be informed that your building requires a soft story retrofit, solid reasons are backing the process.

                    Because the structures of soft story buildings leave the buildings so vulnerable, there is a very high risk of structural damage and subsequent fatalities and even death when earthquakes strike soft story buildings.

                    A soft story regulation is therefore needed to ensure for area safety since when it comes to earthquakes in Southern California, it’s not a question of if but when.

                    Breaking Down the Retrofit Timeline

                    Not only are soft story retrofits mandatory, but there is a finite amount of time in which your project must be completed. If you haven’t received an Order to Comply in the mail, you can always book a soft story inspection to evaluate the state of your structure.

                    Once you have received the Order to Comply, you will have 2 years to submit proof of previous retrofit, plans for the soft story retrofit, or plans to demolish the building. You must hold on to the letter, so be sure to keep it safe. After the letter is received, you have 3.5 years to get together all permits that are needed to commence either construction or demolition. The project must be completed within 7 years of receiving the Order to Comply.

                    Failure to follow the timeline could result in severe penalties for the building owner. Therefore, it is very important to stick to the timeline and ensure that all aspects of the soft story retrofit are completed in time.

                    When it comes to complying with soft story regulations, there is no time to delay. This is a mandatory process that needs to be completed as soon as possible for a variety of reasons.

                    When is the Right Time to Retrofit?

                    Ready to get started on your retrofit? There are many benefits to getting your soft story retrofit completed during the spring and summer months. Most earthquake retrofits involve cripple wall bracing to hold the structure intact and foundation bolting to keep the building locked in place.

                    Spring and summer months create the ideal opportunity for completing this process due to the reliable and mild weather and extended daylight hours. The warm months provide ample time for soft story inspections so that a professional contractor can thoroughly investigate each aspect of your building.

                    Because so many buildings have received mandatory orders to comply, there is a high demand for the retrofitting process to be finalized. Workers can complete more work in the day during the warm months, allowing your soft story retrofit process to proceed without any hitches, such as rain delays.

                    Some soft story retrofits are more advanced than others depending on the degree of damage. Severe structural damage could lead to the existing concrete slab being removed and steel reinforcement structures being added to bolster the building before new concrete is poured. Only a soft story inspection will reveal the extent of the retrofitting process, so it’s paramount to provide ample time for the process to be completed.

                    Avoid the winter weather rain delays by planning your soft story retrofit for the mild, warm months. Working in the warm months also provides soil that is easier to work with, speeding up the process.

                    Related: Cost Of Soft Story Retrofit 

                    soft story

                    Soft Story Retrofit Benefits

                    Failure to comply with soft story regulations will not only result in penalties, but it will leave your building structurally compromised. Any event that involves the ground moving, no matter how seemingly minor, can lead to serious structural damage that could mean the end of your building.

                    From foundation cracks to warped walls and floors, earthquake damage is something you should avoid at all costs.

                    Getting started on your retrofitting process as soon as possible will decrease the overall project cost since the mandatory soft story retrofits are increasingly driving prices up as time progresses.
                    In addition to lower costs, you can also reap economic advantages, as completed soft story retrofits entitle building owners to significant savings.

                    Many insurance companies offer large premiums for completed soft story retrofits, while you can additionally lower certain building insurances.
                    You’ll also receive a competitive advantage by acting quickly, as your building will be removed from city inventory as early as possible, becoming exempt from future retrofit demands.

                    Lastly, with cost recovery programs available, homeowners can receive aid for complying with the soft story retrofit process.

                    Worried About Your Soft Story Retrofit Costs?

                    Call California Foundation Works Today For a FREE Project Estimate. Let’s Discover The Best Solution For Your Retrofit needs!

                    Contact Us At (323) 418-2239

                    soft story

                    Soft Story Retrofit Season

                    Gearing You Up for Soft Story Retrofit Season

                    Homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area have likely heard some buzz about soft story retrofits, but today we’ll explore the full scope of the process. Already thousands of buildings in Los Angeles County alone have received mandatory retrofit ordinances mandating that they update or demolish their soft story structures.

                    While this process can seem daunting and overwhelming, breaking down what soft story structures are, exploring the retrofitting process, and discovering the best time to retrofit will allow the stress to be removed from this major, but necessary, building renovation project. Ready to get started?

                    Related: Thousands of Soft Story Structures Still Need Retrofitting

                    Reasons Behind the Retrofit

                    If you’ve received a mandatory Order to Comply in the mail, then you’re already aware that your building has been identified as a soft story structure.

                    And you’re not the only one. Over 20,000 buildings in Los Angeles alone have been marked for being structurally unsound due to having a weakened ground floor that is structurally unable to support the floors above it in the event of seismic activity.

                    soft story retrofitting in La

                    This is often the result of having large open areas on the ground floor, such as parking areas or excessively sized windows. While it certainly isn’t good news to be informed that your building requires a soft story retrofit, solid reasons are backing the process.

                    Because the structures of soft story buildings leave the buildings so vulnerable, there is a very high risk of structural damage and subsequent fatalities and even death when earthquakes strike soft story buildings. A soft story regulation is therefore needed to ensure for area safety since when it comes to earthquakes in Southern California, it’s not a question of if but when.

                    Breaking Down the Retrofit Timeline

                    Not only are soft story retrofits mandatory, but there is a finite amount of time in which your project must be completed. If you haven’t received an Order to Comply in the mail, you can always book a soft story inspection to evaluate the state of your structure.

                    Once you have received the Order to Comply, you will have 2 years to submit proof of previous retrofit, plans for the soft story retrofit, or plans to demolish the building. You must hold on to the letter, so be sure to keep it safe. After the letter is received, you have 3.5 years to get together all permits that are needed to commence either construction or demolition. The project must be completed within 7 years of receiving the Order to Comply.

                    Failure to follow the timeline could result in severe penalties for the building owner. Therefore, it is very important to stick to the timeline and ensure that all aspects of the soft story retrofit are completed in time. When it comes to complying with soft story regulations, there is no time to delay. This is a mandatory process that needs to be completed as soon as possible for a variety of reasons.

                    When is the Right Time to Retrofit?

                    Ready to get started on your retrofit? There are many benefits to getting your soft story retrofit completed during the spring and summer months. Most earthquake retrofits involve cripple wall bracing to hold the structure intact and foundation bolting to keep the building locked in place.

                    Spring and summer months create the ideal opportunity for completing this process due to the reliable and mild weather and extended daylight hours. The warm months provide ample time for soft story inspections so that a professional contractor can thoroughly investigate each aspect of your building. Because so many buildings have received mandatory orders to comply, there is a high demand for the retrofitting process to be finalized.

                    Workers can complete more work in the day during the warm months, allowing your soft story retrofit process to proceed without any hitches, such as rain delays Some soft story retrofits are more advanced than others depending on the degree of damage. Severe structural damage could lead to the existing concrete slab being removed and steel reinforcement structures being added to bolster the building before new concrete is poured.

                    Only a soft story inspection will reveal the extent of the retrofitting process, so it’s paramount to provide ample time for the process to be completed. Avoid the winter weather rain delays by planning your soft story retrofit for the mild, warm months.

                    Working in the warm months also provides soil that is easier to work with, speeding up the process.

                    Soft Story Retrofit Benefits

                    Failure to comply with soft story regulations will not only result in penalties, but it will leave your building structurally compromised. Any event that involves the ground moving, no matter how seemingly minor, can lead to serious structural damage that could mean the end of your building.

                    From foundation cracks to warped walls and floors, earthquake damage is something you should avoid at all costs. Getting started on your retrofitting process as soon as possible will decrease the overall project cost since the mandatory soft story retrofits are increasingly driving prices up as time progresses.

                    In addition to lower costs, you can also reap economic advantages, as completed soft story retrofits entitle building owners to significant savings. Many insurance companies offer large premiums for completed soft story retrofits, while you can additionally lower certain building insurances.

                    You’ll also receive a competitive advantage by acting quickly, as your building will be removed from city inventory as early as possible, becoming exempt from future retrofit demands.

                    Lastly, with cost recovery programs available, homeowners can receive aid for complying with the soft story retrofit process.

                    Related: What Affects the Cost of Soft Story Retrofit?  

                    Soft story retrofit season is around the corner! Don’t wait to book your complimentary soft story inspection provided by California Foundation Works.

                    Southern California earthquakes are turbulent and unpredictable, and the last thing you want is to be left unprepared when the next one strikes.

                    Call to book your free home inspection so that we can examine your home, provide an estimate, and start to discuss the next steps in the soft story retrofit process.

                    With our complimentary inspection, you have nothing to lose by playing it safe! Take advantage of the warm weather, and get started on protecting your investment today.

                    Call California Foundation Works today to book your FREE* Soft Story Inspection

                    (323)418-2239

                    Ebb

                    Is Earthquake Retrofit Worth It?

                    Are you prepared for the next earthquake to hit? Don’t just answer quickly, take a moment to think about your response. While certain areas of your home might be fortified for seismic activity, your structure is overall only as strong as its weakest link. That means that any areas that have worn out over time or weren’t properly fortified in the first place could be threatening the security of your entire building.

                    With earthquakes threatening Los Angeles County residents at all times, the next big quake is just around the bend. But is seismic retrofitting worth the investment? Allow us to explore the different factors that go into determining if an earthquake retrofit is the best choice for your property, as well as available savings.

                    Related: Reasons Los Angeles Homes Need Foundation Inspections

                    What is Earthquake Retrofitting?

                    Many Southern California residents are well aware of earthquake retrofitting requirements in their area, but allow us to elaborate on the process and its requirements. Earthquake retrofitting is performed to secure any vulnerable areas of buildings to lower the risk of damage and destruction in the event of seismic activity.

                    Typically this customizable process involves cripple wall bracing to keep the structure firmly intact and foundation bolting to hold the building securely in place. This dual process allows for complete structural support that greatly lowers the possibility of the building being damaged in the event of seismic activity. Because earthquakes are so prevalent in the greater Los Angeles area, many buildings are required by law to undergo retrofits to decrease the risk of injury, damage, and death during an earthquake.

                    earthquake

                    Do I Need an Earthquake Retrofit?

                    Thousands of homes across Los Angeles County and surrounding cities have been affected by laws mandating seismic retrofits on soft-story buildings. Buildings that are particularly vulnerable to earthquakes include structures built before 1979, wood-framed structures, hillside homes, and structures with large open spaces on the ground level, such as parking lots or oversized windows.

                    However, the truth is that structural vulnerabilities of any sort put a home at risk whether or not a mandatory retrofit order has been mailed. Since earthquakes are unpredictable, the longer a homeowner waits to secure their home, the greater the risk becomes for property damage and injury.

                    Additionally, the most cost effective way to deal with any home project is through preventative action. Verifying that your home is fully secured and getting any needed seismic retrofitting completed as soon as possible is ultimately the safest, smartest, and cheapest solution for homeowners.

                    What Happens If I Don’t Retrofit?

                    Simply put, there are no benefits of not having your home inspected for a seismic retrofit as soon as possible. Any situation that involves the ground moving, no matter how minor the quake, can cause damage to the home and its foundation.

                    That means that even small earthquakes can cause catastrophic financial damage for the average homeowner. With a very low percentage of California homeowners having earthquake damage insurance, failing to get a seismic retrofit could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

                    If the foundation of the home becomes damaged do to insufficient seismic retrofitting, the entire structure can become compromised. Therefore, acting as soon as possible is the smartest choice a homeowner can make. Delaying a retrofit will only jeopardize your safety and investment, as non-reinforced homes will suffer during seismic activity. And with cost recovery programs for seismic retrofitting, it makes no sense to delay the earthquake retrofit process.

                    What is EBB?

                    The Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program was designed to assist California residents with the cost of their seismic retrofits to reduce earthquake damage in California. EBB assists homeowners with seismic retrofit costs by providing up to $3,000 to assist with retrofitting expenses for eligible homeowners. EBB aids with funds related to earthquake retrofit costs, namely brace and bolt services for crawl spaces in residential dwellings.

                    To become eligible for EBB, homes must meet Chapter A3 specifications. The specifications include that the home must contain wood framing and it must be located on a low slope or ground level. Homes constructed before 1979 have a higher chance of qualifying for EBB. All interested homeowners must apply for the program as soon as possible since seismic retrofit work cannot commence until EBB has been approved.

                    Related: How to Retrofit Your Home Against Earthquakes 

                    Earthquake Brace Bolt

                    How to Sign Up for EBB

                    If you’re interested in receiving earthquake retrofit savings, then it’s time to apply to EBB. Homeowners with qualifying homes can submit an application for review as long as they are located within EBB zip codes and have the home as a primary residence. Eligible houses can register one time per house, with approved applications for houses that have not received prior EBB funding being placed in a pool for random selection.

                    To determine the houses that receive grants, an electronic system is used. To keep the process clear, all candidates are notified of their progress by email and informed of their position at the start of the year. Since registration fills up fast, it’s highly encouraged that interested homeowners visit www.earthquakebracebolt.com as soon as possible to learn about program dates, vacancies, and more. Fortunately, the right contractor can guide you through the process to make sure that all EBB eligible homes can apply for compensation.

                    Feeling overwhelmed? Luckily we’re here to help. At California Foundation Works, we make it easy to obtain EBB savings by helping you register. It’s our goal to deliver your ideal services at the best price on the market, so we’re always available to search for deals and assist with budgeting. Don’t let the next big quake be the ruin of your home! Work with us to discover the best solutions for keeping your property safe, secure, and within your budget.

                    Related: Guide for Earthquake Brace and Bolt EBB 

                    At California Foundation Works, we strive to deliver excellence in all of our projects. From repairs to resurfacing, we take every precaution necessary to deliver top of the line services to fully address individual project needs.

                    We work within our clients’ budgets and time constraints to provide premium services that are tailor-made for our clients. Call today to explore the wide range of concrete resurfacing methods that will restore the surface of your concrete to its original condition!

                    Call California Foundation Works today
                    to book your FREE* home inspection!
                    (323) 418-2239