Property Retrofitting

Specializes in helping the Real Estate Industry and property sellers with the installation of safety and/or water conservation devices property retrofittingrequired by local and state ordinances prior to the close of escrow. We also provide all your Handyman service needs, and a complete plumbing service. We also work with the buyer and seller to complete the “Buyer’s List.”

What is Retrofitting?

“Retrofitting” is defined as: “State and local ordinance requirements that are mandated at point of sale. This service involves the act of modifying, upgrading, replacing, and/or installing specific elements in a dwelling in order to facilitate compliance with the safety and conservation requirements of city and state ordinances.”

Related: Retrofitting solution

In California, the law requires buyers and sellers to submit to a number of requirements intended to safeguard the well being of the inhabitants of a structure, the structure’s integrity, and the environment.

Included are the following requirements for Retrofitting:
1) Water conservation (Ultra low-flush toilets and low flow shower heads)
2) Smoke detectors
3) Water heater strapping and bracing
4) Sliding door impact hazard glazing
5) Seismic gas shut-off valves

Local requirements vary from city to city. Please call us for your city’s point of sale requirements

By law certain items must be installed before Escrow is allowed to close. These are mostly safety items that are intended to save lives and prevent injuries and property damage. The cost of having new smoke detectors installed or having your water heater professionally strapped in is negligible when compared to a lawsuit holding the seller, seller’s agent and broker liable for damages, injuries or fatalities resulting from an earthquake or fire.
As these retrofitting requirements involve conservation and safety precautions, you may be held liable if the buyers of the residence suffer damages or additional expenses arising from issues that were not retrofitted in accordance with the appropriate city and state ordinances.


Related: How To Apply For The Earthquake Brace and Bolt Program





According to the State of California and L.A. City Codes, all properties must have the following safety items:

Smoke Detectors

 “Smoke Detectors, shall be mounted on the ceiling or wall of each existing room used for sleeping purposes and at a point centrally located on the wall or ceiling of the existing corridor or area giving access to these rooms. Where a dwelling unit has more than one story or where a dwelling unit has a basement, a detector shall be mounted on each story or basement. Smoke detectors may be battery operated in Single Family Dwellings only. Smoke Detectors in Two Family Dwellings, Condominiums and Apartments shall be hardwired and be equipped with a battery back-up (Hardwired detectors installed prior to May11, 1999 Do Not Require battery back-up). Please refer to the code section listed below and all manufacturer requirements for location and type of smoke detector required .”

Section 91.86.9 L.A.M.C.- Effective Aug 1, 1980       


Earthuake Gas Shut-Off Valves (EQS

“Any commercial or residential building containing fuel gas piping shall require the installation of an EQSO Valve.”


Ordinance 171,874- Effective February 5, 1998

Ordinance 170,158- Effective July 1, 1995

Impact Hazard Glazing

 “Exisiting glass in every sliding glass panel of sliding -type doors, other than wardrobe doors, bathroom shower doors and French-type wooden doors shall be impact hazard glazing (tempered) or an approved fil may be installed on the glass.”


Section 91.2406.7 L.A.M.C.- Effective May 24, 1986

Water Conservation and

DWP Certificate of Compliance

 “Any commercial or residential building containg plumbing fixtures shall comply with the City’s Water Conservation Ordinance. This program is administered by the Department of Water and Power. Please see Water Conservation Ordinance and Compliance L.A.M.C. Ordinance No. 172075, Effective January 1, 1999.




Replace all non-water conserving shower heads with low flow shower heads

Replace all non-water conserving toilets with (1.6G) ultra-low flush toilets.

Water Heater Strapping

 According to the State of California 9A Form and safety code  requirements all water heaters must have the following safety items:


1) Water Heaters must be strapped (per code) with seismic approved straps in order to prevent tipping over during an earthquake. In addition to the 600lb to 1000 lb crushing weight, a displaced water heater can rupture water lines and provide an ignition source for ruptured gas lines.

2) In addition to strapping, all water heaters must have a temperature and pressure relief valve to prevent explosion or bursting in the event of excess heat (stuck gas burners)or excessive pressure (failed water regulator). Also, the flow from this valve must be directed to a safe location (outside ground level) by means of a discharge line to prevent hot steam (220 degrees) from being discharged at eye-level. In circumstances where a Water Heater is located within the interior of a property a Watts 210 Valve may be installed instead. This valve senses excessive temperatures and cuts off the gas source thus eliminating the potential of water damage to the home interior or scalding burns to nearby occupants.

 Water Heaters located in garages must be raised to a minimum of 18″ from the floor. This is to prevent ignition of a fuel or solvent splillage from the water heaters lit gas pilot or burners.

Sellers are required to certify in writing that their water heaters are in compliance before the close of escrow.

Certified Compliance

California Foundation Works provides the seller or escrow with a certified statement of compliance, also along with the (Certificate of Compliance, which is the water aspect of the requirements.) The comprehensive statement will certify that the residence is in full compliance with all of the appropriate retrofitting requirements for the property address. Our statement of compliance along with the Certificate of Compliance shall be used as an official transaction document relieving the seller and agent of the liability associated with retrofitting compliance.

Contact California Foundation Works for a Free* Estimate & Inspection today!