The Underlying Benefits of Seismic Retrofitting for Earthquake Protection

house construction

Let’s say you’re a homeowner, and you bought a seemingly perfect home: it’s close to where you work, where your kids go to school, or pretty much just generally accessible. Suddenly, an earthquake happens. 

The motion of the earth’s crust can cause severe damage to older homes, especially those built before 1980, because many of them weren’t built to resist shaking and moving. While it’s a terrifying thought, there’s one thing that can help: retrofitting.

Retrofitting is the process of strengthening the foundation of a building to make it more earthquake-resistant. The purpose is to help prevent a building from being displaced from its foundation by ground movement caused by an earthquake. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of having your home retrofitted. Read on below to learn more.

More about Retrofitting

While some retrofitting methods can be costly and time-consuming, they also have their benefits. For example, if you can do the retrofit yourself, it will save you the cost of hiring a structural engineer, which is usually quite expensive. 

Retrofitting will also allow you to save money on labor costs. When you hire professionals, you will have peace of mind because experienced workers will handle the job. Regardless of what you choose, retrofitting is necessary to keep your home and your family safe if an earthquake happens.

In California, earthquakes are likely to happen. The South Napa earthquake in 2014 that occurred in the San Francisco Bay Area is the perfect example of this. Many houses shook violently, and most of them shifted off the foundation with significant damage, while only one house stood undamaged. This is what retrofitting can do to any home.

The Cost of Retrofitting

There’s no exact cost for home earthquake retrofitting, but it usually ranges from $3,000 to $7,000. Bigger homes, homes built on hillsides, or those with more rooms beyond the standard four rooms will cost more to retrofit. If bolting is the only thing required, it will cost about $3,000.

Why Retrofitting is Necessary

Here are some reasons why you should consider retrofitting your home:

Increases Safety

Retrofitted houses are stronger against earthquakes, making them safer and less likely to suffer structural damage. You will also be keeping everyone in your home safe because it also lessens the likelihood of someone sustaining an injury in the event of an earthquake.

Protects Your Investment

Your home is an investment, so retrofitting can ensure that it’s protected against earthquakes. If you still have reservations about retrofitting your home, think of it this way: It’s much cheaper to retrofit your home to withstand earthquakes now rather than fix it later when damage occurs.

Keeps Your Home in Proper Condition

Are you willing to accept the risk of losing your home to an earthquake or other natural disaster?

An earthquake or other natural disaster could cause the value of your home to plummet or even make it unlivable. You may not be able to sell your property for what it’s worth if your home has sustained earthquake damage in the past. 

Sometimes, the only way to recover the cost of rebuilding after an earthquake is to sell the land for development, meaning you won’t get the appropriate value if you decide to sell.


Earthquake retrofitting is the best way to protect your home from earthquakes. Sure, they rarely happen, but you’ll be glad that your home is retrofitted because you won’t get as much damage in the event of an earthquake.

GC Builders, Inc. offers top-quality seismic retrofitting services. A home can’t have too much protection, and retrofitting will make any older property resilient in the face of an earthquake. Contact us today to learn more!

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