Un-reinforced Masonry Building Retrofit Program

Earthquake Home Strengthening Workshops – This popular workshop series, provided to homeowners on a bi-annual basis, reviews common residential construction weaknesses and introduces the average citizen to basic repair techniques that can significantly improve a home’s performance in earthquakes. The course is offered through the City’s Building and Safety Services Division and consists of four evening sessions for homeowners who wish to learn how to “do-it-yourself” or who wish to learn how to get the best service if they hire a contractor.

Un-reinforced Masonry Building Retrofit Program

San Leandro Earthquake Retrofit Handbook – called 3 Easy Low Cost Ways to Make Your Home Earthquake Survivable, this 16-page booklet provides residents with information about earthquake risks in the community and contains step-by-step instructions for evaluating and strengthening a wood-frame house against earthquakes (anchor-bolting, plywood shear-paneling, nailing, blocking, etc.), strapping a water heater to a wall and preventing the collapse of a brick chimney. It also contains information about the City’s over-the-counter permit process for earthquake home strengthening, references to other resources in the community and answers to frequently asked questions. Check out thisĀ Santa Monica soft story.

A Prescribed Retrofit Standard & Plan Set and Information Booklet – Improving upon a concept that originated with the City of Santa Barbara, San Leandro developed a recommended standard for regulating the quality of home retrofit procedures undertaken in the San Leandro community. This standard, published as a Prescriptive Plan Set for Strengthening Wood-frame Houses for Earthquakes, provides San Leandro homeowners or their contractors with a simple and rapid procedure for obtaining a permit to bolt and brace a typical home foundation system. The Prescriptive Standards are similar to those published in the Uniform Code for Building Conservation and are based on standards which were developed by the “Residential Retrofit and Repair Committee” of the California Building Officials. This committee consisted of structural engineers, building officials and architects, and was organized and supported by both the California Seismic Safety Commission and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. The Prescriptive Plan Set and Information Booklet – free to any San Leandro resident – is actually a blueprint showing the seismic retrofit details needed for typical wood-frame houses in San Leandro neighborhoods. Once the easy-to-use Plan Set is filled out, the homeowner can take it to the City’s One-Stop Permit Center, get a few tips from the plan review engineer (if appropriate), pay a fixed home-retrofit permit fee and be ready to start work.

For homeowners concerned about earthquakes, however, this lack of local guidance adds yet another obstacle in the way of home strengthening. In San Leandro, residents interested in finding qualified contractors to bid on their home-retrofit job can obtain a Homeowner’s List of Earthquake Contractors from the Association of Bay Area Government (ABAG) website at www.abag.ca.gov/cgi-bin/contractors.pl.

Tool-Lending Library – As an incentive to “do-it-yourselfers” who want to strengthen their own homes but lack the necessary tools, the City maintains a Tool Lending Library. This resource, administered by the City’s Building and Safety Services Division, allows residents who use the Prescriptive Home-Strengthening Plan Set to borrow, free of charge, most of the tools they may need to complete the retrofit job.

Homeowner’s List of Earthquake Contractors – Because of potential liability, municipal agencies generally will not certify or recommend private contractors for residents. For homeowners concerned about earthquakes, however, this lack of local guidance adds yet another obstacle in the way of home strengthening. In San Leandro, residents interested in finding qualified contractors to bid on their home-retrofit job can obtain a Homeowner’s List of Earthquake Contractors from the Association of Bay Area Government (ABAG) website at www.abag.ca.gov/cgi-bin/contractors.pl.

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