Just six miles north of the LA Airport sits the charming coastal town of Marina Del Ray. While the community started as a small estuary attracting duck hunters and fishermen, today it is known for sailboats and beaches. Tourists visit here for the laid back vibe and year round sunshine. But just like most of Southern California, Marina Del Ray also has their earthquakes. On January 17, 1994, the greater Los Angeles area was struck by a massive earthquake known as the Northgate Earthquake. Once it was over, city officials assessed all of the damage and created new building policies so that future quakes would not cause as much destruction to area structures.

This new policy states that all buildings constructed before 1994, must be brought up to the current safety standards by 2020. If you are a landlord or developer, then now is the time to get started. If you do an online search you will find a number of Soft Story Retrofit Contractors in Marina Del Ray, one of which is RetroFitting 360. These seismic specialists provide services to the city of Los Angeles and surrounding areas, and they will provide you with a qualified contractor to help you complete your retrofit.

Understanding the soft-story policies

Although Marina Del Ray features the largest man-made small-craft harbor, it is still part of Los Angeles County, and must follow the city’s building codes. After the Northgate Earthquake, it was decided that many types of buildings would need to be retrofitted in able withstand future seismic events. While it has taken city officials some time to work out all the details, there is now a soft-story mandatory retrofit program in place.

A soft story building has three or more stories and is built over a ground level which includes open space, like a parking garage. The ground level would have doors and windows. In essence, an older soft story building does not have enough bottom support to withstand a major earthquake. There are many possibilities to retrofit a soft story building. A Retrofit Contractor in Marina Del Ray will be needed to help you understand your options and survey your building to decide what will work best for you.

The amount of work that needs to be done will depend on what the contractor finds in the initial assessment. They may need to create or reinforce the number of shear walls in the bottom of a building. Parking garages can also be targeted, as they may need stronger beams, or more columns, to prop up the floors above.

Completing the process

You will need to hire a Marina Del Rey Soft-Story Retrofit contractor who knows the area, the building codes, and has a history of soft-story retrofits. Once the initial assessment is done, they will create a work plan and help you choose the best options to get the job completed according to your building’s needs. As an owner, you will get to make the important decisions, but remember that your building needs to follow the new city policies.

Once a plan for the retrofitting has been decided on, the work can begin. Your Retrofitting Contractor in Marina Del Ray should work hard to complete the job on time with a minimum disruption to your neighbors. Noise should be kept to a minimum and work hours shouldn’t interfere with night time. 

Once the job has been completed, city engineers will come out to do the final inspection. Each building needs to pass this inspection as part of the soft story retrofit program. Once your building’s retrofit has taken place, you can rest easy knowing that everything will be protected, including precious lives, in the event of another massive earthquake. You should contact a Marina Del Ray soft-story retrofit contractor to answer any questions you may have.

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