It’s been a while since we’ve had a significant earthquake, but that only means one is probably overdue. One thing you can do to get your home ready is bracing and bolting your house’s foundation. And if you haven’t already done it, now’s a good time – the California Earthquake Brace and Bolt Program is once again offering rebates to help offset the cost of foundation bracing and bolting for California homeowners.
The EBB program, run by the California Earthquake Authority and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, provides incentive payments up to $3,000 for homes in eligible zip codes (see graphic, which includes some zip codes new to the program this year). Typical retrofits can cost between $3,000 and $7,000 depending on the location and size of the house, the contractor who performs the work and the materials used. For experienced do-it-yourselfers, according to the EBB website, the price could be even less.
Work covered includes:
- Bolting (adding anchor bolts and sill plates in the crawl space to improve the connection between the wood framing of the house and its concrete foundation, to help keep the house from sliding)
- Bracing (strengthening the cripple walls in the crawl space with plywood to help keep the house from toppling off of the foundation during an earthquake)
- Water heater strapping and bracing (reduces the likelihood of water and fire damage, and helps protect the water supply)
Generally, eligible homes are:
- wood-framed construction built before 1979
- built on a level or low slope
- constructed with a 4-foot (or less) cripple wall under the first floor OR
- constructed with a cripple wall between 4 feet and 7 feet (requires an engineered solution)
- built on a raised foundation