Rules To Consider When Going Through A Soft-Story Retrofit

Posted on: 11 August 2022

The main objective of a soft-story retrofit is to reinforce parts of a building. This gives the structure a better chance of holding up during an earthquake. If you're going through this renovation with a building you own, try to follow these rules for a less difficult process. 

Plan Out Each Major Phase of the Retrofit 

It's going to take a team effort to complete a soft-story retrofit quickly and effectively. You can ensure this team stays on the same page and communicates effectively if you first plan out each major phase of this renovation designed for earthquake protection. 

There should be concrete details for steps like getting bracing solutions, figuring out where they're going, and renting out the appropriate equipment to support them. Once you have these major steps fleshed out, you can review them as a team and thus set up a soft-story retrofit for success.

Send Plans Off For Permit Approval

Once you have plans in place for a soft-story retrofit, you'll need to send the plans off for a permit approval. This is the only way you can legally complete this renovation and thus ensure your building is better protected from earthquake activity. Sending these plans in for permit approval isn't difficult either.

You just need to make sure you have complete forms that show relevant details, such as what structures you're using to reinforce areas of your building and how they're going to be placed. You can work with a structural engineer too if you need help putting these plans together before seeking a permit to get started.

See if Tenants Can Pay For Some of the Costs

A soft-story retrofit on your building will cost money to carry out and it's important that you prepare early on for this aspect. One thing you can do to offset these costs is to pass some of them down to tenants renting units in the building. You'll just have to structure this cost-sharing program effectively so that you don't face legal setbacks. 

Make sure tenants are aware of the soft-story retrofit well in advance and specify the exact costs they can expect to pay, which typically are added on to their monthly rent.

A soft-story retrofit is one of the best precautions you can take for a building in potential danger of earthquakes. If you plan out this renovation carefully early on, then you can follow structured guidelines until the end.