Soft Story Retrofit



Retrofitting your soft-story building foundation is not only a matter of compliance but also a great way to improve its value. The process, however, can be a challenging endeavor without the assistance of a contractor who has extensive experience in seismic retrofit work.

We at CCS Inc take immense pride in having a proven track record of bringing soft-story buildings up to code with Los Angeles’ new seismic retrofitting rules. Our experienced and knowledgeable civil, floor plans, and structural engineers have worked in tandem to provide reliable retrofitting solutions to some of the complex soft-story buildings in the city.

Whether you have received a notice of violation from the city, or you are interested in improving the resiliency of your building as a preemptive measure, we can provide you with the most economical and least destructive solution possible. From designing the retrofit plans to acquiring the required permits and choosing the right materials to reinforcing the structure, we will meticulously manage each aspect of the project and make sure that it is completed right on time and on budget.

What is Soft Story Retrofit?

What is Soft Story Retrofit?

Soft story retrofit is the process of reinforcing a building at risk of being collapsed during or after a violent earthquake by adding new structural components or altering those existing.

Why Soft Story Retrofit?

☆ It is mandated by law in Los Angeles

☆ Prevents fatalities and property damage during an earthquake

☆ Brings Down the likelihood the lowered insurance premiums

☆ Increases the lifespan of the building

☆ Makes building owners eligible for financing

Why Soft Story Retrofit?

Is Your Building a Soft Story?

Your building can be at high risk for collapse and failure if;

  • It has two or more stories of wood frame construction
  • It was built before the enhancement of the latest regulation and codes
  • It has an open space or parking on the first floor
  • It does not have bracing walls/liquefaction
  • It is comprised of obsolete materials

Comply with Soft Story requirement by adding an ADU

Another option of complying with the Soft Story retrofit requirements for your building is to convert the garage/tuck-under parking to an ADU. As you know ADUs have been permitted in multi-family properties since January 2020. In the conversion process of turning your garage/parking stall into an ADU, all the needed reinforcements to comply with the soft story retrofit requirements are met. It is a way to get a much better return on your required investment.

Our Soft Story Retrofitting Process

We will help you navigate the process of retrofitting your soft story, keep you updated on what to expect, and ensure that everything is right on track from start to finish.


Step 1 – Site Inspection

We will walk through the foundation of your building to determine that whether it needs to be reinforced and strengthened with a seismic retrofit. We will provide you with all the possible retrofit options and discuss your goals for the appearance and functionality of your building.

Step 2 – Creating a Site Plan

We will create an effective earthquake retrofitting plan to strengthen the weaknesses of your building while ensuring that it meets the local building codes and guidelines.

Step 3 – Submission of Permit Application

After the plans are ready, we will handle all the necessary paperwork and submit the application to the Building Department for approval to undertake the retrofitting of your building.

Step 4 – Providing a Quote

Once plans have been approved, we will provide you with a comprehensive and accurate quote for your project.

Step 5 – Construction Planning

We will then proceed to the construction planning and preparation phase and set a timeline for commencing and implementing construction. Since it is highly likely that the process will affect your tenants, you will need to notify them of your plans and let them know that what impact it will make on them.

Step 6 – Construction Work

From here on in, we will get to the actual seismic retrofitting. A dedicated project manager will work throughout the way to ensure that the phase goes without hiccups.

Step 7 - Final Walkthrough

Once construction is done, we will perform the final walkthrough to address any issues so that you are fully prepared to pass the final inspection from the city inspector.

Call Our Experts

For Room Addition Services in Los AngelesCall Us Now: (323) 405-8909 »

Seismic Retrofitting is Now Mandatory in Los Angeles

Soft story building retrofitting is no longer just a recommendation in Los Angeles, it is now required under the law. The current rules require all the wood-frame structures that were built before January 1, 1978, to be seismically retrofitted within seven years.



We understand that every property is unique and requires a customized retrofitting solution. That is why we work with you to develop an individualized retrofitting plan for each building so that it can more effectively withstand a seismic event.

Explore the Possibility of ADU + Seismic Retrofit

Converting an ADU with a seismic retrofit is a great way to bring down the overall construction costs while adding more housing options and strengthening the resiliency of the building at the same time. No matter you want to convert your tuck-under parking area or the basement into an ADU, we can provide you with end-to-end assistance.

Hire CCS Inc for Your Soft Story Retrofit

Since the timing and severity of the next earthquake are unpredictable, if your building does not comply with the current seismic code and requires retrofitting, don’t wait until irrevocable damage is done to your property. Reach out to us to learn more about the process of retrofitting a soft-story or schedule an inspection of your building.

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