The cost to seismically retrofit a building varies considerably based on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include the size of the property, the required retrofit solution, and the company you choose to work with.
Another reason that costs vary is simply the fact that every building is different, therefore requiring different solutions to seismically retrofit them. There are three main solutions used in soft story retrofits. The first, moment frames, is estimated to run from roughly $20,000 to $25,000 per frame including labor. Depending on your building type you may need multiple moment frames, but this is dependent on the strength of the existing supports within your building. The more frames needed, the higher the cost of construction. Cantilevered columns are another popular solution used in the seismic retrofitting process. The cost of a single cantilevered solution is between $15,000-$20,000 with installation, it is estimated. Finally, shear wall strengthening is a potential solution, that is generally the cheapest. However, overall shear wall strengthening cannot provide ample reinforcement as is required through the soft-story ordinances. This cost is expected to be between $5,000 and $10,000 total.
These solutions can be used individually or in combination with one another. Whatever your solution it is always a good idea to shop around for at least 3 quotes. Ask your construction partner about inclusions, insurance coverage, safety commitment, THP services and price matching. Make sure to find a vendor with references, a history of excellence and most importantly transparent in managing the costs and your expectations. Additional costs associated with the retrofit process include permitting fees, which vary city by city. If you live in the Los Angeles area you can estimate these fees by visiting this page, Building Permit Fee Estimate.
Whether your solution is a single moment frame or 100 feet of shear wall, choosing to be safe and compliant by selecting a reliable construction firm to retrofit your building could save lives and that is priceless. Penhall Company’s Seismic Retrofit Services department is committed to retrofitting your building at a fair price, but not compromising on quality. Our engineers and construction team will work together to be sure that the solution in place is both safe and cost effective.