Should I seismic retrofit foundation?

2 Replies

Hi everyone! My girlfriend and I just bought our first house hack in Los Angeles. The house was built in 1914. During inspection, we were told that we need to Seismic Retrofit the foundation; bolt down, upgrade posts and piers, and support cripple walls. We got estimates for $15k and $8k to have the work done and were credited some money by the sellers for repairs before closing. But yesterday, a General contractor told us that we might just want to leave the foundation as is because retrofitting won’t guarantee that the house would still be standing after an earthquake. So now we’re thinking of just leaving the foundation alone and getting earthquake insurance instead to cover us. What do you guys think? The GC suggested we change out any galvanized piping left instead. Would love to hear different opinions and advice. Thanks!

Thanks for your input @Bjorn Ahlblad . I've had seismic engineers take a look and give me estimates and they've emphasized that it needs to be done. My realtor said that the house has been standing this way for over 100 years, it should be fine but it's up to us if we want to seismic retrofit. We closed on the house with every intention to upgrade the foundation but then this GC made a good point that if there's an big earthquake the foundation retrofit may not even help. After reading some other forum and blog posts, I started thinking that maybe just getting a good earthquake policy would be a better investment.  So now I'm not sure...

Anyone have any older rental properties that they've decided to not seismic retrofit?