Earthquake Brace+Bolt

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Getting Started

First 8-weeks

Once you have been selected to participate in Napa EBB you have eight weeks to hire a contractor or decide do the work yourself as an owner-builder, and get a building permit.

If you choose to go with a contractor you must choose from the Contractor Directory and obtain a minimum of two bids. The Directory provides licensed contractors who are educated in seismic retrofitting in your area. Once you choose a contractor from the Directory you may authorize them to upload required documents on your behalf. You can do this from your online Homeowner Dashboard. 

If you choose to use a contractor, the CSLB website has information on consumer resources including how to select a licensed and qualified contractorchecking a contractor licensenegotiating contracts for work to be done, preventing and resolving disputes, and how to obtain a building permit.

If you choose to do the work yourself, you will identify yourself as an owner-builder. As an owner-builder, you become the general contractor for your project and assume complete responsibility for the overall job, including state and federal taxes, workers' compensation insurance and other legal liabilities. You will be installing bolts into the foundation and plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) bracing along the stud wall (cripple wall) of your crawl space. DIYers are encouraged to view the education videos, which details the steps for installation of retrofit components.


(8 weeks)

  • Week 1: Call 3 licensed contractors and schedule appointments
  • Weeks 2-4: Meet with contractors and receive bids
  • Week 5: Review/compare all bids, select a contractor
  • Weeks 6-7: Contractors, in most cases, will get a building permit for you
  • Week 8: Upload permit information to your Homeowner Dashboard.                                                                                                                                                  

 [IMPORTANT NOTE: Your building permit MUST reference "in accordance with..." an accepted standard "Plan Set" or "Chapter A3."]

As a Participating Homeowner you will need to:

  • Familiarize yourself with retrofit works that qualifies. (click here)
  • If using a contractor the Homeowner must obtain a minimum of two bids.
  • Obtain a building permit for seismic retrofit work in accordance with Chapter A3 or a standard plan set. If your house has cripple walls greater than 4-feet then you will need an engineered solution. In most cases, contractors will go to the building department and get a permit for you.
  • Enter the permit information to your homeowner dashboard. 

[IMPORTANT NOTE: Your building permit MUST reference "in accordance with..." an accepted standard "Plan Set" or "Chapter A3."]

  • Initiate and complete the work within the specified timeframe.
  • Collect and submit the required documentation and upload it to your Homeowner Dashboard:
    • receipts for building permit fee
    • receipts for materials and supplies (if owner-builder)
    • contractor invoice broken out by labor, materials, overhead and profit
    • Page of Permit showing "Description" or "Scope of Work" [IMPORTANT: Your permit must reference "in accordance with Chapter A3" or a "standard plan set" and must be uploaded to Homeowner Dashboard prior to work beginning]
    • 3 photographs of the front of your house [uploaded to Homeowner Dashboard prior to work beginning]
    • 3 photographs of the crawl space and  cripple wall before the retrofit [uploaded to Homeowner Dashboard prior to work beginning]
    • 3 photographs after the retrofit work is completed
    • 3 photographs of your properly braced and strapped water heater [new for 2016]
    • signed building permit after the work is completed                                                                                                                                                


The requirements for building permits may vary between local building departments. For instance, most building departments have a time limit for permits. Homeowners should check with their local building department to find out more information.

Northern California Permits

City of Napa permits

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