Soft Story Retrofitting Isn't Just Recommended, It’s the Law.


Los Angeles passed a law requiring the retrofit of soft stories in November 2015. Depending on the structure's number of stories and housing units, the city determined which buildings were the most at risk and issued rolling orders to comply.

A structure with a weak first floor frequently has a garage, a wide overhang or window, or tuck-under parking, among other large openings. The unreinforced openings on the ground floor and the lateral stresses that push a structure from side to side make it unlikely that these bottom floors will be able to endure the pressure of substantial seismic activity. An unreinforced soft story building may experience more movement during a big earthquake than it can handle, which could cause the top floors to collapse on the lower ones.

What are the other purposes of a Soft Story Retrofit?

  • Reduces side to side shaking
  • Strengthens walls
  • Walls get replaced by stucco, drywall, or steel frame

If a building is unable to withstand the power of the earthquake, the structure will collapse without a soft story seismic retrofit. The engineers at SKS Construction can assist you in bringing your home up to code by creating the affordable engineering designs and solutions necessary to make your soft-story structure code-compliant and earthquake-safe.

With the minimal steps of a Soft-Story Retrofit, we take care of the headaches for you. We start with the complimentary examination, prepare and finish a design, prepare and get permits accepted, and finish the full building project when all procedures have been completed.

If given a proposal by SKS construction, the proposal is valid for 30 days and if accepted on or before the date given, SKS will commence to work within 7 days after acceptance and delivery of this agreement, signed and accompanied by the down payment. The work will be substantially completed in approximately 120 days, unless another time is agreed with the parties.

We supply and install steel rebars shear resisting elements with a structural grade concrete finish foundation as per set of plans.

Being a one-stop design-build firm with in-house engineers and on-site builders, SKS Construction is able to meet all of the requirements for a necessary retrofit! Our goal is to maintain the building's beauty and needs for open space while keeping occupants satisfied and unbothered. We are a family of bonded, insured, and qualified engineers and contractors. We've had the same business name and owner for 30 years, and they've employed our skilled workers

to make our concepts a reality. With the use of Soft-Story Retrofits, construction engineers may ensure smooth progress and same-day as-built upgrades as needed. In order to provide the most constructible, efficient, and cost-effective retrofit, we spend additional time value engineering your design.

How do I know if my building is a Soft Story building?

  • Consists of two or more stories and is built with wood frame construction
  • Contains parking on the ground level or another type of open floor
  • Built under code standards before January 1, 1978
  • If you received a notice from the city

What if I believe I have a Soft Story building but I didn't receive a notice from the City?

It's possible that some of the structures covered by the program are incorrectly listed in City and County records. Even if you did not receive a formal notification from the City, if your building is a Soft Story building, it is still subject to the program.

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