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Earthquake Soft-Story Resources

An Earthquake Soft-Story (ESS) retrofit is often needed for pre-2000 houses that have a living space over the garage, or "soft story," that needs to be reinforced to strengthen the house against damage during an earthquake. The following resources are available to assist you in completing your ESS retrofit.

ESS Program Documents

ESS Program ZIP Codes

The ESS program is available in certain areas of California that are at high risk for earthquakes. Search the ESS ZIP Codes to see if your house is in an ESS ZIP Code, and learn more about how ZIP Codes are chosen for the program.

Find a Contractor or Design Professional

ESS participants must choose a contractor from the ESS Contractor directory to complete the retrofit work. And if you need to hire a Design Professional to create custom plans for your retrofit, you can search ESS's Design Professional Directory for a design professional near you. Use our Directories to select your contractor and design professional for your ESS retrofit.

permit and building department information

ESS participants or their contractor must get a building permit for the retrofit from their local building department.  In order to remain qualified for ESS, you must get your permit issued after you have been accepted in ESS, but before beginning the retrofit.

801 K Street, Suite 1000
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (877) 232-4300

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