If you have an accessory dwelling unit, also known as ADU on a property which you currently own, you may be required to ensure that your accessory dwelling unit undergoes a seismic retrofit. This will ensure that your detached building such as a guest house or a detached garage that has a residential floor above it, is safe to be occupied in the event of an earthquake. If you live in the sunny state of California, it’s even more prudent in order to ensure that your stand-alone building exterior and interior has been modified adequately to withstand potential earthquake damage.
ADU California: Seismic retrofit solutions
What types of ADU properties can be retrofitted in California:
All you have to remember is that ADU California buildings are residential buildings that are separate from the main building on a property. Another example, one type of ADU building that is common in California is pool houses, due to California’s warm climate. If you have a tiny home that is separate to your main building on one property, your tiny home can also be classed correctly as an accessory dwelling unit.
How do you know if your accessory dwelling units require seismic retrofits?
In California, there is a state ordinance which states that all soft story buildings, which are built before 1978 need to undergo seismic retrofits, in order to comply with new earthquake safety regulations. So if you have an additional building on your property that is separate to your primary building which was built prior to 1978, you’ll definitely need to contact a construction company in order to start talking about various seismic retrofit solutions. As there are a wide variety of available solutions to fit different budgets.
Can you request a retrofit of an ADU if it was built after 1978?
While if your ADU was built in the last 10 it’s highly unlikely that your building will require a seismic retrofit, as it should be built to modern regulations, if your building was built in the 80s or 90s it may be worth paying for a seismic retrofit of your ADU. Particularly for your own peace of mind, so that you know that any individuals inside your ADU will be protected if they are caught in an ADU during an earthquake.
How to choose the right company to handle your upcoming seismic retrofit:
So whether you are mandated to retrofit your ADU building or buildings due to California’s recent ordinance or you’re simply looking to improve the structural integrity of your ADU for safety purposes and to protect your investment, it’s important to complete your due diligence and to research several different Californian companies. Ensure that the company that you choose has plenty of experience completing retrofits specifically on ADU buildings. So that you can be sure that they’ll be able to customize your retrofit to your specific ADU. You may want to ask each of your contenders for references from happily satisfied, past clients.
So what are you waiting for, if you own an ADU, particularly an ADU building which was built before 1978, it’s well worth planning out your seismic retrofit as soon as possible.