How Much Does It Cost To Retrofit A Home For Earthquake Protection?


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Earthquake Retrofitting Costs

Indoor Cost Guides      Foundation Repairs      Earthquake Retrofitting Costs

If a home is damaged by an earthquake, insurance companies (or homeowners) may deem it necessary to retrofit the home for earthquake protection. There are a number of steps involved in this process. The foundation needs anchors and bracing, as do the walls and all major appliances and built-in fixtures.

If there are any repairs that need to be done during the retrofitting process, this will affect the cost of the project, as well. Previous earthquake damage or other issues that are found need to be addressed in order for the new protective measures to be effective. This service is most often performed in California and on the West Coast where earthquakes are more common, but it can be done anywhere you can find qualified contractors.

Earthquake retrofitting: 1,500 sq.ft. house, by component, with labor cost included.

Item Unit Cost Quantity Line Cost
Foundation anchors $50-$75 each 10 $500-$750
Foundation brackets $50-$70 each 10 $500-$750
Wall bracing $2.50-$5.00 per square foot 1,500 $3,750-$7,500
Hold-down anchors for appliances $50-$90 each 10 $500-$900
Water heater bracing $100-$220 each 1 $100-$220
Framing straps and braces for wood framing $10-60 each 10 $100-$600
Total Cost $3.63-$7.15 1,500 $5,450-$10,720


Other considerations and costs

  • If you need windows or walls braced and straightened before retrofitting can take place, this can add hundreds of dollars to the project cost. Have a through in-home inspection for an accurate estimate of pricing and the work that needs to be done.
  • Taxes and permit fees are not included in this estimate. Permits are generally not needed for most basic earthquake renovations and upgrades, though.
  • The larger your home is, the more components you will need to protect everything. Therefore, the total cost of the earthquake retrofitting varies significantly from one job to the next.
  • If you can’t afford a full retrofit at once, consider investing in a few elements each year so that you eventually have a fully-protected home. Start with the most vulnerable areas or biggest concerns first for your safety and peace of mind.

DIY considerations

  • Earthquake retrofitting is not a DIY job. You may be able to handle some of the repairs yourself, but all earthquake protection measures should be installed by a certified, experienced installer that knows how to protect your home properly.
  • Talk to your insurance company about retrofitting, including whether it will require an insurance policy change and if there are any special guidelines regarding who installs these features. You might find out they won’t insure anything like this if you installed it on your own.


  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Web sites.
How much does it cost to retrofit a home for earthquake protection in your city?
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Cost by city

  • New York, NY$12,851
  • Bronx, NY$10,560
  • Brooklyn, NY$8,801
  • Philadelphia, PA$10,980
  • Washington, DC$9,528
  • Atlanta, GA$8,620
  • Miami, FL$7,840
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL$8,213
  • Minneapolis, MN$9,634
  • Chicago, IL$11,225
  • Houston, TX$11,578
  • San Antonio, TX$7,772
  • Austin, TX$8,800
  • Denver, CO$7,435
  • Phoenix, AZ$7,845
  • Las Vegas, NV$8,610
  • Los Angeles, CA$9,701
  • San Diego, CA$8,804
  • San Jose, CA$10,634
  • Seattle, WA$7,785

Local costs have been calculated by accounting for labor and material cost differences across different cities. To get accurate cost estimates, indicate yours: