We want to help you to protect your home against earthquake damage by speeding up the application process for Earthquake Home Retrofit Permits (also known as Project Impact). We also provide you with suggestions, called prescriptive plan sets, on how to retrofit your home. These plan sets help you obtain the Earthquake Home Retrofit Permit quickly and easily. They also eliminate the need to hire a design professional to develop drawings. If your project does not meet the requirements of our prescriptive plan set, you can also submit a voluntary seismic retrofit designed by an engineer.
Our home retrofit plans address two common kinds of earthquake damage: the wall between the foundation and first floor collapsing or the home moving off its foundation.
Our fees are based on your estimated value of work, labor, and materials. Earthquake Home Retrofit projects that use our prescriptive plan set qualify for reduced permit fees.
We usually do our initial review of Earthquake Home Retrofit Permits in two weeks. If your retrofit is designed by an engineer, your project will qualify for a subject-to-field-inspection permit. Subject-to-field-inspection permits are issued over the counter on the day you apply if you apply in person, or within a few days if you apply electronically.
Determine if your house qualifies. Complete the checklist in the How to Complete the Home Assessment Checklist booklet to see if you can use prescriptive plan sets to retrofit your home. If your home does not qualify, you can still do seismic retrofitting, but you will need to work with a structural engineer.
Apply for a project number. Get a project number by starting your preliminary application online through your Project Portal. You will need to upload a site plan and a complete legal description for your site.
Prepare your plans. Follow the instructions in the Guide to Completing an Earthquake Retrofit Plan for Wood-frame Residential Buildings to prepare your plan sets. If you submit a voluntary seismic retrofit designed by an engineer, your plans will need to be stamped by an engineer and include a location plan, foundation and framing plan, structural notes, and structural details.
Submit your plans. If you are using our prescriptive plan set to retrofit your home, you need to submit your plans online through your Project Portal. You have two options on how to apply.
If an engineer prepared your home retrofit plans, you may submit them as a subject-to-field-inspection permit. You can submit your application electronically or in person.
Pay fees. You pay most of your fees when you submit your application. If you submit electronically, we will notify you when you need to pay your fees, and you may pay fees online.
Pay final fees. We will notify you if you need to pay any final fees before we issue your permit.
Receive your permit. We will notify you when we have issued your permit and the documents are available in your SDCI Project Portal. Print the permit and approved plan set and have it on site for our inspector. If you submit engineered plans in person, we will stamp your plans and issue the permit. You will be given a copy of the permit and one set of plans to keep on site.
Display your permit. Place your permit in a visible location on the project site.
Get related permits. You may need to get additional permits or approvals from other departments.
Know when to call. We need to inspect your project:
Contact us. Call our 24-hour inspection request line at (206) 684-8900 before 7:00 a.m. on the day you need the inspection. You can also request an inspection online.
Close your permit. Your permit information will be archived in our electronic document management system.
Schedule a final building inspection. See the construction inspections page for when to call us and how to schedule your inspection.