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How Much Do Soft-Story Retrofit Engineering Plans Cost in the City of Los Angeles?

Posted by Alex Rodriguez on Aug 21 2018

how-much-do-soft-story-engineering-plans-cost

If you received a notice for the Los Angeles Building and Safety about a soft story retrofit, you are probably wondering what the engineering plans are going to cost. This article will give you some guidelines on what you can expect to pay for architectural and engineering plans. We have also published a number of Soft Story related articles that you may find of value as you research your options. It is our intention to help building owners get their buildings compliant with the new soft story retro-fit ordinance.

What is the process of getting the plans drawn and approved?

  1. Interview potential Engineers
  2. Job walk at the buildings
  3. Sign Design agreement
  4. Building is measured
  5. Plans created
  6. Preliminary meeting with City Plan Checker
  7. Formal Submittal to the city 30-day plan check period
  8. Plan approval
  9. Tenant habitability plan filed and approved by the City of Los Angeles Housing Department
  10. Tenants notified of pending construction
  11. Contractor pull permit
  12. 20 days after notification construction starts. 

How Much Do Engineering Plans Cost?

The cost of the plans will determine on the amount of work it will take to design an engineering solution for the structure. You should know that the engineers are trying to design a retrofit solution that will resist the seismic forces that a building will experience during an earthquake. Engineers have to consider the weight of the building, building size, existing building construction, proximity to the closes earthquake fault and other geological factors.

los-angeles-cost-of-soft-story-engineering-plans

(Small Apartment Building in West Los Angeles, CA)

Small Apartment Building

Approximate Cost: $5,000-$7,500

Building Profile:

  • Size 4-8 Units
  • Single story above tuck under parking.
  • Level lot with easy access to affected area.
  • No need to relocate any plumbing or major infrastructure.
  • Just shear walls and small grade beams.
  • Perhaps a single moment frame.
  • Some stucco repair due to diaphragm plywood installation.

cost-of-soft-story-engineering-plans-in-los-angeles

(Medium-Sized Apartment Building in Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles, CA)

Medium-Sized Apartment Building

Approximate Cost: $6,000-$7,500

Building Profile:

  • Size 10-15 Units.
  • Two story Single story above tuck under parking.
  • Level lot with easy to moderate access to affected area.
  • Single Moment with full length grade beams.
  • Shear walls and small grade beams on the return side walls or other part of builder.

how-much-do-retrofit-engineering-plans-cost-in-los-angeles

(20-Unit Apartment Building in Sherman Oaks, CA)

Large Apartment Building

Approximate Cost: $12,000-$15,000

Building Profile:

  • Size 20-30 Units.
  • Two story above tuck under parking.
  • Level lot with easy to moderate access to affected area.
  • Single Moment with full length grade beams.
  • Shear walls and small grade beams on the return side walls or other part of builder.

what-is-the-cost-of-soft-story-retro-fit-engineering-plans-in-los-angeles

(Apartment Complex near USC, in Los Angeles, CA)

Apartment Complex

Approximate Cost: $20,000-$35,000

Building Profile:

  • Size 50+ Units.
  • Two and Three story above tuck under parking.
  • Level lot with easy to moderate access to affected area.
  • Multiple Moment frames with full length grade beams.
  • Multiple Shear walls and small grade beams on the return side walls or other part of buildering.
  • Plumbing or major infrastructure relocated.
  • Stucco repair needed at new shear walls.
  • Framing labor with new hold downs and hardware between floors.

 

The price of engineering plans can vary depending on the size of your building, and even the firm you decide to hire. But keep in mind that paying less for engineering services can sometimes mean you pay more for your retrofit construction. You'll need to keep this in mind if you are simply considering hiring the lowest bider. We have an article that explains just how each retrofit solution varies in price, read Three Retrofit Construction Methods and Costs.


We have a team of engineers that we work with to get you a low-cost soft story retro-fit solution. If you are ready for an engineering quote, please fill out the form on this page and you will be contacted with lighting speed!

how-much-do-soft-soft-story-engineering-plans-cost-los-angeles

(Don’t waste your time at city hall, we take care of all the paperwork and submittals)

Helpful Facts

  • You should consider hiring an engineer/designer that collaborates with a licensed contractor. The retrofit design has a direct impact on the construction costs.
  • If you need a moment frame Use a Simpson Strong Frame, no welded frames.
  • Interview the Person not the cost estimate. Make your hiring decision on who you have the most confidence will get the job done.

 


Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn everything there is to know about soft-story retrofits you'll want to check out our most in-depth article What is a Soft-Story Retrofit? Everything You Need to Know About Retrofits  on our newest websiteThere, you'll be able to access all of our retrofit blog articles, case studies, our retrofit gallery, short videos, and enjoy free access to our full-length soft-story webinars. Our team has developed all this content for property owners like you. It is your destination to learn all about the retrofit process. Bay Cities Construction and Soft-Story Retrofit Pros is here to help answer any questions you may have about your retrofit project. Our team has the experience to Engineer & Build a Cost-Effective Retrofit Solution for your property. Get started today by visiting our website at www.softstoryretrofitpros.com to schedule a free assessment. 


 

About the Author:

Alexander Rodriguez, MBA is a licensed contractor with 20 years of construction experience. He has published hundreds of construction related articles and is also an adjunct Professor at Mount Saint Mary University, Los Angeles. Please post your comments below and share this article with someone that you think will benefit from its content. If you have more questions about a project please email me, alex@baycitiesconstructon.com.

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