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Our Process

The Approach

We have a simple process for every retrofit client we work with. We try to set expectations and our work is broken down into six phases: Initial conversation, assessment, engineering and design, permitting, production, and documentation.

Initial Conversation and Consultation

In our initial conversation, we will discuss the conditions of your home and its type of construction. We will also discuss the basics of the retrofit process, the work that would be involved, ballpark pricing and any expectations you, the homeowner, may have.
From there we can determine if it makes sense to schedule an assessment or possibly provide consultation if you plan on completing the work yourself. We provide a free assessment in Seattle and most north-end areas whether you have a finished basement or not. In further areas where it may require some travel, we may require an assessment fee. You will know if there will be a fee required before we have our meeting.

Assessment

The first step in our work is a field assessment of your home. We spend an extended amount of time to determine what would be the most cost-efficient approach for the most effective retrofit. Once we have documented the existing conditions, we will give you a detailed list of strengthening measures we suggest and the overall scope of work. We provide a fixed price cost for the entire project; Plans, permitting, engineering and design, and all the structural work for your project. We also provide finish replacement if this is the route you would like to go. We have an exceptional drywall team that is the best in the business. We are a one-stop provider for all your homes retrofit needs.
You are under no obligation to make a decision, and should feel no pressure during and after the assessment. In most cases, we will leave you with a copy of the construction agreement. These fixed price agreements are typically good for 90 days.

Engineering and Design

If you have decided to move forward and hire us to complete your retrofit, in most cases a structural engineer is needed to design a retrofit specific to your homes conditions. If this is the route which best fits your needs, we will hire our top notch, outside structural engineering firm to assess your home for structural weaknesses, in order to offer the safest and most cost-effective solution for your needs. Our engineering firm specializes in seismic retrofitting and has designed thousands of different projects, each with its own unique details and conditions. They provide a very detailed design, which leads to a smooth transition once we apply for the building permit.
The current guidelines for earthquake retrofit work typically involve two to four different connection details for existing construction depending on your homes conditions. It is important to have an engineering firm that is familiar with current building codes and retrofit design as an engineer that is not experienced in seismic retrofitting may overbuild plans, costing their clients considerably more in retrofit costs.

Project Impact

In 1998, the City of Seattle developed a pre-engineered set of plans designed for homeowners to retrofit their own homes. These plans are called “Project Impact” or “SEHR” (Standard Earthquake Home Retrofit). If your home qualifies and meets all the criteria, it eliminates the need to hire an engineer (which lowers the cost of the project); provides a fast-track permitting procedure to accomplish the retrofit work; and offers training for both homeowners and contractors.

Permit

Once the engineering and design has been completed, the next step of your project would be to apply for a building permit. In Seattle and most other jurisdictions, a building permit is required for a seismic retrofit upgrade. We will complete all the documentation, applications and plan preparation to obtain the building permit. The city will review all of our documentation and engineering and make any corrections if needed.
Once the project is completed and all of the inspections have been passed, the homeowner will obtain the original copy of the building permit for documentation.

Production / Work Begins

After we have scheduled a convenient date and provided you with an estimated duration for your project, our team will start the structural work. We will mobilize all tools, set up dust protection, and complete the finish removal. We will follow the engineering and complete the retrofit per plan.

Inspections

Most projects require two inspections; structural inspections and final inspections.
structural Inspection: If your project requires two inspections, the structural inspection will come first. This inspection is required for homes that have pony or cripple walls that are to be covered up with plywood shear panels. City inspectors review the plans to make sure everything corresponds with the work. They inspect all anchor bolts, hold-downs, framing, insulation, electrical and plumbing before the walls will be covered up permanently. We schedule all the inspections and meet with the inspectors.
Final Inspection: Once all of the structural work has been completed, a final inspection is required. For this inspection, inspectors review all the plywood and nailing patterns, side anchor plates and shear transfer ties. Upon completion of the final inspection, the signed off inspection report is issued and remains with the homeowner for documentation.

Finish Replacement

If you decide to have us complete the finish replacement once the retrofit has been completed and we’ve passed all required inspections, we will schedule our team to complete the finish replacement as-soon-as-possible. We will ensure that all dust protection is properly installed before the finish team comes out to compete the work. Our team does an excellent job matching new material to existing surfaces. Whether it’s drywall, siding or interior wall paneling, once the finish replacement is completed it will look like we had never been there.

Final Cleanup and Walk-through

We will complete a final cleanup and we can guarantee that your home will be cleaner than before we arrived. We will then schedule a walk-through with the homeowner and review our scope of work to make sure everything has been covered on our check-list before we walk off the job. We guarantee 100% customer satisfaction.

Documentation

All homeowners will receive the original copy of the permit, engineering plans, and inspection sign-off sheet. Once final payment has been received, we will provide the homeowner with a “certificate of completion” document for earthquake insurance or resale purposes. Some earthquake insurance providers may also require additional documentation before you can obtain this insurance which we can provide as well.

We Love Our Customers!

They did a wonderful job on the seismic retrofitting. Our 1926 house is noticeably more stable. The workers were very pleasant to have in our home, and they cleaned up shockingly well when they were done. If we could hire them for the rest of our home improvement job we would.


It’s a matter of time, experts say, before the Northwest shudders under another massive tectonic plate earthquake or the Puget Sound region succumbs to a big quake from one of its faults. Wood frame homes generally survive the earth shaking. But there’s a risk of them sliding off the foundation. Split-level homes also may crumble along the pony wall, sometimes called a cripple wall, that supports the upper level. Quake risks were not that well known when my home was built in Bothell in 1975. In the summer of 2022, Evergreen Seismic upgraded the house with a retrofit. This included installing anchor bolts and hold-downs into the foundation and bracing the walls in places with ¾-inch CDX plywood. Owner Matt Robinson and his crew worked in a tight crawlspace. They also removed some outside siding to brace the pony wall, upgrading the insulation before replacing the siding. Matt handled all the required engineering plans, permits and inspections. Matt showed he is skilled in retrofitting. He communicated clearly about scope of the work and scheduling. The site was cleaned after each day and neatly finished at the conclusion. The retrofit improved the safety of my home. I have documentation that I believe adds to its value. Of various people we’ve had in our home from time to time for repairs or remodeling, Matt Robinson is one of the best. I recommend Evergreen Seismic for its quality of work and service. Doug in Bothell


If you need to earthquake your home for seismic activity, then you can definitely trust these guys. Matt and his team at Evergreen Seismic are very knowledgeable and do a great job.


I loved Evergreen Seismic so much that I hardly know where to start this review. I got three bids to retrofit our 1962 home, which has a finished walkout basement and required structural engineering. All three companies were very professional and gave me comparable recommendations. Here’s why I’m so happy that I went with Matt: Quality and attention to detail: Notably, a respected competitor described Matt as “the best retrofitter I know.” During the bid process, Matt answered my extensive questions with sound, thorough information. On site, he was happy to show me the in-progress guts of the work, explaining the rationale and placement of all the hardware, additional framing, and shear panels. He also pointed out places where people sometimes cut corners and educated me on how to recognize correct, up-to-code work. Matt and Nick used high-quality materials, high-quality tools, and every element they added to our home was carefully and precisely placed. Their work passed all inspections without a hitch. Matt even paid thoughtful attention to aesthetic details, like staggering their cuts into our siding for a pleasing end result, and purchasing a color of caulk that would blend into our paint. In all matters of quality, Matt ran a tight ship. I feel safe and secure in our home, having witnessed his expertise and skill. Professionalism: Others have said it, and I’ll say it again: Matt is the consummate professional. He was easy to communicate with and responded quickly. He set clear expectations for any minor distress the siding of the house might incur during the project. He cheerfully dealt with tight spaces and a maddening tangle of defunct cables attached to the side of the house. He and Nick kept a tidy jobsite, cleaning up beautifully at the end of each day and truly leaving the interior cleaner than they found it at the end of the job. They appeared to even be packing out tiny pieces of trash like paper towels from washing their hands, rather than using the trash cans I placed out for them. Matt had to cut an old landline cable that we hadn’t planned to use, and he pointed it out right away and offered to pay to have it reconnected - a high-integrity move. Finally, he spoke very highly of his competitors without exception, which says a lot. Kindness and care: Matt is just a wonderful human to be around. He’s easygoing, straightforward, considerate, thoughtful, warm, and generous with his time. When I met Matt in the fall, I was experiencing a period of high anxiety, and I came to him with a long list of bothersome questions as I was deciding who to hire. Even though he was busy, he went far out of his way to write detailed answers, send me safety data sheets, and chat on the phone with me multiple times. Some of my questions and worries were probably ridiculous, but he treated them as if they were completely reasonable and even welcome. He never made me feel like an annoyance, and his willingness to meet me where I was at, with so much empathy and humanity, meant a lot. Oh - and he and Nick treated my five-year-old as a person worthy of as much attention and respect as an adult, which is rare! With all of that put together, we were so happy we went with Matt and honestly feel kind of bummed that we probably won’t ever get to hire him for anything else. A few final details: Matt’s bid was in the middle of the three we received, but it was within $40 of its closest neighbor, so basically identical. Contracts and payment were all quick and easy. And for anyone exercising extra caution during the pandemic, Evergreen Seismic was extremely covid-conscious. The team was fully-vaccinated and wore high-quality masks for the entire duration of the job. I don’t even know what their faces look like. Even though they were working outdoors in the fresh air with no one else around, they always had a mask around their neck to be pulled up within a moment’s notice when I popped over to greet them. A+!


Evergreen Seismic recently completed an earthquake retrofit on our home. We chose the company in part because of great online reviews and we were not disappointed. Matt clearly explained the entire process and patiently responded to all of our questions. The work went smoothly and efficiently, was completed ahead of schedule, and the daily cleanup was amazing. Most importantly (for us anyway), the person who sold us on the job (Matt) was also part of the working crew. I wholeheartedly recommend Evergreen Seismic for earthquake retrofitting. From start to finish, this was by far the smoothest construction job we have experienced during the twenty years that we have lived in our home.


We used Evergreen Seismic to do an earthquake retrofit on our 1979 build home in Kent, WA based upon great customer reviews. We were not disappointed! Matt and his crew were very professional and showed up as promised. We were promptly informed when on one occasion they were a bit late due to traffic congestion. The work was performed to our satisfaction. The daily cleanup was impeccable. Matt was able to answer all questions that the inspector asked to his satisfaction. The Company actually went over and above what the structural analysis indicated was needed (additional bracing was installed). The majority of the retrofit was done on the exterior of the house in pouring rain! However, to our amazement, this did not in any way slow down the crew! A truly professional Company. We can recommend Evergreen Seismic without any hesitation.


Exceptional service from Evergreen Seismic. I met Matt at an info session on seismic retrofitting hosted by the city of Seattle. It took me a year or so to reach out to him. I was impressed form the start. Matt was more than willing to coach me on doing the project myself, if I wanted to take it on. But in given the complexity of our project, I preferred to hire Matt and his crew. They did a great job, and even did some prep that I was supposed to do but couldn't because of a recent back injury. Very straightforward, informative, and considerate service. I'd hire Matt again without hesitation.


Matt did the seismic retrofit of our single-family residence back in January when we were finishing our basement. I cannot speak highly enough of him and Evergreen Seismic. Matt has undoubtedly been one of the best contractors we've worked with. He's an excellent communicator and really goes above and beyond on all fronts. He does what he says he's going to do, when he says he's going to do it, and finishes when he says he's going to finish, all at an extremely competitive price. He's knowledgeable of seismic retrofitting and has a very streamlined process nailed down. If you are thinking of doing a seismic retrofit, Evergreen Seismic is DEFINITELY the way to go!


Matt and crew performed a larger earthquake retrofit project for us that took the entire month of May. The project involved building out a new foundation /wall to connect between posts on the back half of the house to prevent lateral shear, as well as all of the hardware to attach the rest of the house to the foundation. We had a similar experience to the other positive reviews here - Matt has a truly exceptional work ethic and clearly takes a lot of pride in his work, and expects the same of his crew. Matt is very knowledgeable and was more than happy to answer all of our questions. Communication and timeliness were well above par from start to finish, and they were also competitive on pricing (slightly lower than other bids of the same scope). They were a pleasure to have around the house (actually, outside the house, because they were able to take off the siding and do the work from the outside, while a competing bidder was planning on going inside to remove drywall), and were always available for questions. A nice extra touch was that they installed new insulation in 2 of our walls which was not part of the fixed price bid (another reason we went with Evergreen - no risk of cost overrun). Thanks Matt and crew, truly appreciate your work!


Evergreen Seismic did an outstanding job on my retrofit. They fit my project in right away, provided a clear and thorough bid and scope of work, and completed the project on time. Absolutely a pleasure working with them. Highly recommended!

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