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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

We would definitely hire this company again. They had good communication; were prompt; respectful of our property; and completed the work in less time than expected. In general, they did a great job.

Evergreen Seismic came up in a Google search when I was questioning whether my earthquake insurance was really necessary, so I called and owner Matt came out for a free inspection. It turned out that our house did have some risk factors and Matt explained what he recommended and how they would do the job. After some research, I decided to proceed. They just finished after less than a week and Matt and his crew were thoroughly professional and friendly. I especially appreciated Matt's willingness to take extra time explaining things and he even offered some free advice on a couple of unrelated areas where some foundation repair was needed. A residential seismic retrofit isn't cheap and like any insurance, you hope you won't need it. I'm happy with the quality of the work performed and the price. I would recommend Matt and Evergreen Seismic to anyone thinking about making their home more earthquake tolerant.

We worked with Evergreen Seismic in the Summer of 2023 to retrofit our Seattle home. From the very first meeting, we knew that Matt was the right person to trust this project to. He is very knowledgeable and competent, and our communication was always transparent and smooth. Evergreen Seismic coordinated the process of getting the proper permit from the city (which took some time since we were using the standard set of plans) and provided us with all the documentation. When the time came for the retrofit itself, it was performed quickly and efficiently, in just one day for our one-story, 3-br. home. The city inspector was happy with the job as well! We confidently recommend Evergreen Seismic and Matt to anyone planning a seismic retrofit work in the Seattle area.

Evergreen Seismic was amazing to work with. Matt was quick to respond to our initial query, and took the time to walk us through the process and answer questions when he came out to look at the house. His bid was very clear and thorough. He's also a great communicator and made the whole process extremely smooth once we decided to go forward. We really appreciated that nothing felt rushed or unexpected. The crew here doing the work was considerate, patient with any questions we had, and kept us updated every day about what was going on. They did a really great job retrofitting our basement and crawl space and took care of some necessary repairs as well. We were lucky enough to have Evergreen recommended to us, so passing on the recommendation now! We would hire them again with zero reservations.

Evergreen Seismic and Matt were such blessings to us during our seismic retrofit on a Bellevue home we just bought! Matt and his crew, Phil and Nick, were all equally tremendous and beyond helpful to us and my inlaws! We were hell bent on seismically retrofitting by removing drywall interiorally vs sidings exteriorally. And Matt was accommodating to our request. As a hedge though, we knew we wanted a contractor who knows how to retrofit by both methods should a need arises during the retrofit peocess! And Matt fits the bill with his extensive knowledge and years working in earthquake retrofitting. They say never open up drywall if you don't want to find out what deep dark secrets lie underneath. And boy, did we unearthed a structurally problematic framing job on most all the studs holding up an exterior wall of the house, which threw my husband and I in a loop thinking of the scope creep. But Matt stuck with us, helped to sister in all new 2x4s on the compromised studs, and best yet didnt charge us an arm and a leg to fix the framing issue because he truly cares about doing the best job at the most economical rate. The framing job along with the seismic retrofit all easily passed various round of inspections. What started as out as contractor/client relationship became friendship based on what transpired with our house framing issue. We can only hope to find contractors as knowledgeable and honest as Matt and crew!

I would hire Matt again in a heartbeat. Not only do he and his crew perform good work (in my case, seismic retrofit) at a fair price, he combines his core competencies with great people skills and clear, timely, winsome communication. I am especially grateful to Matt because he was ever so patient with me when I suffered long COVID a few weeks after signing the contract, prompting me to delay the project a few months while I recovered. Matt turned what I expected to be a stressful experience into a very good experience. I encourage anyone considering a seismic retrofit to invite Matt to visit you and give you an estimate. I expect that you, too, will be highly satisfied with the result.

Matt did a fantastic job on the earthquake retrofit for our home. Our garage had never been so clean as it was after he was done with his work. Matt had the utmost professionalism through every step of the project. The contract clearly explained everything he was going to do, and he completed every step exactly as described. He thoroughly answered each of my questions during his initial visit in a way where he not only answered the question I asked, but gave background information to educate me on the topic of seismic retrofit. It's great to have the peace of mind that not only is my home now better able to withstand the "big one" that will eventually come to the PNW, but also that the work was done by a great company.

Matt is knowledgeable and competent, and he communicates clearly before and during the job. He made sure that we knew what our options were, and that we understood them. Matt is a friendly, likable person and obviously cares about doing a professional job. He wants his customers to be happy. It was soon clear that we could count on Matt and his team to show up on time and also to clean the site each day before they left. They worked all day each day until the project was finished. I would certainly recommend Evergreen Seismic to anyone who wishes to retrofit their home. I have confidence now that my 1901 home is in much better shape to withstand a significant earthquake without coming off the foundation.

Matt came out to see if our house needs a retrofit and I was absolutely blown away by his honesty, knowledge and professionalism. He advised against retrofitting our house due to the newer age of the home but did provide me with a tonne of useful information that I did not come across during my research and while speaking with other retrofit companies.

I was extremely pleased with the seismic retrofitting job Matt and his team completed for me. The entire experience was seamless. Matt was extremely informative during the bidding process and everything was completed on time and to a high standard. The work site was cleaned everyday and work plans and schedules were clearly communicated. It's obvious that Matt and his team really care about performing quality work. To echo another review, if I could hire them for all my home renovations, I would.

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