Seismic Strengthening and Retrofit Services

Earthquake retrofitting is performed to keep your home from being displaced from its foundation. In California, the need for seismic strengthening is substantial and valid. According to a New York Times article published in December 2011, one-third to two-thirds of earthquake retrofits in the San Francisco Bay Area are installed incorrectly. One’s home may still be vulnerable to serious earthquake damage if a contractor without formal education and training in calculating seismic forces, alternate load path, diaphragm action and other critical functionality is engaged to attempt retrofit services.

Why Is Tracery Professional Builders, Inc. Highly Qualified to Handle  Seismic Strengthening?

Mark Macdonald, our founder and president, has degrees in both Structural Engineering and Civil Engineering and has been certified as a FEMA-Trained Brace and Bolt Contractor. As stated on there is “no such thing as a standard house or a standard earthquake retrofit.” It is essential to hire a contractor with experience and training, one who can do the calculations correctly, in order to appropriately reduce the risk of earthquake damage.

Tracery EBB Project Process

Want to get started? Here’s an outline of the basic steps:

Thank you for your interest in Tracery Professional Builders, Inc. 

Please note: our EBB schedule is currently complete through September 2020.


Using our EBB Form, submit your information for review. We will normally respond within 1-3 business days.


Tracery will send an Estimate, which includes a scope of work and explanatory photographs of our proposal, for your review and acceptance.


Next is an on-site appointment for photos and measurements: front and rear of house, left/right sides, crawl space opening, water heater, foundation.


Is everything a go? Once your contract is signed, a deposit will be required to secure your spot on our schedule. EBB payments do not come directly to Tracery. Client is responsible for all charges and fees. 


We will obtain the necessary permits and pay the fees.  All EBB work must be permitted. All required documentation will be uploaded to the EBB site.


Your project will typically take 1-2 days to complete. Required completion documentation will be submitted and your inspection will be scheduled.


Tracery will handle all the details pertaining to the inspection of your project. Inspections are performed by an authorized Earthquake Brace & Bolt certified inspector.


Final close-out documentation will be submitted to EBB. Once your project completion invoice has been paid, you will be eligible to apply for the EBB incentive refund.

California Earthquake Brace Bolt Program Resources


Watch a demonstration of how an EBB seismic retrofit helps homeowners lessen the potential for damage during an earthquake.

Video Credit: Courtesy of


Video Credit: Courtesy of

Frequently Asked Questions


Does my $3,000 EBB refund get paid to Tracery?
No. Once your project is completed and paid for, all EBB program refunds are paid directly to you, the homeowner.

Approximately how much does the permit cost?

Permit costs vary from city to city. To get an appropriate estimate, we advise you call your city and speak to a permit technician.

Can my family stay at home while the work is performed?

Yes. We kindly ask family members to avoid or stay cautious of the surrounding area near the crawl space. There will be miscellaneous items that may be hazardous such as power tools, electrical cords, foundation materials, etc. We do our best to maintain cleanliness and organization on all our job sites, but a high sense of awareness is very important. If no one will be home, we advise installing a lock box with a spare key. ​


Do I need to rent a portable toilet?

If a bathroom is available on site for use during the duration of the work, renting a temporary toilet would not be necessary.


T-Strap and L-Strap (illustrated on SK-C and SK-D) are optional for about $1000? 

This option is not included with the amount proposed in the estimate. This type of extra bracing is not required by the EBB program. We offer this to you as an option to add extra strengthening to the posts in your foundation.


Since we are accepted by FEMA EBB, will you provide documentation including taking pictures?

Yes. Tracery will take care of all documentation required by the program including: before and after pictures, obtaining the permit, scheduling inspections and final invoicing.

251 E Hacienda Ave. Unit C
Campbell, California 95008
Office Hours: M-F 8am-5pm
Office: 408.643.0018
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