QUAKE BUSTERS is dedicated to assisting property owners protect their family and homes from Earthquake damage. All of us living in the Bay Area are interested in knowing that the homes that we live in and our families will be safe after a major Earthquake. We design a Seismic Retrofit specific to your property and your budget.
THE STEPS TO GETTING YOUR HOME SEISMICALLY RETROFITTED
1) Contact Quake Busters for your free inspection appointment-
We are available by phone and email. We work Tuesday through Saturday, to make it easier for working homeowners to have an appointment with out missing work. In some cases, it is possible to perform the inspection with out anyone home, depending on the type of house. Typically the owner of Quake Busters, Jerome Lenoir, does all the structural inspections.
2) The Inspection-
We will meet with you, and find out what your specific goals and concerns are. Based on this information we will do a very thorough inspection of the lowest level of the building. We will draw up a map that will contain all the necessary information for your Seismic Retrofit needs. This estimate is typically based on the published guidelines for you specific home, taking into account the square footage, the number of stories and weight of your home. While there, we will go over the specifics for your building, using our information booklet. The information booklet will have explanations of terminology, with corresponding drawings, references, articles about Seismic Retrofitting and Earthquake Insurance, preparedness list, company history, etc…
3) The Estimate-
Quake Busters will provide a detailed and transparent proposal. Items will be listed clearly with a quantity of each item, a description of each item, and a figure for labor and materials for each item. This estimate will be emailed within one to two days of the inspection, and a hard copy put in the mail. In addition we provide a Field Inspection Report on your home, outlining existing Seismic strengths and weaknesses of your building.
Note: We do not force you to have a second appointment, by telling you that we will need to “go over the proposed work”. Really their goal is not to present the proposed work, it is to get you to sign their contract. That is a pressure ploy that we do not believe is ethical. This is used by contractors that don’t want you to have time to get additional proposals, and will try to make you think that they are giving you a “a very special deal”. Another ploy is, “we just happen to have an opening on our job calendar for next week, if you can help us out we will give you a great price”. There is a reason that they always have an opening the following week-don’t be fooled!
4) Follow Up-
We allow time for you to review our estimate, as well as procure more bids. We will then be in touch by phone or email, to confirm that you have received our Seismic Retrofit estimate, and answer any questions that you may have. We are always happy to come by for any follow up visits, should you need that. We are also prepared to make any comparisons with other proposals that you may receive. We are happy to do the work in stages, and we will always attempt to do what is best for the house first, not what is best for the contractor! We have a 0% interest payment plan, that has assisted many homeowners in providing safety for their family and home.
5) The Contract-
We will send out two copies of the itemized contract. Your copy will also contain information about where you will need smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for your final inspection. You will sign our copy of the contract and return it with a check for 10% of the project.
6) The Permits-
Once we receive your signed contract and deposit, we will put together the drawings, application and information necessary to apply for your City Building Permit. We take care of this process, as well as meeting with the inspectors for any inspections during the course of the job.
7) The Retrofit-
Quake Busters will schedule the work for your convenience. Typically a homeowner does not need to be home for us to execute the Seismic Retrofit. Our crews are all long term employees, who can be trusted in the finest of homes. All employees are fully covered by Workers Compensation insurance. We have carried Liability insurance to a total of $2,000,000.00, for many years without a claim. Many of our competitors carry no liability insurance, and have resorted to “subbing’ the work out to a sub-contractor who does not carry Workers Compensation insurance. They will also sometimes carry a policy, to be able to pull permits, but then only insure one of their employees, so nobody else on the job is insured. Both of these practices to avoid paying Workers Compensation insurance are illegal, but more importantly, they can result in a home owner being sued by an injured worker, as the employer has no insurance.
8) Final Inspection-
When work is completed, we will leave the job site clean, and typically broom swept. We will then contact you concerning when you are available for your final inspection, and schedule that inspection for you. The morning of the inspection, the Building Inspector will give you a narrow (2 hour) window of when he will stop by that day.
We receive the 10% deposit at contract signing. Typically this check stays in our office, (not the bank) until we have started your job. We can legally get more money after each of the City Inspections, and we can ask for money every day that we bring materials to your home. Instead, we trust our clients, and we do not ask for any additional payments, until we have completed our work. On the last day of the job, we receive a payment of 50% of the balance. The other 50% of the balance is typically spread out for an additional 3-6 months, with no interest charged on those monthly payments