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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the section that best matches your question.

If you can’t find the answer, email us at info@weinsteinconstruction.com

What type of retaining walls can you build?
There are quite a few types of retaining walls that can be built. We have already described a concrete retaining wall, but another example is called a “gabion retaining wall” which acts in a very similar way to a typical retaining wall, except that a gabion wall is constructed with small openings, instead of solid concrete. Gabion walls are made up from rocks (or other material of your choice) and are held together by metal wires. The small openings or spaces in the gabion wall slow down and control water flow without allowing it to damage your home. When the water flows through the gabion wall, it will not break up the soil, but rather keep it compacted. Other types of retaining walls, for example shotcrete/gunite, act in the same way as a concrete wall, but offer even more stability to your home. Why not allow one of Weinstein Construction’s experts to explain in further detail how retaining walls work and which wall is best for your home? A consultative visit is completely free of charge, and holds no obligation for you!
Do I need a permit for this service?
Yes.  You will need a permit for most earthquake retrofitting services.  However, Weinstein Construction professionals will take care of the entire permitting process for you (unless of course, you would like to do it on your own).  In most cases, home owners want us to make sure that all of the right permits are pulled correctly for the job we do.
How long does it take to repair a Soft Story?
The time it takes to repair a soft story all depends on how much work needs to be done. Each job is unique, as some may take as few as a week to complete, while others may take a little longer, depending upon the scope of the work.  Before we begin the job, we will give you a rough estimate about how long it will take. We know how important your time is and always try to do the best job in as little time as possible.
How much does soft story retrofitting cost?
Each project will vary on a case to case basis, depending upon the scope of work.  For example, a small apartment building with six units and one ordinary steel moment-resisting frame (OMF) and concrete grade beam footing may cost as low as $30,000 to retrofit, while other, larger apartment buildings, may be in the range of several hundred-thousand dollars to complete.  Each project will vary depending upon the structural integrity of the property. The damage that is caused from a soft story collapsing can cost you the entire building. The damage can be so bad that it is not even possible to repair.  This can be completely avoided if you have your soft story repaired. It is a very small price to pay to get your soft story retrofit completed compared to how much it can cost to repair the building damage following an earthquake.. You will be saving money on repairs and saving the lives of the people that live inside.
How do I know if I have a soft story?
Was your apartment built before 1991? Then the answer is most likely YES. Most buildings that were built before 1991 have soft stories. The lower story of a building should have shear wall support. If you have an open parking garage, big windows, or any big spaces on the lower level of your building then you are at risk. If you are not sure if you have a soft story building, we will come to you for a FREE inspection. From there we will be able to tell you 100% if you have a soft story building or not.
How long will it take to level my home?
The average floor leveling job takes 4-6 days to complete. A home can be leveled in as little as 3 days with the self-leveling option.  The time it takes to complete the job, just depends on how much work needs to be done.  We complete every job as quick as we can with the best quality possible.
Do I need a permit to level my home?
Most leveling jobs require a permit, besides self-leveling. You do not need a permit for this job because it is a much more basic job.  We will take care of the permits for all other leveling jobs.  However, you are free to get the permits on your own if you like.  We make sure that every job is done up to city code.
How much does it cost to level my house?
The cost of leveling your home depends on what you need done.  Some jobs do not require much work, while others may need a lot more time and effort.  No matter how much the repair costs, it will ALWAYS be much cheaper than the damage that can occur if it is not repaired.  Unleveled floors can ruin an entire house if they are not properly taken care of.  If your floor is not leveled, your home is not stable. Floor leveling services cost only a fraction of the price it would be to repair the damage once it has occurred. If you have a problem, we have a solution at the right price.
How long will it take to repair my foundation?
In most cases, we can repair your foundation in 3-5 days.  Some jobs may take longer depending on the work that needs to be done. We will let you know how long the job will take before we begin. We know how important your time is. We try to complete every job as fast as possible, without taking away quality.
Do I need a permit?
Yes. You will need a permit for foundation repair. We will take care of everything for you, unless you would like to do it on your own.
How much does Erosion Control Cost?
Erosion Control is something that is so inexpensive compared to the damage that can happen if you do not have the service. Not only does erosion damage your house, but it can damage your entire landscape. You will save money on repair costs and gardening bills as well. It is a very small price to pay for the amount of loss that can occur if it is not done.
Do I need a permit for Drainage services?
Drainage services range in price, and depend on the size and particular requirements for each specific job. However, rest assured that Weinstein Construction professionals will have a variety of drainage control options to offer you, and all of them will be cost-effective and affordable measures. No matter what you do, do not delay on ensuring that your home is properly draining water away from the structure. Even a top-of-the-line drainage system will only cost a fraction of what it costs to repair water damage!
How long do drainage services take?
Drainage services range in price, and depend on the size and particular requirements for each specific job. However, rest assured that Weinstein Construction professionals will have a variety of drainage control options to offer you, and all of them will be cost-effective and affordable measures. No matter what you do, do not delay on ensuring that your home is properly draining water away from the structure. Even a top-of-the-line drainage system will only cost a fraction of what it costs to repair water damage!
How much does drainage service cost?
Drainage services range in price, and depend on the size and particular requirements for each specific job. However, rest assured that Weinstein Construction professionals will have a variety of drainage control options to offer you, and all of them will be cost-effective and affordable measures. No matter what you do, do not delay on ensuring that your home is properly draining water away from the structure. Even a top-of-the-line drainage system will only cost a fraction of what it costs to repair water damage!
Do I need a permit to service my building?
Yes.  A permit is typically needed to service a commercial property.  Weinstein Construction professionals always make sure that all the proper permits are pulled before we begin a job.  We will be glad to take care of this entire process for you, unless you would like to do it on your own.
How long will it take to retrofit my building?
The answer to this question varies, as it depends on the size of your structure and the nature of the structural weaknesses found, if any.  Look, we are keenly aware that you are running a business and that your time and resources are valuable. We will make sure to give you valuable insight into any potential problems we find, and if you choose us for the job, we will get the job done as quickly as we can, without ever sacrificing quality or safety in the process.  If you invite us for a free, no-obligation inspection, we will typically be able to provide you with a time estimate on how long it will take to complete the job!
How much does earthquake retrofitting cost?
The cost of commercial retrofitting depends on the building in question, as well as the problems that the building is manifesting.  You can always be sure of one thing: there is no doubt that the cost of having a building repaired after it is damaged in an earthquake is much more than having the same building retrofitted before an earthquake hits.  If you don’t retrofit, you are putting your entire investment at risk! We have seen time and time again buildings that were so severely damaged during earthquakes that they were considered a total loss.   Weinstein Construction professionals have many different options for you to choose from, at various price points.  We pride ourselves on always making sure our clients receive the best quality at the most reasonable prices! Please call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation where we can consult you on your retrofitting needs.
How do I know if my building needs to be earthquake protected?
It is not always easy to tell if your building needs earthquake retrofitting.  Depending on what type of building you have, and when your structure was built, it may not have proper earthquake protection (e.g., braced cripple walls, anchor bolts, or reinforcing of crawl spaces) .   If your commercial property was once an older home, then you may be especially vulnerable. But no matter what kind of building you have or when it was built, if many people use it daily, not only is your investment at risk during an earthquake, but also at risk are the lives of all who happen to be inside the structure at the time.   Even if there are no obvious problems with your building and you are not sure whether it needs to be retrofitted, call one of Weinstein Construction’s experts for a free, no-obligation review of your situation.  We will be happy to come to your building and provide you with some much-needed peace-of-mind, helping you know for sure whether there are any problems that need to be fixed.
How much does it cost for a Foundation Repair?
A faulty foundation can cause an enormous amount of damage to your home.  The cost of repairing this damage can be very pricey and in some cases, it may not be possible to repair.  The price of a foundation repair is only a small fraction of what it can cost to fix the damage. When you buy a  foundation repair, you are not just paying to protect your home, but you are protecting the lives of everyone that lives there.  There is no price tag you can put on human life because it is priceless.
How long does it take to get the job done?
Typically, your home will have protection in 1-3 days.  Having said that, much depends on your home’s condition and what needs to be accomplished.  This type of a job typically does not take a very long time to complete, and it will do so much good for your home.  Don’t delay or take a chance that an earthquake will damage your home – call Weinstein Construction today for a free, no-obligation consultation!
How do I know if my home needs earthquake retrofitting?
If you home was built before the 1970s, then you may very well need earthquake retrofitting. Proper earthquake retrofitting in the greater Los Angeles was not a standard practice for most homes built before the 1970s.  Moreover, even if your home was retrofitted in some fashion in the 1970s, or was even built after the 1970s, there's still a substantial chance that your home will need additional support.   Why take the chance?  Call Weinstein Construction professionals for a free, no-obligation assessment of your home’s needs.  The next "Big One" can strike anytime, and you need to make sure that your home and family are as safe as they can possibly be.  Remember, when we talk about earthquakes, it’s not “if” the next “Big One” hits, it’s “when” it hits…
Do I need a permit for this service?
Yes.  You will need a permit for most earthquake retrofitting services.  However, Weinstein Construction professionals will take care of the entire permitting process for you (unless of course, you would like to do it on your own).  In most cases, home owners want us to make sure that all of the right permits are pulled correctly for the job we do.
How do I know if I need Drainage Services done?
Does your home have at least one of the following: a basement, a crawl space, a yard, or a hillside? If so, then your home needs a drainage system. While no one can stop rain from falling, Weinstein Construction professionals can control the way in which water drains, and in fact help drain water away from your home! It is a common mistake for people to ignore water issues because they do not think water can cause problems. However, such thinking can lead to expensive mistakes that can wind up costing home owners a lot of money. If you are still wondering if you need a drainage system, give us a call! We will come to your home and identify any drainage problems that you may have and our consultation is 100% free of charge and is undertaken on a no obligation basis!
Does my Crawl Space need to be repaired?
Crawl space problems can be very serious and should not be ignored.  If a problem exists in a crawl space, it must be taken care of ASAP. The trouble is, most people never go into their crawlspace, which means they cannot see if there is a problem exists until it’s too late, and the damage is done! Why take a chance?  The longer crawl space issues fester, the greater the damage to your home.  If you haven’t been inside your crawl space in a while, go inside and have a look.  If you want Weinstein Construction’s experts to go in, free-of-charge, and without obligation, just give us a call!  If you’ve been inside your crawl space and noticed any water, mold, damp areas, or dead critters, then you must take action immediately!  Water and dampness are a crawl space's worst enemy and mold can be very dangerous to the health and well-being of all who live in the home.   Beyond the health issues discussed above, water can rot the wood that is holding up your home, which may present a serious risk when the next earthquake hits.  If you are not sure whether you need crawl space repairs, call Weinstein Construction, and one of our expert inspectors will come to your home and inspect your crawl space at no charge, and without any obligation on your part!
Is it expensive to fix my crawl space?
Crawl space services are very affordable, especially when you compare their cost to the damage that can happen to your home from water intrusion, damp, rot, termites or pest infestation.   When crawl space problems get bad, the cost of repairing them can be very pricey. In a worst-case scenario, the damage can be so bad that it is not even repairable (for example, when deadly bacteria and mold spores overtake a home).  The price of having your crawl space protected is an investment that you make in your future. You know what they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”
Do I need a permit for Erosion Control Services?
Yes, most Erosion Control  services do require a permit for work to be done.  There is no need to stress about any of this though.  If permits are needed, we will take care of the entire process for you.  You are welcome to pull the permits yourself if you would like though.  We do everything by the books and make sure the proper permits are taken out for each job.
How long does Erosion Control Take?
Erosion Control can be finished in as little as a half of a day.  Some jobs may require more work and may take up to a week to complete.  It all depends on how much work needs to be done to completely stop the erosion. Some jobs need special materials ordered, which can take some extra time to arrive.  We try to complete all of our jobs as fast as we can, while still giving  you the best quality work.
How do I know if I need Erosion Control?
Is your home built on a slope? If the answer is yes, than it is more than likely you need erosion control.  If you notice any sort of erosion on or around your property, it should be taken care of ASAP.  If you are not sure if you need erosion control for your home, we are more than happy to help you out.  We will come to your home for a 100% FREE inspection, from there we will find out if there is any erosion problems and find the right solution to fix it.
How do I know if I need basement repair?
Most people in Southern California do not use their basement on a daily basis.  This fact can make it difficult for a home owner to tell if a basement needs repair (unless of course there are obvious problems!).  The difficulty is that by the time a home owner spots a basement problem, it may be too late for a quick, inexpensive fix. The right thing to do is to prevent basement issues from happening in the first place! Please be proactive and go down to your basement today and have a look around to see if you can spot any issues.  For example, can you see any water or dampness where it should not be? Can you spot any leaky pipes, water seeping in from the walls or ceilings, a bad or musty smell?  If you do, you must fix these issues immediately.   If you do not notice any of these problems, this does not mean that there are no problems in your basement.  Many problems, especially when they first appear, are not always observable to home owners. However, Weinstein Construction professionals are very experienced in spotting issues and will be happy to come to your home for a free, no-obligation inspection of your basement.  If you have a problem basement, we will be able to find the issues and offer you the right mitigation strategies that can not only fix the problem today, but help ensure you don’t have costly repairs in the future.  
What is Erosion Control?
Erosion is when something gets worn down by the forces of Mother Nature (Water, Wind, Waves, Glaciers).  In Southern California, WATER and WIND are the main causes of erosion.  Erosion Control is used to stop these forces from wearing down your home. Erosion can cause serious damage and needs to be taken care of ASAP.  Erosion is most common in homes that are built on a slope.  It starts to happen because of water that runs down the hill and onto the property. The water collects soil and debris on its way down the slope, which causes problems to anything in the way.  There are various methods to control erosion, but they all of one thing in common... To Protect Your Home.
How long will a Retaining Wall last?
Retaining walls are definitely made to last. Such walls are meant to be a permanent solution for your home. Unless something extreme happens and Mother Nature decides to really have her way with you, your wall should last as long as you live in your home. Once the wall is built, you should no longer need to worry about it again in the future, and your satisfaction is backed by Weinstein Construction’s exclusive service warranty!
How much does a Retaining Wall cost?
The price of a retaining wall really depends on how much you would like to spend. A basic retaining wall can cost as little as (BLANK).  If you would like to have a certain design and style, the prices will vary.  No matter what kind of retaining wall you choose, your home will have much better protection than it once had.
How does a retaining wall work?
The main purpose of a retaining wall is to help protect a home that is built on a slope. However, different types of walls use different methods to offer such protection. Retaining wall contractors in Los Angeles typically build a concrete retaining wall with solid concrete blocks and steel reinforcements. Such walls are built at a 90-degree angle on a specific place on the slope that can offer the most support. These concrete blocks are able to stop much, if not all, of the water, debris, and other substances from running on to your home. Basically, the pressure that builds up from run-off on the slope can cause the soil that is holding up your home to become loose and unstable, but a retaining wall can stop all the pressure that your house would normally have to take from these substances.
Does my home need a retaining wall?
If your home is built on a slope, it is more than likely than not that you should have a retaining wall as protection. As we discussed above, pressure build-up from water and soil can cause some very serious damage to your valuable property and erosion can take a toll on any structure that is not supported by a retaining wall. Look, if you live in the greater Los Angeles area, then you live in “Earthquake Country.” When (not “if”) the next "Big One" hits, you want your valuable financial investment, the home where your family lives, to have the most protection possible, at a price you can afford. A retaining wall can help give you the extra protection you need. If you are still not sure if you need a retaining wall, please call us and a Weinstein Construction professional will come to your home and give you a 100% free, no obligation inspection and consultation.
Do I need permits for basement repair or construction?
Your basement repair may, or may not require a permit.  Moreover, different basement jobs may require different permits.  It really all depends on the service you need. Rest assured that Weinstein Construction will always make sure the correct permits are pulled and that everything is done up to code.  We can take care of the whole permitting process for you, unless you wish to do so on your own. Our goal is always to provide you with the best possible service with the least amount of cost or hassle.
Is Basement Repair Expensive?
Basement repairs are actually more affordable than you may think.  Moreover, fixing a faulty basement is much cheaper than the cost of repairing the damages that can happen by not having the basement fixed.  It has been our experience that damages caused from basements can be very costly because they can wind up causing damage to the entire structure.  The professionals at Weinstein Construction will work with you to understand your basement issues and figure out the best and most affordable methods available for repairing your basement.
Where is all this water coming from?
Water can leak into your basement from a variety of places, for example, gutters, downspouts, leaking pipes, or improper grading around the foundation.  If there is any sort of entry way for water to come into your basement, be sure that water will find it! While not all of the entrances into your basement can be closed off, Weinstein Construction professionals can always find a way to direct water away from your basement.  If you want to understand how water is seeping into your basement, give the professionals at Weinstein Construction a call - we will come to your home for a free, no-obligation evaluation and consultation!
Is Foundation Repair Expensive?
We offer a variety of effective methods at different price ranges in order to fit every property owner’s needs. You can take a look above at some of our different service types, so that you can properly assess which method may be right for you. Many property owners are quick to make repairs on their own because we do not always realize the severity of the problem and of course we are always looking to save a few bucks. However, foundation repair is not something that you want to take any shortcuts with. The subsequent damage that can occur from not having your foundation repaired in a timely manner can be extremely costly. In some cases, the damage can be so bad your property is irreparable and can cause your entire investment to crumble. Having your foundation repaired is only a small fraction of what the subsequent damage can wind up costing you.
How do I know if my home needs leveling?
Are any of the floors in your house sloping? Do you have cracks in your walls or ceilings? Are you having trouble closing any of the doors or windows? When you walk around the house, do the floors squeak? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is more than likely that you need leveling done to your home.  Some of these problems may sound very common, but they should not be ignored.  If you are have any further concerns about leveling your home, feel free to give us a call.  We will come out to your home for a FREE inspection and let you know if there are any leveling problems.
Are there permits required for crawl space services?
Actually, no!  In most cases, this is a simple and cost-effective job that does not require a permit.  Occasionally, an extensive job may require a permit, but when this happens, we can take care of the whole permitting process for you.
Can I just seal my crawl space without the waterproofing options?
Yes, of course.  Some of our customers choose to simply seal their crawl space without adding waterproofing.  Having said that, Weinstein Construction’s experts will always recommend waterproofing options, just to be on the safe side, in case you experience a pipe leak or other damaging water intrusion.
Are there different options and prices that I can choose from?
Yes, of course.  There are a variety of options from you to choose from, all at various prices points that most home owners can afford.  Weinstein Construction professionals can come to your home as soon as the next day for a free, no-obligation inspection and consultation.  From there, we will give you as many different choices and prices to choose as are available, based upon the condition of your house and the amount of work we will need to do to make your home safer.  No matter what services you need and what kind of budget you are on, we will have the right solution for you!
Is it expensive to have my home earthquake retrofitted?
Do you drive your car without insurance?  If not, why would you live in a home that hasn’t been earthquake retrofitted?   We can say with certainty that it is much more affordable to retrofit your home against earthquakes, than it is to repair your home after it is damaged in an earthquake! The standard earthquake retrofitting job may cost a few thousand dollars, but the damage from a single earthquake can easily cost more than 10 times that amount.  Moreover, in some circumstances, the extent of earthquake damage may be so severe and extensive that the property is not repairable, forcing the home owner to either rebuild the home from scratch or purchase and move into a new home.  And so the question is, how can you put a cost on sleeping better at night, knowing that you and your family are safe? Of course such peace of mind is priceless! And don’t forget that you might even receive a discount on your homeowner’s insurance premiums!
What is a retaining wall?
Water from rain and other irrigation runs down a slope, causing erosion problems and damage to structures that are in the way. Moreover, dirt and debris that run down can also create a lot of pressure on your home, which then puts the stability of the structure in jeopardy. Weinstein Construction professionals can build retaining walls that hold back water, dirt, debris, and other substances from running down a slope and damaging your home. An additional, nice benefit of retaining walls is that they can also give your landscape a nice cosmetic touch-up, creating more space and a manicured appeal to your home, which in turn increases your home’s value.
Does my home’s foundation need to be repaired?
If your home was built before 1970, then the answer is YES.  There are a variety of different signs that your foundation needs repair.  One of the most common signs is if you have cracks in your walls or ceilings. As well as squeaky floors when you are walking around. Cracked concrete floors are another major sign that your foundation is in need of repair. There are other problems that may not be even more serious, but can not be seen as easily. If you have any doubts about the stability of your home, do not wait!   If you are not sure if you need a foundation repair, we will come to you for a FREE inspection.  If there is a problem, we will find it!
How can I tell if I have crawl space under my house?
A crawl space is just what the name says.  It is typically an unfinished space in your home’s basement or under its roof that you cannot stand up in, but need to crawl through. Crawl spaces are used to access wiring or plumbing pipes and other fixtures in your home that are typically difficult to control.  It is very likely that you have no desire to go crawl into such a space!     If you are adventurous and go looking for, but cannot find, a crawl space below your house, you may not have one.  However, if you have a crawl space and never inspected it, or if you are unsure, we will gladly come to your home for a free, no-obligation inspection and give you a definitive answer.  Crawl spaces should always be inspected, or you risk damaging your home!
Can I add a basement to my house?
Yes. Weinstein Construction professionals can build a brand-new basement in your home from scratch.  We can custom design the basement so that that it fits your specific needs. Your new basement can literally be used for anything, from storage space to a home theater or gym.  Don't let the extra space in your home go to waste – call Weinstein Construction today!
Will my property taxes be increased if I retrofit my home?
Under section 74.5 of the California revenue and taxation code, seismic retrofiting in Los Angeles work to an existing building is excluded from tax reassessment. To receive the exclusion, the assessor must be notified at least within 30 days of completion of the work. Contact the Los Angeles County Tax Assessor for details and current information.
How do I get a building permit?
Getting a building permit is nothing that you will need to worry about. First, we will crawl under your home to determine what details your plan will use. We will prepare a plan of your home, and will reference the details you should use. Second, we will take your plan to your city department of building and safety office. If your home does not have any special conditions and all your home needs is a department standard plan, pulling the permit will be pretty simple. If your home does have special conditions, your plan might need to be reviewed by an architect or engineer, who will review the plans and make necessary changes. It is then stamped and approved and sent back to the department of building and safety for final approval to move forward with obtaining the right permit to perform the work. The time-frame will vary depending on each city office and its requirements. Each permit has a permit fee that will cover the costs to review your plan, inspect the work and keep a permanent record of it.
Do I need a building permit?
Yes. The building permit process protects your interests by providing building inspections. We've done work in all cities in the Los Angeles County and we know exactly what we need to start each job and to get the right permits for each specific work that we are going to perform. In addition, knowledgeable and well trained city inspectors will check the quality and quantity of the work. This helps you make sure the job was done right. You will also have a permanent record in the city hall that the work was permitted and inspected.
How much does earthquake retrofitting cost?
Each project will vary on a case to case basis, depending upon the scope of work.  For example, a small apartment building with six units and one ordinary steel moment-resisting frame (OMF) and concrete grade beam footing may cost as low as $30,000 to retrofit, while other, larger apartment buildings, may be in the range of several hundred-thousand dollars to complete.  Each project will vary depending upon the structural integrity of the property. The damage that is caused from a soft story collapsing can cost you the entire building. The damage can be so bad that it is not even possible to repair.  This can be completely avoided if you have your soft story repaired. It is a very small price to pay to get your soft story retrofit completed compared to how much it can cost to repair the building damage following an earthquake.. You will be saving money on repairs and saving the lives of the people that live inside.
What are the benefits of retrofitting my home?
Strengthened homes are safer to live in and easier to sell and insure. The Northridge earthquake showed us that strengthened homes stayed on their foundation in the same neighborhoods where retrofitting had not been performed on certain homes. Some insurance will no longer insure a home unless this work is done. Sellers of a home must also disclose to buyers if their home is unbolted.
Is the inspection free? No hidden charges?
Absolutely. We only request a few minutes of your time to schedule the inspection and meet you on site. If your home is secured and doesn't need retrofitting, we'll tell you. If there are any problems, we can offer you the solutions.
How do I know if I need retrofitting?
Easy. Our trained inspectors will crawl under your home with a camera and a detailed check list. Crawl along with us if you like. You'll receive a detailed report on the condition of your foundation and any water damage that may have occurred which may jeopardize the safety of your home and your family. We won't ever sell you something that you don't need. It all depends on the condition, type of structure, type of construction, the age of the structure and the level of protection you want for your home.
What is retrofitting?
Simply stated, it's a process that ties a home together. It increase the resistance to earthquake damage and decreases the risk of injury. In short, it significantly strengthens the house.