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What You Need to Know

Contractors Participating in EBB

What You Need to Know - Contractors Participating in EBBContractors are vital to helping homeowners complete a code-compliant retrofit and providing the documentation required for the EBB grant payment.

Register to Participate in EBB

California general contractors with an A or B license in good standing may participate in EBB after registering and completing the FEMA free online seismic retrofit training. Once you've completed the training, you'll be added to the EBB Contractor Directory.

Get Hired

Once homeowners are accepted into EBB, they must choose a contractor from the EBB Contractor Directory unless they decide to do the work as an owner-builder. Once you're hired by an EBB participating homeowner, you and the homeowner will have access to a user-friendly online portal or dashboard, where one of you will upload required documents (such as the building permit and pre- and post-retrofit photos of the home).

The dashboard will also provide tips and guidelines for next steps. To ensure your client has a successful EBB retrofit experience and receives the grant money post-retrofit, it's very important you follow the directions provided in the Contractor Dashboard exactly.

Funding for EBB

EBB retrofit grants are funded by two different sources:

  • FEMA-funded grants, and
  • California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP) grants.

Each funding source has slightly different rules and requirements. Follow the instructions on your Contractor Dashboard carefully and review both the FEMA-funded and the CRMP-funded versions of the Program Rules, to ensure you meet the requirements for whichever funding program your client is in. One difference between the two programs is the number of required photos of the house exterior. For the FEMA-funded program, five exterior photos are required. Three exterior photos are required for the CRMP-funded program.

A Supplemental Grant may be available for income-eligible homeowners.

The Retrofit Work

Only code-compliant "brace" or "brace and bolt" retrofits qualify for EBB grants. To qualify:

  • The retrofit must be done in accordance with California Existing Building Code Chapter A3 or a standard plan set (Los Angeles Standard Plan No. 1 or Standard Plan Set A) or an engineered solution;
  • The house must have a cripple wall 4-feet or less in order for a contractor to use a standard plan set; or houses with cripple walls higher than 4 feet but not taller than 7 feet can qualify with an engineered plan by a Design Professional (engineer or architect); and
  • The water heater must be properly strapped.

Learn more about the EBB retrofit.

FIRST: Pre-Retrofit

After the homeowner is accepted into the EBB program, the pre-retrofit process can begin. The homeowner has 12 weeks (three months) to complete these pre-retrofit steps:

  •  Decide to hire a contractor on the EBB Contractor Directory or to be an owner/builder
  • Meet with contractors, receive bids and hire a contractor (if not a DIY)
  • The selected contractor accesses EBB's Contractor Dashboard
  • Contractor or homeowner obtains the building permit with the specified wording, according to the Program Rules
  • Contractor or homeowner takes pre-retrofit photos of the house per the directions on their EBB Dashboard
  • Contractor or homeowner uploads the following to the EBB Dashboard:
    • building permit
    • plans/drawings
    • required pre-retrofit photos
    • bid(s) if hiring a contractor

NEXT: The Retrofit

After your pre-retrofit documents are approved, the retrofit construction work may begin. The deadline to complete the retrofit job is shown on the EBB Dashboard and depends on the EBB program:

  • In the FEMA-funded program, all pre-retrofit documents will be forwarded to FEMA for review. Once FEMA approves (most likely 4-to-10 weeks after submission), EBB will notify the homeowner. The retrofit job must be completed within six months of receiving that notification.
  • In the CRMP-funded program, the deadline to complete the retrofit is nine months from the day the homeowner was originally accepted into the EBB program.

THEN: Post-Retrofit

After the retrofit job is completed, collect and upload the following required documentation (see Program Rules for details):

  • Contractor invoice for the retrofit work broken down by types of materials, labor (cost per hour and number of hours worked), overhead and profit;
  • Two photos of properly strapped water heater;
  • One photo of the crawl space access showing scale using ruler, yard stick, etc.;
  • Three photos of the crawl space after the retrofit work is completed;
  • For the FEMA-funded EBB program, upload five additional photographs of the exterior of the house (with a date stamp on all five) taken after the retrofit is complete; and
  • A signed building permit after the work is completed. Your building permit MUST reference "in accordance with..." Standard Plan Set A or Los Angeles City Standard Plan Set #1 or "Chapter A3 or an engineered plan."

Learn more about what happens after a homeowner is accepted into EBB.

We Are Here to Help

Please Contact Us with any questions about the retrofit process or EBB requirements. Also, you can find more information in the Program Rules.

See if Your Home Qualifies for an EBB Retrofit