NW Seismic

About

Founded 2003 • With Angi since November 2010

We are a family-owned business whose mission is to create a more seismically prepared Portland. In designing and implementing a retrofit plan tailored specifically to our client's homes, we hope to shorten the recovery time for Portland after the next Cascadia subduction earthquake. Our work is

Awards and Badges

Angi Certified

Business Highlights

Family Owned & OperatedFamily Owned & Operated
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Verified Reviews

4.8

(110) Verified Reviews

Ratings Distribution

5

96

4

4

3

4

2

3

1

3

Rating Details

Price

4.8

Professionalism

4.8

Punctuality

4.8

Quality

5.0

Responsiveness

4.7

Read reviews by category

earthquake retrofitting (100)foundation repair (34)drywall (5)gas leak repair (1)window replacement (1)plumbers (1)plastering (1)egress window (1)
Showing 1-25 of 110 reviews
5.0

01/22/2022


Mikel M.

NW Seismic made a very easy process for estimating and installation. Their drywall and plaster work was particularly well done. They also made some excellent recommendations regarding natural gas shut-offs and securing our water tank. Very professional from beginning to end. Would hire again anytime.

Description of Work
Earthquake retrofitting

Category drywall, earthquake retrofitting

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 01/22/2022

Service Provider Response

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. Yes, we are fortunate to have an extremely talented crew and homeowners who appreciate their efforts!
5.0

04/02/2021


David G.

Excellent. Can't recommend NW Seismic enough! They were timely, clean, and kept me in the loop of what they were doing. The permitting process was seamless and they provided a set of pictures for my records. Great company from top to bottom.

Description of Work
I needed the house to be tied to the foundation and a gas shut-off valve in case of an earthquake.

Category earthquake retrofitting

Cost $5,200

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 03/10/2021

5.0

12/15/2020


Paul C.

Tim and his crew were upfront and communicative throughout the entire process. They did a really good job of explaining what to expect and how it would go. The onsite project manager was great in his communication. Kept me up to date. And the crew was fantastic, especially the crew lead, who was very thorough in setting up plastic to protect the space, and did an amazing job. He clearly takes pride in his work, which I always appreciate. They were also consistent about following COVID-19 prevention measures, which is a top consideration for me these days. We had to have old wood paneling removed, and the crew was able to re-install it, which was not part of the original contract. They did a fantastic job, and I'm really happy with the result

Description of Work
We used NW Seismic to install an egress window in our basement, as well as replace our four other basement windows, which were old, starting to rot, only single pane glass, and had to be taped up to keep cold air from coming in during the winter (not to mention toxic smoke this past September).

Category egress windows, replacement windows

Cost $9,000

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 11/23/2020

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Review for NW Seismic - 1230 NE 63rd Ave, Portland, OR - 39085595

+3 More

5.0

09/11/2020


Greg L.

I like working with people who are frank. "This is going to be really loud." And it was! But now we feel more comfortable that we had a top-notch company retrofit the house. They were very professional and when they left, the basement was cleaner than when they came.

Description of Work
Earthquake retrofitting

Category earthquake retrofitting

Cost $8,950

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 09/11/2020

5.0

11/21/2019


Claude S.

Needless to say, this was a huge job (6+ weeks). Given how much can go wrong with something at this scale, it went remarkably well. We were able to use our house 100% the entire time. They worked from precise engineering drawings and specs using a top notch engineering firm, and also adapted to the inevitable unexpected. There were some minor change orders that upped the price a little, but all reasonable. They built the footers, rebar, blocking, and other reinforcement to a very high standard - well beyond what would otherwise pass as a foundation build. A few minor negatives, but nothing that would stop me from hiring them. Communication prior to the job start was not good. As for the quote, don't expect detailed line items and descriptions about what is and isn't included. But they are honest and straightforward, so in a sense, this can work just fine if you're comfortable without documentation and can roll with some on-the-fly decisions. Big jobs on old homes inevitably require this. Also, I don't know that I would have them do extensive finish work, especially if you need much of your basement interior restored after the work. The restoration of some electrical (ceiling lights, circuits) and basement sink was kind of sloppy. My sink is still out of level. But as for replacing a foundation and reinforcement, they really know what they are doing. The other items are minor.

Description of Work
complete foundation replacement - replaced basement windows and exterior door

Category foundation repair, earthquake retrofitting

Cost $97,000

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 11/01/2019

5.0

05/17/2019


Judith L.

We are really grateful to have found this company at a disaster prep fair in Multnomah Village. Tim Cook is very knowledgeable, not loathe to explain what can and can't be known (perfect sign of a real pro!). Sarah Turner in the office is unfailingly pleasant, efficient and responsive. The gentlemen who did the work in the crawl space arrived exactly when they said they would and were meticulous workmen - including in preventing any mess and caring for our home. (Seriously - the hallway they traversed may have been cleaner after they left!) Joe, who installed a gas meter shut-off was terrific - on-time, thorough, careful. Lots of integrity in this company.

Description of Work
Seismic retrofitting of crawl space and shut-off valve installed on gas meter.

Category earthquake retrofitting

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 04/15/2019

5.0

03/06/2019


Elisabeth F.

My sister had used NW Seismic for her retrofit some years ago. When I finally got around to looking for estimates, I really appreciated their online scheduling. Even better, when I finally had the money almost a year later, the prices had not changed. I was worried about scheduling, because the workers would need access to various parts of the house which would make it difficult to keep our dogs out of their way. However, someone came to my house to look at options and help me figure out something that would work. They got us on the calendar at our convenience. When the workers came, they were prompt and efficient; even the inspection went by in a blink. All my emails and questions were answered quickly and pleasantly. Overall I'm very happy with the work done, and how quickly and painlessly it was done.

Description of Work
Bolted 1 story 1300sqft house to foundation and slab for earthquake resistance

Category earthquake retrofitting

Cost $4,200

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 03/05/2019

5.0

11/02/2018


Geoff P.

The estimator, Tim, showed up on time and was very professional. He explained in detail what work he would recommend and what was unnecessary (e.g. our 1998 addition did not require retrofitting). When the work began, Jose and Genaro showed up on time and worked diligently to complete the work. All of the hardware and the gas valve were installed the first day and the next day was dedicated to repairing drywall cuts in our basement. The project manager, Sarah, stopped by to check out the progress. The crew did a wonderful job and even repaired some other drywall damage and re-secured our water heater free of charge! And the work areas were spotless when they left. Highly recommended!

Description of Work
We wanted our 1940s house seismically retrofitted to better withstand an earthquake. We also wanted an automatic gas shutoff valve installed.

Category earthquake retrofitting

Cost $3,900

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 10/08/2018

5.0

10/15/2018


John W.

A very professional contractor. All planning and work was clearly defined, and notices and follow-ups were timely and accurate. Fair pricing, no surprises. I can't think of a single negative.

Description of Work
seismic retrofitting of foundation and sheer wall

Category earthquake retrofitting

Cost $6,000

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 09/26/2018

5.0

07/09/2018


Sally L.

The project went smoothly, and all the personnel we dealt with seemed like wonderful people. The quality of the work was excellent.

Description of Work
Seismic retrofitting on a finished basement, plus installation of a earthquake cut-off valve for the natural gas line.

Category earthquake retrofitting

Cost $5,500

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 05/07/2018

5.0

05/20/2018


Amber B.

Our home was built in 1930 and has required a lot of attention over the years. This company, by far, was one of the easiest and most professional experiences we have had. They came out the day after I called for the estimate. Our estimate was exact (that never happens nor do I expect it anymore) and the team arrived at the exact time they said they would. The job was completed on time and they were very respectful of our home. The inspection occurred the next day. I expected more of a mess but they cleaned up well! I strongly recommend this company.

Description of Work
Seismic Retrofit and Gas Shutoff Valve placement

Category earthquake retrofitting

Cost $3,150

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 05/14/2018

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Review for NW Seismic - 1230 NE 63rd Ave, Portland, OR - 37083558

+2 More

5.0

04/07/2018


Kristin G.

A representative came to our home (built before modern earthquake codes) to give us an estimate for retrofitting our home. He patiently and thoroughly answered our questions and was very knowledgeable. After looking under our home, he let us know that our home was already very structurally secure and that adding brackets would not make it more stable in an earthquake. We were thankful for his honesty, and felt confident in his knowledge.

Description of Work
Estimate for seismic retrofitting

Category earthquake retrofitting

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 04/07/2018

5.0

02/02/2018


Janet B.

I have been looking for someone to advise me on whether our house needed attaching to the foundation (to resist earthquakes). NW Seismic was by far the most knowledgable. They also gave me the best advice. An example - one other provider told me that the exterior of the house was ok, but that we could attach the interior posts to the house (for a cost of $5,000). When Tim came to check out our house, he mentioned that there was no need to attach those posts - that there was no record of post failure causing a house to collapse. He said the most we would need to do , if anything, was to add some connections to the ends of the house. We decided to do this. He showed me examples, explained what they would do. We scheduled the work, the crew showed up on time, completed the work on time, cleaned up completely. My husband went under the house to see what was done, he was impressed that they did the work so well - especially on the parts that were hard to get to. I was very happy NW Seismic!

Description of Work
they adding bolts to connect the house to the foundation

Category earthquake retrofitting

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 01/08/2018

Service Provider Response

Thank you for the nice review. That is correct. Based on FEMA-performed earthquake forensics, posts walking out from the center beam have never been an observed cause of building failure (as long as you don't strap a water heater to one of the posts). The cause is the building moved off the foundation which can be prevented with perimeter anchoring.
5.0

01/26/2018


Michael C.

Very quickly and efficiently. Great crew , fast and good mannered. Work involved different solutions to suit home design in order to bolt our home to its basement walls. They cleaned up nicely after their work.

Description of Work
Earthquake-proof our home which was built in 1934.

Category earthquake retrofitting

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 12/27/2017

4.0

12/19/2017


Howard F.

After an inspection, they recommended some additional support for our second story over the garage and an earthquake shutoff for the gas line. We authorized them to do the work. They let us know that it would take a while to get to the job, and we had no problem with that. In fact, they came within the time estimate. The structural work was done professionally, and we are quite satisfied with that. They sent a young man to do the gas line. Afterwards, over a period of time I occasionally smelled a whiff of gas from the line, but thought that might be normal. I eventually decided to have NW Natural come out to check it. They informed me that the pipe NW Seismic installed was leaking gas and fixed it. I understand that NW Seismic now has a new person doing gas shutoffs, so maybe this will not reoccur, but feel that a gas leak is dangerous enough to warrant the B rating.

Description of Work
Additional structural support and gas line shutoff

Category earthquake retrofitting

Services Performed? Yes

Work Completed On 07/19/2015

Service Provider Response

The defective part, installed in 2015, was a "street elbow," which we no longer use -- for this reason. In the course of installing earthquake-activated gas shut-off valves over the years, we encounter many situations where either the gas plumbing or the meter itself is leaking. We always encourage customers to let us know if they smell gas at the meter, in which case we are only a phone call away. We test for leaks before we leave the job but occasionally these old meter pipes lose their tolerance and begin to leak. And while I could list many reasons why a miner gas leak is undesirable, there is absolutely no safety risk from a gas leak of this size unless the gas can somehow find it's way into a concealed space, and then reach a fairly high concentration (which was not the case here). The leak at Mr [Member Name Removed]'s house was not significant enough to create a flame when a lighter was held to it.
5.0

12/08/2017


Andrew K.

Their estimator came and did a thorough estimate, which he promptly emailed to us. The estimate was conditional on our foundation being sound enough for the anchor bolts to be effective. When NW Seismic sent their workers to test drill our foundation, they drilled and refilled holes in three basement walls. The test indicated that the foundation was not solid enough to hold the anchors. We very much respect the honesty and high standards of NW Seismic, so we had them install an earthquake actuated gas shutoff valve. They did that beautifully and made sure all our gas appliances were working afterward. The reason that we called NW Seismic initially is that we had seen their excellent work anchoring a friend's house. Seeing the great work they did on their house and that they were unwilling to install on an unsound basement in our house gives me good reason to recommend them to any homeowner considering a seismic retrofit.

Description of Work
We asked them to do an estimate for a Seismic retrofit on our 90 year old Portland bungalow.

Category earthquake retrofitting

Cost $450

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 12/08/2017

5.0

11/17/2017


Haley I.

It went well. They explained what they were going to do and why. They arrived on time, did the work, checked in with us at the end. Really glad I went with them!

Description of Work
Retrofit of our 1929 wood-frame house.

Category earthquake retrofitting

Cost $3,500

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 09/28/2017

5.0

08/27/2017


Alyssa M.

Super smooth install, would answer any questions I had while they went along.

Description of Work
A seismic retrofit - which included the following: install six Simpson side plate anchors to connect sill plate to foundation; Simpson L90 / LTP4 shear transfer ties to connect floor diaphragm to sill/top plate; and install a Northridge 2000 earthquake-activated gas shutoff valve at the gas meter.

Category earthquake retrofitting

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 08/16/2017

2.0

05/26/2017


Stephen P.

Summary I’ll only briefly summarize what ended up being a 17 month long ordeal and one of the most negative service experiences we’ve ever had. While we were initially very impressed with Michael’s confidence and clear expertise in the field, we found that this ultimately didn’t make up for very poor communication and very poor “bedside manner.” We had extended a lot of positive intent toward Michael, assuming much of his communication delays were due to his heavy work schedule, but we can now only assume that Michael was valuing other projects over ours. His final estimate ended up exceeding a competing company's solution (by more than $10k), despite him originally highlighting how his solution was better, and more economical than theirs. Most importantly though, the reliability and clarity of communication from him was absolutely terrible. For these reasons we can strongly say that we cannot recommend Michael and NW Seismic to anyone. Timeline * 3/11/15 - Initial site visite and verbal estimate ($50-60k) * 6/23/15 - Michael indicates likely start date is Spring, ’16 * 4/15 - 1/16 - Michael is slow to respond to emails and unclear regarding the engineer’s site visit requirements; most times his replies are delayed by several months. * 2/9/16 - We finally get an update that we’re “number 9 on the list.” * 5/30/16 - Spring arrives so we check in to get an update on schedule… no response until… 2.5 months later. * 8/15/16 - Michael sends a written estimate of $76k “to reflect current costs,” though this represents a 40-50% increase from the original. He notes that he understands if this causes us “to change [our] priorities.” * 8.15.16 - We reply via Email that "we're feeling significant 'sticker shock'" and "need time to digest" * 8.16.16 - We reply that “our priorities haven’t changed” and that “we are in complete disbelief over the increase,” We explained that his bid is way over competing solutions and we “waited patiently for a year and a half” and request that he reconsider his estimate. * We’ve received no response from Michael… to this day (5/26/17)

Description of Work
New foundation with seismic retrofit

Category foundation repair, earthquake retrofitting

Cost $76,000

Work Completed On 05/26/2017

Service Provider Response

I regret not being more forthcoming with [Member Name Removed]. What I had proposed to him was not presented as "better," but rather more convenient, since he wouldn't be required to vacate the house during the project. Once inside the house, I realized that replacing the foundation really made no economic sense, as the house really needed to be razed and rebuilt, making it a particularly unattractive project for us. Usually folks come to that realization on their own, sometimes helped by a contractor who quotes a very high price in hopes of avoiding the project. Between the time I first quoted this project and later re-quoted, we were able to get a better grasp of our actual costs. This was reflected in the re-quote, and I went into great detail explaining why the cost increased. This happens frequently when a year or two goes by between the original quote and finally scheduling the work. [Member Name Removed] is the only person to ever take offense, but since it was on top of poor communication on my part, again, due to lack of interest, perhaps it's warranted.
5.0

05/25/2017


Happy B.

This company was ON TIME, PROFESSIONAL, and very KNOWLEDGEABLE. Ryan made sure we knew what to expect and when. The workmen were thoughtful and industrious. When they left, our basement was cleaner than when they arrived!! They also do great outreach work in the community. We highly recommend their seismic refitting services.

Description of Work
seismic refitting on a 100 year old farm house

Category earthquake retrofitting

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 05/25/2017

2.0

05/02/2017


chris M.

The work was great. The scheduling was terrible. They promised a 1 day job, and then when they didn't finish, said they'd be back the next business day (so, my basement was unlivable all weekend. I live in my basement.). They called when they were supposed to show up saying they weren't going to make it. not much in the way of apology. I was unable to get them to come back to finish for 10 days. So, my house was torn up that whole time. Would not recommend them based on this.

Description of Work
Earthquake reinforcement

Category earthquake retrofitting

Cost $5,498

Services Performed? Yes

Work Completed On 04/03/2017

Service Provider Response

This was a finished space, and there was no way to know we'd find anything out of the ordinary behind the wall finish, but it turned out that someone had long ago dumped concrete block and mounds of concrete between the furred out finished wall and the foundation walls, cobbled together a mishmash of framing and then covered everything up. Additionally, the conditions we found (non-standard construction) wouldn't allow for us to use the off-the-shelf hardware we'd planned on. Rather than leaving the homeowner with a mess, we were able to come up with another approach in-house to complete a high quality retrofit. This presented a serious scheduling conflict for us, since we hadn't budgeted for the amount of time we'd need to address this, but the bigger problem was that the homeowner insisted he be present during construction, which meant we had no access for 5 working days and two weekends. This accounts for 9 of the 10 days he claimed the job was delayed. The intention seemed clear to use the review sites to leverage another large discount out of us. Tim
5.0

04/25/2017


Jim U.

Excellent. Very knowledgeable, professional, and responsive.

Description of Work
Seismic retrofit. Included installing various types of hardware, extra studs, removal and replacement of drywall, installation of automatic gas shut-off valve.

Category drywall, earthquake retrofitting