Earthquake Braces Invented to Protect Your “Soft Story” Building


If your soft-story building has a garage door, or gas or electric service, or lower-level parking, chances are you do not have a whole lot of room to install a steel "moment-frame" that may be needed to brace the building to resist earthquakes. Now there is an alternative: SkinnyBraces.

SkinnyBraces were invented by a California structural engineer just for such buildings--real ones.  We saw how much money building owners wasted on moving an electrical panel (or gas meter, sewer line, garage door opener, etc.) before they could even start installing the steel frame around their garage door opening to brace a soft story condition.

SkinnyBraces install faster than welded steel frames.  In one configuration it took less than eight minutes to raise the SkinnyBrace off the floor and secure it in place to the structural framing above the garage. All the components bolt together or fasten to wood framing with self-drilling structural screws--no need for on-site welding (or the fire hazard and special inspection costs associated with welding).  Our special connection brackets adjust to fit between existing wood framing members typically found in older buildings.  In addition, built-in connection points allow you to attach a hoist for positioning the SkinnyBrace assembly.

"SkinnyBrace" installation to brace the second floor of a house above a garage. SkinnyBraces are available in sizes to brace single-family homes up to multi-unit apartment buildings.

SkinnyBraces have replaceable components.  If an earthquake strikes, the patented "structural fuses" can be replaced by removing three bolts.  Our next competitor's product that claims to have replaceable parts requires removing 40 to 48 bolts!  And our other competitor?  Well, during a quake their steel frame simply becomes a 2,500-pound piece of trash that you have to remove and replace (possibly even jack-hammering out the concrete foundation it is anchored to).

SkinnyBraces far exceed earthquake loading standards.  If you want to embrace your inner nerd, check out our Technical Info section.  Otherwise, know that when industry standards require a safety factor of at least 2-1/2, SkinnyBraces have safety factors as high as 4-1/2.