About Us

You’ve found Portland’s most dedicated Seismic Retrofit Contractor!

Earthquake Tech started out in 1995 as Steve Gemmell Contracting, a sole proprietorship founded on the principles of owner-operated, hands-on construction contracting. It wasn’t until 1999 that we began to do seismic retrofitting as our primary business. Having just purchased a classic turn of the century Portland home, my dad asked me to get earthquake insurance. I contacted my insurance agent to inquire about earthquake insurance for my home. He asked me the magic question, “is your home bolted down?” My insurance agent advised in order to qualify for earthquake insurance my home needed to be bolted to the foundation. I approached an engineer, who we still work with today, to get the specifics of what was necessary to have my home bolted to the foundation and he explained how to do it properly. Seeing the need for a seismic retrofit contractor in the Portland area I committed to this work full time and Earthquake Tech was born.

I was my own first client and realized that operating as a dedicated seismic retrofit contractor I would be able to provide Portland area homeowners an invaluable service that was being underserved at that time. Today there are other seismic retrofit contractors out there, but our core values of progressive thinking, quality craftsmanship, referrals from our clients, and attention to detail are what have kept Earthquake Tech Portland’s most sought-after Seismic Retrofit Contractor.

Our Commitment to Your Safety as a Seismic Retrofit Contractor

Since our very beginning the safety of you – our clients – has been our number one company priority. We adhere to the following to make certain you are safe & satisfied with the seismic retrofit work that we perform.

  • We are Licensed, Bonded and Insured as a ‘Seismic Retrofit Contractor’: There are others who might perform this type of work but might not be insured as a ‘Seismic Retrofit Contractor’. This is important because an insurance company can deny an insurance claim based on a fraudulent application if a contractor does not disclose their true operations as a ‘Seismic Retrofit Contractor’. You ask why wouldn’t a contractor disclose their true operations to an insurance company? Because the commercial insurance is expensive for this type of work.
  • Hilti Certified: All our crew is certified by Hilti to professionally and accurately install Hilti anchors. These anchors, which include several varieties, are the highest quality products we’ve found to support heavy, dynamic loads, such as seismic and shock loads.
  • Products, Materials & Labor: The products and materials we use to retrofit your home are tested to rigid industry specifications and all employees are Hilti certified installers.
  • Custom Specifications: We use proprietary engineering & engineering schedules for every seismic retrofit & seismic rehabilitation job. A permit is always secured for retrofit work.
  • We Listen: Service and communication are a pillar of our success. We are always available to alleviate any concerns you might have about your retrofit project before, during, and upon completion.
  • References are Available: You can connect with previous clients for feedback on the level of work that has been performed.
  • Beyond Seismic Retrofitting: We are a General Contractor and can help you with additional improvements beyond your seismic retrofit.