Los Angeles | Only in LA

Master carpenter Norm Abram and host Kevin O'Connor stop by one of LA's major movie studios to find homeowner Kurt Albrecht at work in the animation division. Back in Silver Lake, Kevin finds the front of the house intact, but the back of the house is opened up wide from demolition—no walls or roof remain. Site supervisor Angel Leon shows Kevin the result of three weeks of work—a massive foundation form for the new addition that will meet LA's strict seismic code and "hillside ordinance" regulations. The challenges are getting five loads of concrete delivered up the narrow winding streets and a mix that tends to set up quickly in the California sun. Up in Stockton, California, Norm visits a facility where they replicate real earthquakes to help develop ways to protect buildings—and therefore people—from damage. After a few weeks of framing, structural engineer Jeff Ellis shows Norm how the building science has been applied to the house. In the basement, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey reviews the rough plumbing progress while the new heating and cooling systems are being installed.

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