Few things can be more disrupting to your life than a house fire. In addition to the feelings of sadness and loss that can result from seeing your home and the valuables within it go up in smoke you will also have to make some very tough decisions.
One of the toughest can be whether or not to rebuild a house after a fire. In this article we are going to take a closer look at how to rebuild a house after a fire as well as how to make the difficult decision of whether to rebuild or sell.
First, Let’s Look at How to Rebuild a House After a Fire
- Your first step after your home has been damaged by fire is to contact your insurance agent. You must set the claims process in motion as quickly as possible. Once you have contacted your agent and started that process, then you can move to step 2.
- Step 2 is to bring in a professional fire restoration contractor. It is important that you work with someone who has specific experience and training rebuilding homes after fires. That’s because rebuilding a home after a fire can be much more difficult than other types of rebuilds. For instance, after a fire smoke and potentially hazardous residue will have to be dealt with properly – that requires workers with the right experience and training.
- Once you have found a professional fire restoration contractor you can then have him or her assess the damage to your home. As part of this process, you restoration contractor can recommend a structural engineer to come in and determine if your house is safe to live in or if it should be torn down. As part of his or her inspection, the structural engineer will closely study a variety of areas of your house, including interior load-bearing walls, the basement, second floor and attic joists, the foundation and the basement walls.
- If the house is deemed livable, you can then begin the rebuild. You should start this process by securing your house. That means securing all but one entryway and boarding up all broken windows. Securing your property is important because it will help deter vandalism. In fact, most insurance companies require you to secure a house that has been damaged by fire as soon as possible.
- After the property has been secured, your restoration contractor can recommend licensed carpenters and electricians who do work on fire-damaged homes. The rebuild process should start by focusing on the structure first. You want to ensure the home’s structural integrity, which may include replacing trusses and floor joists that were damaged in the fire as well as securing interior framework.
- Once the necessary structural repairs have been made, the rebuild process should then focus on inspecting and repairing the electrical system. Again you will need to work with a licensed electrician who has experience and training in repairing electrical systems damaged by fire. This professional will closely look at your breaker box and all wiring, outlets and fixtures in the home and will test them for safety and proper functionality.
- After the electrical system is repaired, workers can then focus on repairing other fire damage. This work will also include dealing with smoke and water damage. For example, there could be mold growth in water damaged sheetrock. There could also be smoke stains and soot residue in a variety of areas. Air ducts could also be contaminated and need to be cleaned.
Those are the major steps for how to rebuild a house after a fire. It can be a quite lengthy process so try to be as patient as possible. Getting stressed out and angry isn’t going to help the situation and could, in fact, end up harming your health. So try to remain calm, the repair process could take anywhere from several weeks to several months or even longer.
One More Tip on How to Rebuild a House After a Fire …
Document everything! The truth is rebuilding a home can be very expensive and keeping detailed records can make dealing with the insurance company and getting reimbursed for at least some of those costs much easier.
So how much does it cost to rebuild a house after a fire?
Costs will naturally range depending on the amount of damage the fire produces.
According to thumbtack.com, a site where visitors can find professionals “for almost anything,” including fire restoration contractors, the average cost to rebuild a house after a fire can be $3,500 to $5,000 for a small fire and more than $50,000 for larger fires that damage a home’s structure or roof.
When it comes for rebuilding costs for a fire-damaged home those costs can escalate quickly due to all the different types of restoration that can be involved.
You may need to pay highly trained professionals to rebuild everything from your house’s structure to its electrical system to its HVAC system. You will also most likely need to get rid of water and water damage and deal with smoke damage and soot residue.
Even if you are able to salvage certain items like furniture and carpet you will still most likely need to remove odors and other residue which can be a tedious and expensive process.
Many homeowners, after realizing how long and how expensive it can be to rebuild a house after a fire, decide to sell instead.
The good news is there are companies, like We Buy Fire Damaged Houses that work specifically with homeowners whose houses have been damaged by fire.
These companies buy the houses for a good price and then are able to leverage their relationships with experienced and talented professionals to get the house rebuilt faster and for less money that it would typically cost a homeowner.
This creates a win-win situation for the company and the homeowner who receives money they can then use to buy a new home.
To learn more about We Buy Fire Damaged Houses and to see if they would be interested in buying your fire damaged home fill out the form below.