-Not Logged In-

Jump to content

Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

- - - - -

Need Advice: Fire Recovery

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 of 10 OFFLINE   Chris


    Lead Actor

  • 6,790 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 1997

Posted December 13 2007 - 05:28 PM

Ok, I need some advice. Recently (Tuesday) our residential house "Burned down" (quite literally, it's a complete loss). Our insurance has been insanely great, was there within hours, cut checks, provided temporary housing and should have us in a rental home before the weekend. This morning, we met with the first set of contractors.. individuals that were initially hired by the insurance company for emergency means (to board up the house, required by our city, etc. shut off water, etc.). Now, today, we did the second walk through. There is absolutely nothing salvagable in the house, everything, all furniture, rooms, etc. all completely destroyed (to give an idea, the refrigerator melted and is now basically a flat brick). While the obvious is true (this is the WORST possible timing for this; our store is at the busiest in the holiday season and now I'm having to get in extra help to fill in for me, and I can't supervise employees/handle as many tasks) it's easily the most pressing thing on my plate now. So far, I really like the contractors that were "handed us". They are friendly, etc. and, should we go with a contractor that's on the "approved" list from our insurance carrier, any "over runs" are something they guarantee to cover, which is luckily part of a signed agreement we already have. There are other contractors I could call in, but surprisingly, the one that the insurance company brought in is at least one I know of, so I'm not as leary. Still, I'm "dazed" with the freshness of being thrown out of my house (jeebus, how I will miss my HT, trading a 60" grand wega for a 19" Hotel TV sucks bigtime). I don't want to just say "yes, yes, do it, start building" to these contractors if I should be bringing in tons of people. So I'm interested in hearing all advice that I can.
My Current DVD-Profiler

"I've been Ostrafied!" - Christopher, Sopranos 5/6/07

#2 of 10 OFFLINE   Brandon_T



  • 1,900 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 03 2000

Posted December 13 2007 - 05:39 PM

I really feel for you Chris. My family lost our house to a fire when I was 12, it was so hard to get over losing the sentimental things. I have no pictures of when I was a kid to look back upon. Good luck in this long journey you are about to take. Second, the contractors are completely your call, remember that. My house was damaged last month when a woman decided to run her car into the front of my home. My insurance company(Hastings) has been wonderful and willing to work with me on many options, and told me I can find any contractor, but recommended one. Luckily I knew the guy a little that they recommended so that helped and I have been very happy. Good luck and look at the bright side, you get to upgrade and have fun knowing it isn't really your money, although it can never replace what you lost.

#3 of 10 OFFLINE   Kevin Hewell

Kevin Hewell


  • 2,097 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 28 2003

Posted December 13 2007 - 06:35 PM

I'm so sorry, Chris, for your loss. Thank the lords you have good insurance.

#4 of 10 OFFLINE   Chris


    Lead Actor

  • 6,790 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 1997

Posted December 14 2007 - 12:11 AM

Yeah, that's kind of how I feel about now. The recommended on; not really pushed one.. they had to get someone within 24 hours to do some things that were legally required, which they took care of. I "know" this contractor (their office is about 6 blocks from mine) and so I'm not totally unfamiliar with them, which helps. I told them I had a few subs that are clients of mine I want to use, but they've been incredibly great about working with me. So, that's all very good about letting me chose almost anything. I'll say that again: thank god for insurance. There are some things we can't replace, but outside of a rough couple of weeks at the beginning (mostly due to time of year) the rest should be OK.
My Current DVD-Profiler

"I've been Ostrafied!" - Christopher, Sopranos 5/6/07

#5 of 10 OFFLINE   Michael_K_Sr



  • 1,351 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 14 2005
  • Real Name:MichaelK
  • LocationChicago 'burbs

Posted December 14 2007 - 12:34 AM

Totally feel for you, Chris. We had a terrible house fire back in '82. Took us six months to get back in. By all means go with a contractor you're comfortable with. After our fire, the insurance company brought in a contractor that clearly had an edict to perform all reconstruction on the cheap. Whenever I go over to my mom's (she still lives there) I still shake my head at some of the shoddy workmanship that they approved. Posted Image

#6 of 10 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

Patrick Sun

    Studio Mogul

  • 38,348 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 30 1999

Posted December 14 2007 - 12:37 AM

I can't offer more than the usual "ask around for local suggestions on contractors from friends and family, and ask for references and try to visit sites of homes rebuilt by them" but I wish all the luck and patience to you and your family after such a disaster has occured, especially around the holidays, but am glad no one was physically hurt (there will always be some sentimental pangs of loss of stuff that isn't replaceable, but you just have to get on with the business of living as you rebuild).
"Jee-sus, it's like Iwo Jima out there" - Roger Sterling on "Mad Men"
Patcave | 2006 Films | 2007 Films | Flickr | Comic-Con 2012 | Dragon*Con 2012

#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Colin Davidson

Colin Davidson

    Second Unit

  • 401 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 06 1999

Posted December 14 2007 - 03:06 AM

Chris - Sorry to hear of your loss. If I read correctly in your first post the contractors that you initially got were provided by your insurance company and on their approved list. Other than the cost overun protection (which is nice to have) if they are on the "approved" list will the insurance company go to bat for you should there be a problem with the contractor or the services they provide? I would also recommend checking with the Better Business Bureau in your area. If your state requires contractors to be licensed and bonded I would check with them to see if there have been any complaints filed against the company. This hopefully would give you some measure of comfort in selecting them. Best of luck!

#8 of 10 OFFLINE   Bob Graz

Bob Graz

    Supporting Actor

  • 798 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 26 2002

Posted December 14 2007 - 09:33 AM

I had about $12,000 in water damage a number of years ago. I asked my agent for a contractor reference. Apparently in this case they weren't suppose to recommend contractors, but she gave me a name. I used them and they were great. They had a very good reputation, they were familiar and knew how to work with the insurance company and everything went great. I ended up using them for a couple of projects afterwards. My suggestion would be to try to get references before selecting any contractor. Good luck with replacing your house. I hope it all works out for you.

#9 of 10 OFFLINE   Greg_R



  • 1,998 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 09 2000
  • Real Name:Greg
  • LocationPortland, OR

Posted December 14 2007 - 11:33 AM

You are right to be cautious... there are many horrible contractors out there. I would be wary that some of them would have some sort of kick back deal with the insurance carrier (cut a certain amount of corners to save costs and get a kick back from the insurer, etc.). The sad reality is that whichever contractor you choose, you will need to be constantly supervising the building process (i.e. daily visits).

#10 of 10 OFFLINE   Chris


    Lead Actor

  • 6,790 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 1997

Posted December 14 2007 - 12:32 PM

I checked with the BBB, and so far, all very good on this company. (for the most part). The subs that I have that I want to use (primarily since they either owe me money or are clients, and since I have direct access to their books, I know I won't get cheated) are in the roofing and HVAC business. So, I figure that helps. I met with the contractor who did the original work and so far, I've been really happy with how willing they are to change their ideas based on what I think, and ideas they have... which is a perk. And when I commented I wanted to bring in a lot of subs I know, they didn't balk at all, which I thought was also a positive, rather then being some hard ass about "we use our own people". We're doing the inventory itemization now. What a pain in the ass.
My Current DVD-Profiler

"I've been Ostrafied!" - Christopher, Sopranos 5/6/07

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users