As Puerto Ricans, Floridians and Texans begin to rebuild their homes and communities from the damage caused by Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey, we’d like dedicate a blog post offering advice to homeowners and business owners on how they can rebuild following catastrophic weather-related events. Although no one wants to get hit by a hurricane, having to rebuild or do major repairs is an opportunity to upgrade your home and, in some instances, your quality of life. Here are some tips from General Contractor Alexander Wertheim, president of SPACiO Design Build.
Remove Sheetrock, Insulation and Flooring Immediately
If your home is damaged by flooding or storm surge, you need to remove your sheetrock and insulation as soon as the water recedes to prevent mold. You should also remove flooring such as carpet or hardwood floors if you can’t dry them out. Tile is the best since you only need to clean it. If you’re on a tight budget, you can rip out the drywall yourself but we would recommend hiring a professional general contractor to tape and float it.
Hiring a General Contractor
While you can do some of the work yourself such as ripping out the drywall, you will most likely need to hire a general contractor to help you rebuild. You should be careful of scams that often follow hurricanes. Everyone and their mother will slap a magnet on the side of their truck and say they are a general contractor. We suggest checking licenses online, asking for references and even doing a site visit to look at the contractor’s prior work. Make sure the contractor holds liability and workers’ compensation insurance, and you are added as an additional insured on any policy while work is being done on your site. If a bank is involved, it should name the bank as well.
Opportunity to Renovate and Upgrade
You can upgrade to higher-end cabinets in your kitchen and bathrooms if they suffered from water damage. If you need to remove the sheet rock, think about adding French or sliding glass doors to the backyard or throughout the house where there used to be a wall, or expanding the kitchen and closets. It’s also a good time to update to PVC piping if your current home or business has lead, copper or steel pipes as well as renovate the electric wiring throughout your home and adding an AV system. Lastly, you can think about creating a smart home.
Fortifying your Home and Business
As you rebuild and renovate your home or business, you should consider updating your home with the latest storm proof materials. It would a good time to install hurricane impact windows and reinforced and wind resistant garage doors. For a comprehensive list of the products available, read this article titled “8 ways to protect your home against tornadoes and hurricanes.”