After a fire has wreaked havoc on your home that last thing you want to do is spend countless hours researching Houston’s home renovation process.
The goal of this site is to help save you time, arm you with important relevant information that can help get your property restored as fast as possible while providing you with some knowledge. This way instead of taking a stab in the dark, you’ll at least be able to make an informed decision and hopefully find the contractor that’s right for you.
Before calling a contractor to restore your fire damaged home in Houston, you should have a the very least, a written list of questions that you will be asking in the meeting. Most homeowners fail to ask the same questions in each meeting and will usually realize later (when they’re not happy) they “assumed” the contractor who they hired had the same amount of insurance, warranty or protocol for unforeseen repairs.
Whether the fire has occurred in a single or multiple rooms throughout the house, knowing what to ask can save you time, frustration or having to fire your contractor midway into the project. I can’t stress enough, the importance of not only asking questions, but listening to the responses and taking notes. Many homeowners become overwhelmed with the process of scheduling appointments with contractors and no- shows, which leads to frustration… and out of frustration they’ll base their decision on price.
Below are 9 questions to help you find a contractor that’s a good fit for you.
These simple questions may reduce your frustrations or being taken advantage of when searching for the right company to repair your fire damaged property. If nothing else, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared!
Q: Have you restored a fire damage home in Houston?
There is a big difference between hiring a contractor that does repairs vs. a contractor that is experienced with fire, storm or flood damaged repairs. Imagine having the renovations completed and a week later the odor, stains or mold start bleeding through your freshly painted walls.
Q: What are the City of Houston requirements needed for the renovation process?
A fire damaged home has to be cleared by the Fire Marshall, whereas a storm or flood damaged home doesn’t. An experienced contractor will know and understand that additional permits may be required from the City of Houston to restore your home. Your mortgage and insurance company may request a copy of the permits (if required) to add to your file.
Q: Can you explain the process use to restore my home?
An experienced contractor should be able to provide specific information on how the process will go based on previous customer’s projects. It’s not realistic to expect a detailed time schedule in the initial meeting. Pay close attention to their answers. Are they giving vague answers? Avoiding the question? Or just saying Yes I can do the work without explaining how.
Q: Do you work with insurance companies?
Working with insurance companies will delay the work progress and add time to project because of the required inspection intervals and scheduling constraints posed by the insurance company. And if a mortgage company requires inspections as well, this will delay the work progress even more. This process is a nuisance and a turn off for many contractors.
Q: Who will handle the scheduling of inspections?
Is the contractor comfortable with handling this for you, or will this be your responsibility? After the project has started, the last thing you want to discover is, this task is your responsibility. As simple as this task seems, it is a big time suck and will chew up a big portion of your day, hence… many contractor’s don’t like to be bothered with this task!
This goes without saying. Getting references from past customer’s from a year ago can be better than a job they just finished. Why? If the customer had work completed at least a year ago, that is a good sign that contractor went back to fix any tweaks or adjustments needed after the project has been completed. On a large renovation project a few tweaks or touch ups are common once the homeowner has moved back into the space.
Q: How long is the warranty and what does it cover?
Make sure you have a clear understanding of what labor the warranty covers. For example, if the project includes painting and 3 months after the work has been completed, you notice some areas that need to be touched up. Does the warranty include the contractor coming back to touch up the area or will you be charged?
Q: Are you insured?
It amazes me how many homeowners ask the question, they say “Yes” and that’s the end of it. Whatever contractor you hire to do the property damage repairs, always get a copy of their insurance certificate.
Q: Specialty Contractor or General Contractor?
This is a question you need to ask yourself. Many homeowners try to save money by hiring the specialty trades needed for their project themselves. To make the right decision for your project, be honest with yourself.
If you have the time to meet with 2-3 contractor’s per trade, don’t mind researching the City of Houston permit requirements, coordinating multiple trades and creating a schedule for your project, going the individual specialty contractor route, might be a good fit for you.
If your main concern is getting your house restored and back to a normal daily routine as quickly as possible, a General Contractor is the way to go. Having 1 person be your point of contact to answer any questions or concerns that arise throughout the process, helps eliminate a lot of frustrations and miscommunication that occurs with multiple trades. Make sure to chose a General Contractor that personally inspects their project daily, pulls permits, handles inspections, coordinates specialty trades, corresponds with your insurance company and is comfortable communicating a project timeline for your home renovation.
Common sense goes a long way when selecting a contractor for your property damage renovation. Trust your instinct and don’t select a contractor based on the lowest bid. The key to having a good remodeling experience and finding the reputable contractor is communication.
Remember if a contractor is not very responsive and it always takes a couple days for them to return your call or reply to a message, what do you think it will be like after they have your money?
We provide the following fire property damage services to homeowners in Houston:
We can work directly with your insurance company.
We can take care of the City of Houston permits and inspections.
Roofing- Repair, patch or Re roof.
Framing- Interior and exterior walls.
Insulation- Attic and wall removal and new installation.
Drywall- Remove fire damaged drywall and install new sheetrock.
Texture- Matching your existing texture.
Painting- Interior walls, ceiling, doors, trim and baseboards and exterior painting.
Siding- Wood siding, Hardi plank and all types of siding.
Cabinets- Installation, staining, re-finishing or painting.
Flooring- Remove fire damaged floors, install carpet, tile, hardwood or laminate flooring.