Home Rebuild After Fire: A Step-by-Step Guide Of What You Need To Do

Having a fire in your home is a truly traumatic and devastating experience. As a resident of California you are aware that wildfires are extremely common in many areas within the state. According to the New York Times, the history of wildfires in California dates back to 1932. However, the fires that are occurring today are burning through the suburbs and neighborhoods which causes more damage than fires that burn in open, uninhabitable areas.

What damage can a wildfire do?

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If your home has been affected by a wildfire; you are not only subjected to fire damage but smoke and water damage as well. This is because once an item ignites it will create smoke as it burns; to ensure that firefighters have visibility when attempting to extinguish a fire they will cut a hole in the roof to allow the smoke to rise through the roof into the open air, therefore improving the visibility to allow firefighters to proceed with their rescue and recovery efforts. The other type of damage that occurs during firefighting efforts is water and foam damage; water damage can occur from ceiling sprinklers or from water being sprayed from the hose. Typical house fires are fought by spraying water directly on the fire. Foam damage can take place in fires that occur due to specific chemicals that ignite (i.e. fuel fires), these must be fought with foam because the foam can penetrate deeper into the flame stopping the fire versus water which cannot penetrate the flame as deeply when caused by certain chemicals. I will now discuss the specific steps that must be taken if you are affected by a fire to begin the process of rebuilding your home.

Step One: Call Your Insurance Company

Once the fire has been completely extinguished, it is time to call your insurance company. You must always call your insurance company before contacting a general contractor or construction company. An insurance adjuster will come out to your home and take detailed notes and photos of the scene before anything has been moved or fixed. Lastly, you will wait for the damage to be reported and claims to be filed with the insurance company. Once your insurance company knows how much cleaning and fire restoration will need to be done, you can hire a construction company and have them start the process of rebuilding your home.

 Step Two: Talk To A Construction Estimator

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An Emil Meyers Construction estimator will help interpret and break down the scope of the fire damage restoration covered by the insurance company and put it in our proposal. As a tip to ensure an efficient process, our company will not come out to a job site for an estimate until we have an adjuster report from your insurance company. This is because we want to streamline this process as much as possible and if we come out before we receive the report that just means more unnecessary trips which can delay start times for construction.

Step Three: Proposal and Additional Work Requests

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Once you meet with our estimator they will write up a proposal that covers the scope of the report from the insurance adjuster - at this time you can also inform the estimator of any additional work you would like done. It is important to know that your insurance company will only cover what was in the home and anything additional will be up to you to pay. For example, if you had laminate flooring in your home and would like to place hardwood floors your insurance company will most likely not pay for that upgrade. A proposal is typically written and sent to a customer within three business days. Once you have received your proposal and are happy with the number, you sign the form and send it back to Emil Meyers Construction and we are able to start work at your earliest convenience.


At Emil Meyers Construction we understand what a horrible and daunting process it is to rebuild a home after fire damage, but the licensed professionals are here to help you every step of the way and try to make this process as easy and pain-free as possible!

By: Michael Craig (General Contractor & Co-Owner of Emil Meyers Construction)

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