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after a disaster: post fire or flood rebuilding

16 years ago

Have debated which forum it's best to post this on but figured I'd start here. My husband and I had a terrible fire in our home. The smoke alarm woke us up and thankfully we got out safely with our two cats. We are shaken up but obviously the main thing is no one was hurt. However, in addition to having lost almost all of our personal belongings, we are faced with almost a complete rebuild. Though the fire happened months ago, we're still in the thick of it-- having a difficult time with the insurance company about the scope of loss (all of the contractors that we had bid on the job said that due to the major fire, smoke, and water damage they would take the house down to the slab and completely rebuild, but the insurance seems to be suggesting certain structural elements are salvageable(!) We're working with an architect and, at this point, a lawyer to help us negotiate with the insurance and are trying to stay strong, keep things moving, and focus on the future. Needless to say, it's not always easy...

Just wondering if anyone on this forum is in or has been in a similar situation-- dealt with the emotional roller coaster of having lost your home (or a part of it) combined with having to argue the insurance company for a fair settlement and the completely overwhelming prospect of rebuilding (or remodeling) without the standard planing/preparation/leadup one would normally have for such a project. As I said, ours is basically a total loss, but even hearing about smaller remodeling say after a kitchen fire or basement flood might be useful. Or if there are any contractors out there who have done post-fire rebuilds and can offer insight...

I figured I'd also post as a way of introduction because I've been lurking on the forums for awhile and know that I'll be looking to them more and more as we actually get to rebuilding, buying new appliances, and decorating (which seems painfully far off!) Already I keep my spirits up living vicariously through the projects you all are currently working on and taking notes on things that will be useful to us when we are able to rebuild (hopefully sooner rather than later) I'm sure I'll be posting more then but in the meantime would be interested if anyone else has been though something similar.

with thanks, julia

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