Rebuilding After a Fire? Here’s a Look at the Process


Putting the pieces of your life back together after a disastrous fire isn’t something anyone can truly prepare for. A lot of grief, pain, anger, and confusion is involved — enough to paralyze you into inaction and keep you from moving forward.

That’s why it’s essential to have a plan beforehand to default to something actionable, even when unsure where to start. Here’s what rebuilding after a fire looks like and how to prepare yourself for what’s to come.

Analyzing Cost

This step is the last thing a homeowner wants to focus on after a house fire. But to avoid more frustration and anxiety, you must know what you’ll expect to spend on your fire reconstruction and recovery.

An excellent place to start is by evaluating the damage done to your home and prioritizing it based on necessity. You’ll want to take care of any foundational damage first. Other factors, like water damage to personal belongings, are essential, too. However, they will likely need to wait until you’re positive you can afford to deal with the infrastructure issues.

Dealing With Insurance and Utilities

The point of having homeowner’s insurance is to mitigate some of the abovementioned costs. With that in mind, the first action you take should be to check what your policy will cover. During the recovery process, you must also:

● File an insurance claim

● Take photos of all the damage

● Keep any receipts

It would be best if you didn’t bother with any reconstruction prematurely; once your insurance company lets you know what they’ll cover, you can start planning to rebuild. You should also contact your utility companies and let them know what happened. They’ll usually work something out with you and shut off service while the recovery is underway.

The Cleanup

How involved your cleanup process will be depends on how much damage your property incurs during a fire. It’s unrealistic to assume you can handle the debris cleanup yourself. Fire debris is a health hazard that should only be dealt with by certified disaster recovery professionals.

Private contractors can make this process significantly less stressful, something you’ll likely need to help rebuild your life in the coming days and weeks. Don’t hesitate to contact a company specializing in fire restoration services to make things easier.

Temporary Living Arrangements

It’s unlikely that living at your home in the immediate aftermath of a fire is a safe and sensible option. Don’t wait to figure out a place to stay, even if that means getting a long-term AirBnB, a hotel stay, or a housing arrangement with friends or family.

Temporary housing is also an option for those who don’t want to relocate during the rebuild. This isn’t always advisable, but if it makes you more comfortable, you can set up a trailer on your property. This option could be ideal if you know the process will only take a little time. Still, it’s typical for construction efforts of any kind to hit snags, so bear this in mind when making your plans.

Do Your Research

Plenty of free resources are available to help homeowners in a crisis like this. Many contractors specialize in this type of construction; designers, architects, landscapers, and engineers in your area could all have experience working with people in your exact situation.

In addition, you should check the required permits for your property through local government websites. You also might be surprised to learn that you can save money on upgrades during the rebuild by cashing in on incentives and rebates when you install things like energy-efficient systems in your rebuilt home.

Starting Fresh, Not Starting Over

There’s a lot to think about after an event as intense and traumatic as a fire. And while it’s important to leave room for those thoughts and emotions to help process the situation, it’s equally vital to keep a level head whenever possible. Having a plan will keep you and your loved ones safe so you can live happily in your home again.

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