Fixing a damaged home is not as complicated as you imagine. You just need to take things slowly, prioritize what needs to be repaired first, and ensure that all the details are taken care of by the time the renovation is done. It’s time to learn all the steps to take your house from a complete disaster to the haven of your dreams.
1. Address the Damage
Houses can be damaged for several reasons, or you might have bought a fixer-upper. Either way, you will need to address the main problems before you can even think of beautifying anything. Fire and water can quickly ruin a house, and they’re common issues, so you must hire a fire and water damage restoration company. The point is to stop whatever disaster happens. You simply can’t remodel anything if the issue could occur again.
However, your first step should be to report the claim to your insurance company. Take pictures of the situation, store and send them, and await their response. You can still try to stop the damage with temporary repairs but don’t touch anything else until an agent contacts you. They might conduct an inspection on the site to assess what it’ll cost to repair. If you tamper with anything, they could refuse your claim.
Once you’ve got the insurance’s approval, you can begin with the essential aspects. If you have water damage, you will need to find the source of the leak and repair that. Afterward, you should run some tests to check if you can still see a leak. Of course, this should all be done by professionals in plumbing and pipework. You only need to be with them to check that everything’s going well and that you are learning for the future.
Fire damage could be due to wiring or accidents. However, any kind of damaged home might need serious repair work because the foundation, structure, walls, etc., could’ve suffered. You must fix those properly and ensure everything is steady and working correctly before moving on.
2. Fix the Exterior
After addressing the basics of a house, you can start repairing other aspects. For example, your roof could be ruined due to fire, water, snow, rain, etc. It might not have been the main priority before, but it should be once you’ve moved on to repairing the structural parts of the house. You’ll need to hire roofers who will suggest what to do depending on what kind of material you have. For example, they can’t fix metal roofing with the same methods as they handle stone roofing in a damaged home.
When your roof is repaired, you can move on to other aspects, such as siding, windows, doors, porches, etc. They’re also important aspects of a home’s general structure that could’ve been ruined after a fire or another incident. You might need to replace windows and doors altogether, and it’s better to buy new ones because these items ensure your safety and comfort. However, some windows remain in good shape, and you could salvage them by changing to new glass panels.
You’ll need to take care of a few more details as well, but you can get to those later.
Depending on the style of your home, you might have to fix columns, eave boards, windows screens, and even newel posts. A damaged home should be repaired from the ground up. The core structure – i.e., the skeleton – should be solid and preferably brand new before you can continue the rest of the renovation.
3. Remodel the Bathrooms
Once your house is solid, you can start the beautification. It would be great to begin with your bathrooms, since they’re so important. Only professionals can install toilets, showers, sinks, and more. However, you don’t have to be practical here. If you can afford it, get everything you’ve always hoped for. Everything could be new. The only benefit of a damaged home is that you can make it so much better.
How about some custom glass shower doors? What about a new tub? Get a double sink for the master bath, as those are so convenient for couples. You just need to have some fun with it. You’ve already dealt with the most stressful parts. It’s time to do something for yourself. However, you must ensure that the safety measures you’ve taken in other parts of the house are also followed in bathrooms.
Meanwhile, the only issue is that you need to choose every fixture as soon as possible, as most contractors will only start their jobs once you’ve purchased all the necessities for the remodel or paid them to buy those items. Additionally, you might need to make other arrangements for your family if you’re remodeling all the bathrooms simultaneously or if a renovation requires the water to be shut off. However, that hassle will be worth it in the end when you get to relax and enjoy your brand-new bathroom.
4. Upgrade the Kitchen
Remodeling the kitchen or even just upgrading a few things is also a good idea. If this space wasn’t completely ruined, you could keep some stuff if you get a plumbing company to check that the original issue won’t recur later. You might have to start from scratch, but that’s also a great opportunity. You must do everything to ensure that your space doesn’t look like a damaged home anymore.
You may have to change your kitchen’s walls, flooring, paintwork, etc. Moreover, your cabinets tend to suffer the most during a fire or water incident because they’re usually wooden, which means that you’ll most likely have to replace them entirely. Sometimes, you might be able to save a few appliances, but wood is more susceptible.
Replacing them shouldn’t take long once you pick what cabinet style you want. You can even choose to get glass cabinet doors to see what’s inside each one. Afterward, you can pick up a new stove, fridge, dishwasher, etc. You should also add the correct lighting fixtures, which can change the entire vibe of that space. Use LED strip lights to brighten up the corners that always remain dark. If you spend money on renovations, it’s best to end up with something better that makes your life easier.
5. Fix the Reset of the Interior
Now you have to remodel the rest of the house, but the living rooms and bedrooms should be quicker than the other spaces because the main parts you’ll need to fix are the walls and the floors. In a damaged home, you’ll need to call a drywall contractor for a new reset and a flooring contractor as well. It’s time to pick the materials you’ve always wanted as long as you have the budget. Afterward, you can select furniture and other details.
If you were attached to certain things you owned, you could potentially look for some repairs, like carpet experts who could renew your old one or flooring contractors to completely replace the floor. It’s a good idea to check costs if you want to avoid investing in a whole new floor, especially if your carpet only suffered minor damage. However, you should consider changing the mat altogether and getting hardwood or another kind of flooring.
The point is to refinish the entire inside because you already have the bones of your house ready, but the interior will need to be checked for wiring, lighting, insulation, drywall, flooring, and ceiling. You must think of this as building a house from scratch. No corner can be overlooked, or you could have a problem later. Take this chance to get a fire extinguisher as well and perhaps have a mold and termite inspection.
6. Don’t Forget the Details
Once you’re done with everything else, you need to check and repair the details of your damaged home. Some homes have unique designs; you might even need historic building restoration. You could also add the features you’ve always wanted in a house but had no time to do so before this incident. How about adding hidden power charging stations in your kitchen? Place them in more convenient spots but away from water sources.
Add another charging station in the laundry room as well. Many homeowners forget to include a ‘drop zone’ near their entrances during their remodels, which is a wasted opportunity because these spots are so convenient. People tend to discard their items as soon as they walk in the door, so put a table or two where you can drop your keys, phones, shoes, etc. It’s better for those things to stay near the door so you won’t forget them when you leave.
Another great idea is to add a coat closet or storage for when guests come over. You can also place more outlets generally around the house because you never know when you’ll need them. There are a few things other homeowners don’t consider while fixing their damaged homes as well. For example, you should ensure your toilet can’t be seen outside your bathroom. The door swing should cover it. You should always try to plan for private or ugly things to be hidden until you need them.
7. Fix Any Yard Damage
Once you’ve cared for the interior, it’s time to fix the yard. Water, fire, and other problems affect your lawn the most, and you should know how to repair it. Start by removing all the rocks, debris, and weeds using a rake. Spread your new lawn soil wherever you need it, but it’s better to make an even, thin layer. You can use your hands if you want or the rake. Afterward, you can water it generously. The new lawn has to remain moist but not soaked.
If you don’t want brand-new soil and lawn, you can repair some spots by patching them with seeds. You just need to remove the original clippings on the area to ensure your new seeds will take root. To protect them, you should add a layer of straw or topsoil. This way, your sprouts won’t get blown in the wind.
After taking care of your lawn, you can check the other aspects of your garden. Fortunately, plants are the most resilient, so you won’t have trouble getting most of your bushes and trees back in shape. If your trees didn’t suffer much in your damaged home, you might just need some tree maintenance to cut down potentially dangerous branches and check their health.
8. Prevent Future Incidents
Finally, you must ensure the safety of your new home, especially after investing so much time and money in all the recommendations mentioned earlier. You will need prevention and alarm systems in place for the future. Therefore, consider getting a fire sprinkler and smoke detector, just in case. Sprinklers can help calm down some of the flames while the fire department gets to your house.
You might not know that moisture sensors are available online, and they could help prevent water damage. Gas leak detectors are also a great idea. You should include anything that could potentially prevent dangerous situations. Fortunately, there’s a lot of helpful technology nowadays. Try to make your home completely smart.
Additionally, you need to consider getting regular inspections. At least once a year, you can hire professionals to check if things are still running smoothly. You can also learn a few things about home repair and address things yourself just to make sure.
Remember you spend the most time in the house, so catching odd things will be easier. Preventive maintenance is one of the best ways to care for your home and avoid any issues later. Small things like changing an air filter, checking alarm batteries, clearing gutters, and exercising your circuit breakers could save your life. Furthermore, if you were caught without insurance before, get it now. You don’t want to have a damaged home and pay for everything out of pocket again.
Once you follow these steps, you’ll be able to rest easy in your newly-renovated house. You also won’t have to worry about repairing a damaged home again for a long while because you’ve addressed the main problems already. Start today and make sure your family is always safe!