When your home suddenly suffers major storm damage, or it may have been a fire or other event that is to blame – you want to rebuild it so it’s just like it was before OR EVEN BETTER!
But it can be difficult to know just how to get started with a home restoration project, and once started, exactly how to proceed. There are many issues to consider and many potential pitfalls to avoid.
To help you do your restoration project right the first time, here are ten important tips to help you on your way.
1. Begin by carefully assessing the damage.
There’s no way you can approach home restoration in an organized, efficient manner until you have an accurate idea of precisely what was damaged, to what extent, and what it will take to revitalize your home.
Your home insurance company may inspect the damage. Or you could order a pro home inspection yourself. Be sure to examine the damage yourself with a notebook and carefully write down exactly what needs to be done.
2. Prioritize the most urgent needs.
Once you have surveyed the premises, the next step is to prioritize the most urgent tasks first. Some things can wait; others simply cannot.
If you need to re-roof your home or undertake serious roof repairs, that would be a project that needs immediate attention. Another example might be backed up plumbing, black mold, a rodent infestation, or a non-functioning HVAC system during the hot Floridian summertime.
3. You don’t have to do it all at once.
If your budget won’t bear quickly repairing every nook and cranny of your home in only a few months, do not despair. You may be able to get financing. Or, your insurance company may cover a sizable portion of the expenses.
But even if certain aspects of the project can’t be finished for a few years, it’s OK. Just de-prioritize the most “waitable” parts of the project and keep on planning and working up to it in the meantime. It will all be right in the end!
4. Compare three houses as you plan.
When it comes to home renovation, you need to think of it as involving three homes: your pre-damage home, the current state of the building, and the home you want it to ultimately become.
Consider restoration a golden opportunity to make much-needed upgrades that you never got around to in years gone by. There is no reason you can’t put on an addition, get a more efficient AC or furnace, or install higher-grade flooring or attic insulation while you’re at it – just for example.
5. This may be the time to install solar panels.
Going forward, why not take this opportunity to turn your roofing into an energy-saving machine? Homeowners in Florida are “going solar” more than ever and saving significantly on their monthly energy bills. Why shouldn’t you too?
If you are getting new roofing installed, it’s not uncommon for the roofing company to also handle solar system installation. That way, you can get it done at the same time and probably save a little by working with one company instead of two.
6. Don’t try to handle everything on a DIY basis.
The temptation to try to approach every aspect of home restoration on a DIY basis can be strong since everyone wants to save money where they can.
But the truth is, there are some tasks that could be dangerous to attempt if you don’t know how. Roofing and electrical work come to mind. And there are other things, like plumbing, that many prefer to hire out even if they could technically do it themselves.
7. Finish the exterior before the interior.
In general, you want to finish renovating and restoring a building’s exterior before finalizing the interior.
The reasons are obvious. The roofing protects everything below it, and the siding, too, helps protect the plywood under it and the house behind it. You can begin the interior, of course, early on. But it’s more important to finish the exterior before detailing inside.
8. Save the landscaping for last.
When you are renovating your property, the fact is, your lot is going to get torn up a bit in the process. That’s normally just the way it is.
For this reason, you generally do well to deal with most of the landscaping after you are done with most of the house itself. You especially want to finish exterior work like siding and roofing and brickwork before beautifying your lot.
9. Definitely install new windows and doors.
Aside from new roofing, there are few things that will up the value of your home like new windows and doors.
It won’t add too much to the total cost of the restoration project, and new windows/doors will boost the energy efficiency substantially. This saves you money every month you live in your home!
10. Be sure to file all viable claims with your insurer.
There is no reason to pay for something that your home insurer should be paying for. This is the reason you carried home insurance, after all. This is what all those premium payments were for.
Talk to your insurer early and often. Make sure you are getting the maximum allowable coverage on everything you rebuild. Find out how to file claims and file them promptly to get the maximum savings and, thus, open up your budget for further improvements!
To learn more about how to approach a home restoration, renovation, or remodel job, contact your local Central Florida contractor, Sheegog Contracting, for a free consultation and a free, no-obligation quote today!