Project Spotlight: Full house restoration after fire

September 9, 2019

For most homeowners, one of the most devastating things that can happen to their home is a disaster that forces them to move out and rebuild or remodel. Unfortunately, we work with many homeowners who are experiencing a tragedy as a result of fire, flood, wind and/or water damage in various rooms of their home. For these homeowners, it is our mission and responsibility to make the remodeling process as simple and pain free as possible, so the homeowners can focus on what matters most, their families. 

 

Recently, we worked with one homeowner who, following a house fire needed to do an extensive restoration to the entire interior of their home. The fire originated from a faulty dehumidifier in the basement. Smoke and soot entered the walls and the main air ducts within the home, resulting in heavy smoke and soot damage throughout.  As the extent of the smoke damage was quite severe, the homeowners were set up with alternate living arrangements for the duration of the remodel.

 

We were able to work with the homeowners, their insurance company, and an architect to develop a plan for rebuilding and remodeling all areas of the home that were damaged, a project that took several months. Below we’ve outlined the work completed in various rooms throughout the home as well as specific materials/systems needing replacement. 

 

HVAC (Heat, Vent & Air Conditioning), Electrical and Plumbing

One of the first things we needed to address in the home was the damage to the HVAC system, as the smoke damage caused by the fire was so severe the entire system needed to be replaced. In order to ensure this was done correctly, we worked with a company that specializes in replacing HVAC systems. Additionally, certain plumbing items, such as the boiler, were not serviceable and needed to be replaced. We replaced all items necessary and made additional upgrades per the homeowner’s request. Lastly, when addressing the electrical damages to the house, we were required to make all changes necessary to bring the home up to code. The homeowners had code coverage in their policy, something that is not found in every policy, which helped cover the additional costs associated with this and other code required upgrades/items.

 

Basement

A large area of our focus went towards the repairs for the basement of the home, where the fire started. In addition to the cosmetic damages that needed to be addressed in order to ensure the space was back to pre-fire conditions, we needed to ensure the safety and structure of the house. The fire destroyed one of the main structural beams within the basement that supported the living room, dining room and kitchen. This beam needed to be removed and replaced to ensure the structural integrity of these rooms, and the rest of the home. In order to do this, we built temporary support walls that were removed once the new beam was securely in place.  Code requirements in this township also required us to install a basement egress window as the basement did not previously have one.

 

Kitchen

The kitchen did indeed experience smoke/soot damage throughout the room.  However, after beginning removal of affected materials we discovered that there was also smoke damage within the walls.  Given the need for a full restoration of the room, the homeowners decided to upgrade their kitchen in the process.  We worked with them to create a new layout and a more open floor plan. The homeowners chose Waypoint cabinetry in a Cherry wood with an Autumn finish for their new kitchen and complimented it with a beautiful new granite slab and beveled tile backsplash. Glass panels and cabinet lighting were added for some additional flair along with modern appliances and plumbing fixtures.  We also removed the old vinyl flooring and replaced it with Avalon Gemini Fume 12x12 tile. The changes made to the layout also provided enough space for the install of an island with a cantilevered top to provide seating within the room.  A great optional upgrade for them to provide a spot for a quick breakfast with the kids before school. With lots of creative input from the homeowners and hard work from our team, the kitchen evolved into a truly beautiful and more functional space for them to enjoy for years to come.