Insurance adjusters can make Fire Restorations difficult!

Insurance adjusters can make Fire Restorations difficult!

Insurance adjusters can make Fire Restorations difficult!

Recently Cornerstone Builders, Inc. was asked to complete a fire restoration in Beaverton, Oregon. We were met by very gracious and tired clients who had been woken to a house fire at 4:30 in the morning. Their homeowner’s insurance company had responded quickly to get them a hotel room and several hundred dollars to cover immediate expenses; almost a relief as all their belongings had been covered in smoke.

Although your homeowner’s insurance company does in fact pay for all the repairs to a fire restoration, they do not however have the right to tell you which contractor to use. It is all to easy to get overwhelmed in the moment by someone saving your family from the headache of interviewing potential contractors, cleaning and storing house contents, rebuilding and restoring your home to the original “before the loss” condition and all in all just preventing your stress level from making your head explode. It sounds good, but the reality is this: restoration companies are not remodelers by trade, they are employed by the insurance companies that bring them along, not the homeowner suffering the loss. It is up to you to choose who completes your fire restoration, not your adjuster’s choice!

Our current clients had almost been convinced their air conditioner was still usable after a scorching fire had been blazing only 6′ from the unit; oddly enough the neighbor’s house a full 15′ from the fire had gotten so hot, the paint started bubbling all over and the fence panels were scorched. After 8 firefighters had cut large sections of roof away and holes in the chimney stack in order to send hundreds of gallons of water into the blazing inferno, the homeowners were informed the interior doors from the bedrooms directly below would receive a mere cleaning and a single coat of lacquer; at least the adjuster has an allowance of $8.10 per yard for carpet removal and replacement!

The facts are this: our client’s 10 year old son has a lung condition so we brought 2 reputable mechanical contractors over to evaluate the damage, we had 3 carpet companies do comparisons for “like-kind” carpet, 2 electrical contractors evaluated the electrical system, and so on. We found out the furnace and A/C were both running during the fire (it was 75 degrees outside that night) and in addition to the A/C unit being directly next to the fire’s point of origin, smoke had covered the furnace’s air filter and every heat duct run in the house. The cheapest “like-kind” carpet was $22/yard more than the adjuster’s allowance and the $1800 electrical budget for a new underground electrical service, meter, panel change and rewiring the 2nd floor including 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and hallway was $5400 short of the actual COST of this work! Can you imagine what the adjuster’s restoration company would have done for you in this situation? I don’t know what would have happened, only that any good contractor should ACTUALLY CARE about you and your family’s welfare and not just try and get the project over with as soon as financially possible.

Cornerstone Builders, Inc. is located in Beaverton, Oregon and will take care of all your restoration needs from fire, water or smoke. We will work with you to rebuild your home and your life after a natural catastrophe, an accident or a pushy insurance adjuster. Cornerstone Builders specializes in Kitchen and Bath, Home Additions, Aging in Place, Guest Homes and Vacation Homes.

Allen Tankersley