This past year has been littered with so much rain and so many storms that more of us are aware of what insurance restoration involves, and those who are aware, know how frustrating it can be. Insurance events not only take their toll on your home but they take their toll on your relationships at home as well. There is nothing quite like arguing with your spouse over whose responsibility it is to deal with nature.

We work with many clients each year to help them resolve major insurance claims due to tree damage and many other unfortunate events. Most of these clients are past clients of ours and know that they can turn to us for proper guidance, insurance negotiation and timely execution, but we occasionally work with new clients who had the foresight to reach out a Design Build firm first. There are so many intricacies to the insurance world that it can be difficult to manage it on your own; it is critical to have the right partner in the process.

Many folks first inclination is to hire a public adjuster. There are many fine public adjusters but keep in mind, they are working for a percentage of the claim, making your recovered amount significantly lower. Many of these folks have not built homes before and don’t have an in depth knowledge of what it takes to reconstruct one. They are viewed as a thorn in the side of the Insurance Company and will either get you a quick settlement that is less than what is needed to perform the work to today’s standards or drag you through a long drawn out negotiation process that may not result in much more.

If you have the means to rebuild in a way that brings the space back to a standard higher than what it was, there is no question that engaging a Design-Build firm is the right answer. Design-Build firms can help you plan the remodel in such a way that the costs to be reimbursed by the Insurance Company as well as the out of pocket costs are clear. This approach enables many of our clients to improve upon their space, make a great situation out of a bad one and only come out of pocket 20 – 25% of what that remodel may have cost had they pursued it prior to the insurance event.

Snow is on the way and things are going to happen. You may think it will never be you, but I had a major homeowners claim just a few months back. Be prepared for the event and be sure to engage the right builder once it happens; you’ll end up with a much better outcome.

Christopher Lux has spent the last 15 years in the residential remodeling industry and is a Design Build Consultant with Harth Builders in Spring House, PA. Chris is available for in home consultations as well as speaking engagements by calling 215-654-0364.