real estate

7 tips to renovating after a natural disaster

Take the time to do it right
Take the time to do it right

It's worth the time and money to do the project properly with quality materials because it will last longer. "Do it right when you do it, and hopefully you won't have to redo it again," says Bees. "Use products that won't absorb water. It cost a little more for some of those materials, but I know going forward, I'm in a better place should I ever get water in my basement again."

After a disaster, good contractors will be booked up, and your renovation may not be high on the list. For Dalrymple, "It was six months before we had a functional basement again," she says. "Don't expect (the renovation) to happen fast, especially after a disaster, since all the contractors will be busy. But do keep in mind that it will get done, and there will be a time when it all seems like a distant memory."

While not common, consider interviewing restoration contractors ahead of time if you live in a storm-prone area. "People pick out their doctors and their Realtors ahead of time," says McCurdy. "Then when their house gets flooded, they have no idea what to do. They make a big decision on who to use based on Google or the Yellow Pages. Why not interview them now?"


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