If you are a homeowner, you probably have a wish list full of changes or upgrades you would eventually like to make on your home. This is common for those who purchase older homes. It can even be the case for buyers of new homes.
Unfortunately, being a homeowner also means dealing with unplanned problems or emergency situations. In the event that there is damage to your home due to water or fire, many people wonder if the emergency restoration process can also be a time to make those desired upgrades. The answer is, yes, absolutely!
The Silver Lining
While the event that brings damage and the process of restoration causes a lot of frustration, stress, and anxiety, it may actually end up being beneficial to you in the end. No matter how big or small, any part of your home that has been damaged can easily be upgraded during the restoration process. For example, if the carpet in your family room was destroyed due to a flood, you may decide you’d rather have hardwood floors or tile put in instead of new carpet. Or maybe your kitchen cabinets were ruined, and, in replacing them, you also decide to upgrade your countertop as well. Those are your decisions to make. It’s all possible!
Learn More: What is Emergency Restoration?
The Technicalities Simplified
When disaster strikes your house, your homeowner’s insurance provides coverage for any necessary repairs. An insurance adjuster will be sent out to assess the damage. They will track what needs to be repaired or replaced and research the overall value and cost of the materials needed for the job. Once they have thoroughly assessed the extent and cost of the damage, your insurance carrier will send you a check. After you’ve received payment, you can start working with your contractor to redesign and rebuild your space. The check from your insurance company is yours to spend however you want to. Ideally, it would cover everything in your restoration. But depending on what you want done, there may be some extra, out-of-pocket costs that could actually end up being well worth spending in the long run.
Learn More: Things to Know: Water Damage and Insurance
Upgrading certain aspects of your home during restoration, especially larger projects like room additions or kitchen remodels, will immediately help increase the value of your home. This means that if you ever decide to sell your home, it automatically looks more appealing and inviting to potential buyers. While you may be spending a little more upfront, the increase in your house’s ROI will most likely make up for it.
Make it Better
When you are restoring and upgrading your damaged property, the sky’s the limit on what you choose to do. Use this time to be creative. Look at and research color options and designs for things like countertops, cabinets, light fixtures, appliances and hardware. If you’ve always disliked your dark kitchen, why not brighten it up a bit? Consider sacrificing a little space to build a small guest bathroom or laundry room. How about taking the plunge and installing the hardwood floors or crown molding you’ve had your eyes on? The changes you can make are endless, and now’s the time to make them!
Take this time to prioritize your home upgrades and remodeling decisions. Find what fits best within your budget and your needs. While the money from your insurance company is yours to spend how you want, it may not be enough to cover everything you would ideally like to change. Be prepared to incur some extra out-of-pocket costs. Don’t be afraid to ask some big questions along the way in your planning and decision process.
Would you and your family benefit more from a complete layout change or room addition, or some cosmetic upgrades and improvements throughout the space? Do you see the space still being functional and the upgrades still being beneficial to you years down the road? Start by separating your needs from your wants. Be sure to consider things like the size, activity level and personality of your family. Use your answers to help you narrow down and prioritize projects. Then, tackle the ones that you see as the most important.
Choosing to remodel during the restoration process can also end up saving you a lot of time. The inconvenience of any renovation project can quickly become a nuisance for you and your family. Stepping over loose two-by-fours or looking at exposed piping can be annoying and downright ugly. Depending on the location and size of the damage, it may even cause you to have to completely relocate for a period of time. Why not kill two birds with one stone? Save yourself some time and remodel during the restoration process, so you’re not having to go back and do it all again later.
The Possible – But Difficult – Task
While simple upgrades such as flooring and cabinets can easily be done during an emergency restoration, a complete rebuild may be a bit more difficult and time-consuming. When you decide to rebuild or change your layout, you will most likely need to move walls. This is where the task becomes a little challenging. While not completely impossible, moving walls during an emergency restoration poses many questions that should always be taken into consideration. For example, before you knock anything down, you’ll need to determine the purpose of the wall and consider the structural integrity of the house. Is that specific wall holding up the second floor? Does it contain plumbing or wiring? Bottom line: moving walls is possible within the frame of your emergency restoration, but can often incur significant costs due to structural complexity. Be prepared for these costs, and consider your family’s needs in the process.
A Little Goes A Long Way
If you want to change the look of your home but don’t want to spend the extra costs on top of the restoration, there are plenty of little things you can do to enhance your space in a big way. Depending on the room, there are several ways to change the overall appearance of your home. A can of paint can go a long way. New sink and shower fixtures can turn a bathroom from drab to fab instantly. If your kitchen cabinets are salvageable after a kitchen fire, paint or re-stain the cabinets to cover smoke damage and put your money into new countertops instead. You don’t have to knock down walls or rebuild rooms to make a big change to your home’s design. These examples of subtle alternatives can make a world of difference when you renovate during your emergency restoration.
When you own your own home, new or old, there is plenty of room for things to go wrong. Accidents, the age of the home, and many other factors can leave you with some pretty big mishaps like fire or water damage. Life happens, and when it does, the headache of it all can sometimes feel overwhelming. The bright side? You can take advantage of the emergency restoration and get the upgrades you’ve always wanted. Be realistic, talk to your contractor, and determine what’s most important to you. You can turn a bad situation into something marvelous by utilizing your restoration process to give your home some great upgrades.