How to repair a fire damaged house in Oklahoma City
Repairing a fire damaged house is often times like trying to run a marathon with a backpack full of bricks on. Not only do you have to deal with the headaches of a normal remodel job but you also have extra details to worry about with fixing any fire damaged areas. You have to deal with insurance companies trying to pay you as little as they can, contractors charging you too much and not finishing the job, repairing fire damaged areas the right way, inspections from the city. The list can go on and on…..
If you are wondering how to repair a fire damaged house in Oklahoma City, we can help. You see we are a company that buys houses. Some of the houses we buy were recently damaged by fire. We know the ins and outs of what you are facing and how to approach it. If you are deciding what to do with a fire damaged house, read some of our quick tips on how to repair a fire damaged house in Oklahoma City….
Tip #1 – Negotiate with the insurance company
The insurance company will want to settle your claim as quickly as possible and pay you as little as possible. Don’t feel too rushed or you might end up settling for less than you need or are deserved. If you are in doubt, hire a special public insurance adjuster. These people work on your behalf to file an insurance claim with the goal of getting as much money back as possible. They know all the rules and tricks in the book and are well worth the cost.
Secret insurance tip – you can usually file a supplemental claim AFTER your repair work is done to get more money back from the insurance company. This is because when the insurance company pays you the first time, they reduce the amount paid on the house by saying the house has naturally depreciated in value since you have owned it. When you repair the house to a newer condition, you can get some of this back.
Tip #2 – When in doubt, replace it
If something is more than 50% charred by fire, you typically have to replace it. The city has specific rules on what needs to be replaced after a house is damaged by fire. However, just because a board is black doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced. If the board looks like an alligator’s skin, you probably should replace it to be safe. Keep in mind what you’ll have to deal with if you ever decide to sell the house when determining what to replace. A buyer won’t want to buy your house if it has old fire damaged wood.
Tip #3 – Get at least 3 bids
Never….NEVER….hire the first contractor you speak with. Especially when you are looking at a big job. You should have at least 3 people come out to bid a job. If you want to be really safe, call 5 out. If the bids are close, you can feel comfortable about the price. If bids are all over the place, get a couple more to see who is trying to price gouge you and who is charging fair rates. Word to the wise, be up front with contractors that you are interviewing multiple people for the work. Ask for pictures of past work or even references of past clients.
Tip #4 – Don’t try to skip the city requirements
If your house was severely damaged, the city will probably be involved in issuing permits and making sure the work is done correctly. In the worst cases, you have to show the city your planned scope of work and timeframe to complete before beginning any work. If you make repairs on a house before getting the proper permits and sign off from city inspectors, you could be costing yourself a lot of money. They can make you redo repairs or fine you by putting a lien against your house.
Tip #5 – Don’t repair it, sell it as-is
We buy lots of houses and aren’t afraid to buy a house that is damaged by fire. We can buy your house before or after you’ve gotten money from the insurance company but would prefer to buy it before this happens. If you don’t want to mess with permits, contractors, repairs, and the like….call us to get an offer on your fire damaged house today.
Hopefully these tips have helped you learn how to repair a fire damaged house in Oklahoma City. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask us. If you would rather sell your house than repair it, call or text us today at (405) 673-4901. You can also just fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you within 24 hours.