Once salvageable items have been located and stored, it is time to decide the next step.
If the property was insured, it is time to find out exactly the coverage. Having the figures on hand is key to making a good decision. There has doubtless been contact with the insurer. After the sorting and reclamation has been made, the assessment should be pretty good. Knowing exactly what was lost will provide numbers on the loss.
The insurer has software that can quickly ascertain the values, but one word of caution: it is not a great idea to go overboard on what you say as to value. One could be off (up or down) by a lot. If the value is absolutely unknown, say so, or say it can be found out, but under no circumstances is it proper to provide a wild guess. This is business, and should be conducted as such.
If there is a lot of emotion or sense of loss floating around, postpone the meeting until a better time, but be sure to re-schedule the appointment for a definite time. Get contact info and put it in the journal. Write down the sense of the meeting and date the entry.
These meetings are very important. They are the keys to the long term situation.
If the property was not insured, it is possible that a federal agency will come to assist. There are several ways, they work. Sometimes they give outright grants, other times they will assist with a Small Business Administration loan that is administered by a local bank. Interest rates on these are typically quite low, but qualification can be arduous. Pay close attention to the details.
In both the above situations, there are questions that must
1. What are the rates;
2. What is covered;
3. How are payouts handled;
4. What is the schedule;
5. How soon does it start?
When this information is in hand, a decision can be made as to how to proceed.
The next order of business is to decide what is to be done with the property. Here are a few ideas:
a. Same exact structure;
b. Improve on the existing design;
c. Something completely new?
a. Do it yourself;
b. Partly do it yourself;
c. Hire the whole thing out?
No matter what course of action is to be taken, a sketch (or the original plans) should be undertaken as soon as possible after the assessment, but not before. Heads clear with a short amount of time, but they empty after a medium amount of time. If one is not personally up to the sketch out, draftsmen are readily available, or there are very inexpensive (sometimes free) software programs available.
If drafting services are the route, see some of the drafting company’s work before contracting. Referrals are essential. Get costs and time frames in writing.
Normally, drafting services and architectural firms use the same format for charges.There is the usual deposit before beginning, then, if a field observation is required, the charges are portal to portal with a minimum number of hours. Then the payments are staged on completions.
No matter what, you will need a set of plans. If the owner or local building authority have a set of existing building plans, it expedites the process. Check to see if plans exist, and even if there is a copying fee, it’s worth the price. Pay no more than five dollars a page.
Whether a rebuild or new build, the plan provides the guidelines. The plans are a legal document which dictates costs, planning scheduling.
Should upgrading or new building be the choice, the services of an architect could be required. Before interviewing a professional, it is beneficial to make a “wish” list, making the “have to haves” on the very top and the “like to haves” on the bottom. The optional list is where the scope of the project can be pared down to cut costs. Having this list will make the interviews with the architects run smoothly, and they will appreciate the thinking ahead work.
Some architects work off a percentage of total cost of the project, others charge a flat rate, still others work hourly. They also may do the legwork for permits and expedite the paperwork. This hire will last as long as the rebuild, so be sure the fit is compatible.
The more complex the design, the longer it will take to get underway with construction, but bear in mind that plans can be changed with an eraser, be sure they are complete.
The design can be done concurrently with the site
preparation. In any case, a good and complete design is a money saver.
For design ideas, appliances, any supplies for the reconstruction, Click onto the Suppliers page. Anyone on that list is a good and fair dealer.