Tim Gregorski is the former Editor-in-Chief of Professional Remodeler. He joined PR in 2012 and was its editor until late 2014. Gregorski has more than 15 years of B2B editorial experience in the highway and bridge, transportation management, water and wastewater, concrete construction, and AEC industries.
In late October, Hurricane Sandy destroyed much of the Eastern Seaboard. In the days following the superstorm, Professional Remodeler was on the phone with remodelers located in the devastated aftermath asking them what, if anything, they could do to help residents impacted by this natural disaster.
Many remodelers reached out to their customer base in an effort to assess damage, which primarily consisted of roof damage to residential and commercial properties caused by high wind and uprooted or fallen trees.
Those remodelers who were able to communicate with clients, as well as non-clients, were asked to place heavy-duty tarps over roofs as a short-term solution to waterproof the properties to prevent further damage.
One remodeler I spoke with originally, John Quarenga, CR, of Jay-Cue Construction, North Bergen, N.J., said his crew put tarps on customers’ houses. He added at the time, “This is all we can do right now, but we will return soon to assess further damage.”
Fast forward to late November. I asked Quarenga how his role as a remodeler has changed in the month following the storm.
“We are still doing emergency work,” said Quarenga. “This includes installing temporary walls under homes that have lost part of their foundations. We are still doing a lot of shingle and siding repairs as well. The homeowners we are working with are either still waiting for an insurance adjuster or are not happy with the estimate the out-of-state adjusters have given them. We have only done a few permanent repairs that would be considered major work, and that work was done on commercial buildings that were willing to pay the correct price and not the low-ball price from adjusters.”
Quarenga mentioned that it’s been a waiting game for most of the residents in the area impacted by the storm, and many of the residents do not agree with the insurance settlement that is viewed as only a short-term, patchwork solution.
For example, insurance adjusters have been unable, or unwilling, to match siding on buildings that received severe damage. The insurance adjusters are only willing to pay for one section to be replaced, and this includes vinyl-coated aluminum siding that is no longer manufactured.
Would you want a home that has two different colors or textures? Would you be willing to settle for less just to get your home repaired?
An independent estimate recently released by CoreLogic, a real estate research firm, put the storm damage to residential properties near $90 billion, with close to 285,000 homes at risk. Flooding from the storm surge caused massive damage in seven states and eight metropolitan areas from Boston to Virginia. In the New York/New Jersey area alone, it has been estimated that nearly 120,000 properties were damaged at an estimated cost of $48 billion.
What do you suppose the long-term estimate will be regarding those impacted by the storm that have to “settle” for a short-term solution offered by insurance adjusters?
How much will a homeowner eventually spend when it comes time to repair and remodel the short-term solution provided by an out-of-state insurance adjuster? PR