Hurricanes Harvey and Irma displaced thousands, killed hundreds, and continue to send shock waves through the U.S. economy. The post-storm situation is especially challenging for local remodelers, who, as National Association of Home Builders economist David Logan points out in a recent blog, will be some of the first called in for repair efforts in Texas and Florida. And with Moody’s Analytics estimating that the combined property damages could be as much as $200 billion—not to mention exacerbating the labor shortage and, as Logan speculates, causing a spike in building material prices—the efforts will indeed be significant and exhausting.
But those efforts will also be invaluable, according to Dan Bawden, 2017 NAHB Remodelers chairman and owner of Houston-based Legal Eagle Contractors.
In a recent article for Professional Remodeler, Bawden empathizes with the hardships remodelers working in the affected areas will face, but tempers that with actionable advice, both intuitive and learned. “Call your trades early on and ask them to give your clients priority, if possible,” he writes, adding that it will be especially important to contact demolition crews, as well as painters, drywallers, and carpenters. He recommends that remodelers limit themselves to working in a specific geographical area; prioritize health- and safety-related issues; contact past clients who have handled a flood before for their input; and work with current and new clients to help them not only understand what it is they should expect, but also what they should be doing to help the process move along, such as having them contact a respected remediation company as soon as possible.