Tragedy Becomes Tutorial for Virginia Remodeler

Filed in Remodelers by on August 2, 2017 0 Comments

As an experienced remodeler, Robert Criner had developed a general understanding about house fires and the substantial damage they can cause. But when his own home caught fire back in early 2015, he was shocked by how extensive the damage actually was.

Very little of what remained of the home would be salvaged: The extreme heat broke nearly all of the window seals. Water completely soaked the studs and insulation. Soot permeated nearly every crevice of the home.

In a recent post on Professional Remodeler, Criner, founder and president of Criner Remodeling in Newport News, Va., recalls being overcome by the exhaustive process of rebuilding while simultaneously trying to cope with the loss of his home.

“I don’t think most remodelers have an understanding of how emotionally draining this is for a home owner,” Criner said. “[They’ve] just suffered a huge loss, are completely overwhelmed, and now [they’re] being fed information through a fire hose.”

Nearly two years after a fire caused significant damage to their home, Robert Criner and his wife, Aggie, could finally move back in.

After nearly two years, and a lot of initial back and forth with the insurance company, Criner’s home was finished and he and his wife could move back in. Though he certainly wishes the fire never occurred, the experience gave him a whole new outlook from the client’s perspective.

“I now have even more empathy for their situation, and a better grasp on how stressful the remodeling process can be for the home owner,” said Criner, who served as chair of NAHB Remodelers in 2015. “Fortunately, I was able to rely on a broad network of members from across the country with whom I’d built relationships over the years.”

Throughout the restoration, several of his Criner’s fellow members of NAHB Remodelers helped guide him through the nuances of filing insurance paperwork, and the complexities of repairing fire- and water-damaged homes.

For more on what Criner learned about working with insurance companies and how to avoid getting beat up on project costs, read his full article.

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