How to Rebuild Your Home After a Natural Disaster

In the aftermath of a natural disaster, it can feel like the world has stopped. Particularly so, if your home was destroyed. it’s hard to know where to begin when it comes to rebuilding. We’ve compiled suggested tips to help you get started, one step at a time.  

Contact your insurance company.  

The first step following a natural disaster that damages your property is to contact your insurance agent. You’ll want to take photos and videos of the damage and keep a list of items lost. An insurance adjuster will visit your property to assess the damage.  

Know your policy.  

It’s imperative that you know your insurance policy in depth. Be sure to read the fine print regarding extended and guaranteed replacement costs. Although, a typical homeowner’s policy will pay to replace the home of similar quality, you’ll want to know the maximum amount allotted. Some policies will cover full replacement cost, while others will only cover the value of the original home.  

Secure interim housing. 

Ask your insurance agent about their coverage for temporary housing during the time of transition. Additional agencies also assist with temporary housing needs if your insurance coverage is not adequate. 

Understand your options. 

When it comes to rebuilding your future, you have options. First, you can rebuild on the same home site. Alternatively, if a fresh start is appealing, you can choose to sell the land and buy or build in a different location. You can even decide to go the renting route. If you choose to buy, rather than rebuild, some insurance companies will put a cap on the settlement amount.  

Secure bids.  

If you decide to rebuild on your existing home site, explore written bids from licensed contractors. Be sure you are considering all costs, including any demolition or site work that needs to be done before a builder can begin work on a new home. To enhance the efficiency of adjusting the claim, you’ll want to ensure the bids include material details and pricing on a line-by-line basis. 

Based on your research and the settlement amount determined by the insurance company, explore builders who provide pricing that aligns with the determined budget. 

Select a builder. 

When choosing a builder, consider their reputation and financial strength. Anyone can call themselves a custom builder, so be sure to do your homework. You’ll want to select a builder who will be there to finish the job and address any warranty needs that may arise later.

Ask about the subcontractors they use. How experienced are they? Does the builder have a long-term relationship with them?   

Question the construction standards the builder follows such as energy efficiency, internal moisture management and use of third-party inspectors. Design Gallery Homes by Drees follows a program called DreeSmart, which details the building practices they follow for both energy efficiency and technology features that are included in all of their homes. 

Design your new home. 

One of the positive sides to the process is that you are building a new home with new finishes. Many custom home builders will give you an allowance and a list of vendors to visit. Making all of these appointments can feel like a second job, and it’s hard to see how the different elements will all come together in in a final look.   

Because we know your time is valuable, Design Gallery Homes invites you visit the Drees Design Center where finishes and samples from the top manufacturers are available in one place. We also have professional designers on staff who will consult with you on ways to combine finishes in order to achieve the look you have in mind  

Finance the project. 

Some custom builders aren’t able to finance the construction of your home, so they require you to have a construction loan. Some even require you to take out additional construction liability insurance. That leads to additional paperwork and closings for you. Plus, you’ll be paying on a loan while you are still potentially paying on your current home’s mortgage. It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t be expected to pre-pay for the project.

At Design Gallery Homes by Drees, we’ll finance the construction of your home to make the process as simple and streamlined as possible. 

Practice patience.  

In this time of uncertainty, it can be difficult not to feel the weight of the situation and let frustration get the best of you. However, since most natural disasters vary in impact, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact timeframe for the unique scenario to play out. However, you can help set yourself up for success by being diligent in contacting the necessary entities in a timely fashion. You want to get the rebuilding process underway as soon as possible.  

About Design Gallery Homes by Drees 

Whether you already own a lot, need help finding a site, or have a particular property in mind, Design Gallery Homes by Drees provides guidance and support from a team of highly-trained professionals every step of the way. With our build on your lot options, you’ll enjoy legendary craftsmanship, the flexibility to modify your floor plan, countless options, and a wide variety of interior and exterior finishes — all in less time and at a fraction of the custom price. To learn more, visit

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