Rebuilding a Fire Damaged Home

Dear Carl,

Your web site was just what I was looking for!!!

Our house was destroyed by fire on New Year’s Eve.

We are going to rebuild and are going to be our own general contractor to save money.

My brother in law is a master carpenter and is doing a great job as the Demo Man!!!

Thanks for all of your advice.

1. What about home sprinkler systems, good or bad? To do or not to do?

2. Do we need builders insurance for ourselves?

More to come I'm sure!!


Hi Karen,

Sorry about the loss of your house. What a way to start the year!

Sounds like you are all prepared to be the general contractor.

As I say in my books, the most important subcontractor or trades-person in home building or home remodeling is a master carpenter and it looks like you lucked out on that.

And the most important thing you have to do is establish an accurate total cost estimate and be sure you have enough money to cover all costs.

Assuming you had a good replacement insurance policy, be sure that it will cover all rebuilding costs.

As for residential sprinkler systems, yes, I think they are good.

Home fire sprinkler systems are only activated by extremely high temperatures, not by smoke. You still need smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to save your life or lives, sprinklers save your house and personal possessions. Read my article on Home Fire Sprinkler Systems.

The builders insurance you will need is covered in my article Construction Insurance | Builders Risk

Good luck,
Carl Heldmann