Here in the Northeast where the winters are long and cold, fireplaces help heat, and add ambiance, to many family homes. Unfortunately, they can also lead to devastating fires which is what happened to a family home in Millerton, New York. In fire restoration construction, the standard time for re-building a home can be 12 months or more. However, with some financial ingenuity, Peak Construction was able to get this Dutchess County family back into their home in less than four months.
The Benefits of Pre-Funding Projects
Waiting for your insurance company to issue checks can hold up the whole re-building process. To alleviate that problem, Peak will often “pre-fund” the project before the insurance checks arrive. This is a huge benefit to the homeowner and was one of the primary reasons the Millerton family project was completed in less than four months. Before the insurance checks arrived, Peak was able to complete the following:
- Peak worked with the adjustor to assess the value of their home
- Plans were drawn and permits were acquired
- Work was completed on both the slab and frame
Problems Solved Efficiently
With an eye towards increased energy efficiency, changes were made to the new home that were efficient and solved some existing problems.
A slab foundation was used instead of a basement due to water problems that had been an issue before the fire. Under the slab, they put in polyiso insulation which has a high R-value. Polyiso is a closed-cell, rigid foam board insulation consisting of a foam core sandwiched between two faces. The faces are composed of various organic and inorganic materials, usually paper and fiberglass. It is widely used in both residential and commercial markets for roof and side wall applications. Polyiso insulation has many beneficial attributes:
- Polyiso is the most thermally efficient rigid board insulation available in the marketplace; it has the highest R-value per inch of thickness
- Moisture resistant foam core
- Compatible with most solvents used in construction adhesives.
- Excellent dimensional stability
- Superior performance in fire tests – Polyiso meets the strict standard of both FM Class 1 Approvals (FM 4450/4470), UL 1256, and CAN/ULC S126M
- Wide range of service temperatures
- Long Term R-value (only roof insulation with third party certification)
- CFC and HCFC free – zero ozone depletion potential
- Recycled content in most products
- Negligible global warming potential
Peak used Anderson windows – a company that has a reputation for quality, energy-efficient windows. They are also known for standing behind their work with a comprehensive warranty.
Before the fire, the family’s home was an all-wood lake house cabin that wasn’t very energy-efficient. However, for the re-construction, Peak used the energy-efficient Mastic Mill Creek vinyl siding. This siding really captures the warmth of real wood and with their advanced locking system; it also secures the panels for winds up to 165 mph.
GAF Timberline shingles were also used for their potential insurance savings, superior wind performance, impact resistance, and exceptional protection.
Winterization Tip: Clean your fireplace and get it inspected BEFORE winter sets in
Virtually every fire protection agency recommends you hire a certified chimney professional to inspect your chimney yearly. Chimneys need periodic examination and thorough cleaning to maintain efficiency and to reduce the chance of a chimney fire.
Annual Reminder: Make sure your home is properly valued by your insurance company.
According to recent studies, 64% of homes are undervalued for insurance purposes.
Unfortunately, the cost to rebuild your home can be much more than the value of your home. The reason being that the cost of repairing or replacing your home may be based on a set dollar limit. This limit may not reflect increases in the cost of construction and labor. The bottom line is that you need to get an estimate of the replacement cost for your home which can be done by a local builder. Then check with your insurance agent today to make sure you have the proper coverage. Finally, it is recommended that you review your homeowner’s insurance coverage annually to make sure that your coverage meets your needs!