Should I buy a house with fire damage?
Friday, June 22, 2018
If you have never done a house repair and renovation before, this is not a good place to start. Renovating a fire-damaged house has all the problems of any renovation of a house in disrepair, but with multiple additional complications.
The four kinds of damage that happen in house fire are:
- Fire damage
- Smoke damage
- Water damage from fighting the fire
- Damage done by the fire department while fighting the fire
The last three types of damage can be more significant that the primary destruction by the fire. Water can cause mold growth in walls, smoke residue means replacement of ducts and sealing of surfaces, and holes in roof and walls by firefighters must be repaired.
The extent of damage to the plumbing and electrical system is not readily determinable until walls are opened up to check for things like melted plastic plumbing and fried electrical components. A structural analysis by an an engineer may be necessary to determine how much of the structure has been compromised and must be replaced. Bids by subcontractors often cannot be firmed-up until some demolition has been done.
This kind of work can be profitable if you know what you are getting into, or have a partner with experience in fire damage repair work, and buy at the right price. But it will be a maze of unforeseen problems for a novice remodeler.
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To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:
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