Post Disaster Building Recovery

Some food for thought challenging the traditional open checkbook approach for restoration contractors.  There is an alternative.

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When an organization or individual loses the use of a building, the immediate response is, “How do we quickly get back to normal?” Building damage from fires, floods, wind, etc., leaves everyone wanting an immediate response to restore things to normal. Ironically, a poorly planned, quick response can ultimately lead to a slower and more expensive recovery. It can also lead to costs that are not covered by insurance policies.

Aires has consulted with numerous clients who, following a disaster, quickly hired a restoration contractor in the hopes it would speed up recovery. What actually happened is that post disaster demolition work went well beyond the necessary scope; increasing the cost, slowing down the restoration, and putting insurance recovery at risk. Demolition contractors are not architectural, engineering or environmental professionals. When the insured retains a recovery firm directly, most contracts stipulate that the insured pay them whatever the insurance does not cover.

It’s vitally important to have a professional “design the response” so it meets all objectives. With a written response plan tailored to the event, the response contractor is led to do only what is necessary. This avoids “over demolition” and activities that make reconstruction slow and costly. It also provides a chance to coordinate insurance coverage.

Taking the time to design the response first does not slow down the process. Instead, getting “back to normal” is quicker with maximum insurance coverage.

Aires Consulting is a professional organization that provides written response plans tailored to making reconstruction/restoration activities efficient and cost effective. Contact us at 1.800.247.3799,, or visit for more information.


The information contained in this report was obtained from sources which to the best of the writer’s knowledge are authentic and reliable. Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc. makes no guarantee of results, and assumes no liability in connection with either the information herein contained, or the safety suggestions herein made. Moreover, it cannot be assumed that every acceptable safety procedure is contained herein, or that abnormal or unusual circumstances may not warrant or require further or additional procedures.