Where Do You Start When Fire Damages Your Home?


“Thank goodness it didn’t start in the middle of the night.”

Unfortunately, too many East Tennessee homeowners experience their share of the estimated 1.35 million house fires that occur annually in the United States. These fires cause 3,800 civilian fire deaths and property damage estimated at $15.9 billion, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

On average, a fire department responded to a fire somewhere in the U.S. every 23 seconds in 2021. A home structure fire was reported every 93 seconds, a home fire death occurred every three hours and eight minutes, and a home fire injury occurred every 47 minutes.

“Should We Repair or Rebuild?”

In addition to the tragic loss of life and extensive property damage, Knoxville area homeowners often face the decision to either replace the entire structure or rebuild part or most of the home. If you’re considering rebuilding a fire-damaged home, here are some things to keep in mind.

First, as daunting and labor intensive as it can be, the cost to rebuild a home after a fire is less than starting over. A properly insured owner should only have deductible or upgrade costs. When all factors are considered, completely replacing a home will usually cost more than even substantial repair and restoration.

A safety inspection by a qualified inspector is the first step in a rebuild. The inspector will look at everything from the presence of hazardous materials (asbestos or lead-based materials) to air quality, roof stability, plumbing, electrical, flooring, interior walls and HVAC systems.

The damage left behind after a fire may include the presence of toxic chemicals. If proper fire restoration is not completed, people occupying the house may suffer respiratory, skin, or eye issues triggered by chemicals left behind after the fire.

“Do You Think My Home Owners Insurance will Cover the Cost? 

Keep this good news in mind–most home insurance policies cover fire damage to a building, the contents of the building, and the property it sits on. Every insurance policy is different, so review yours carefully to understand how much of a rebuild insurance may cover.

The goal of fire restoration is to remove any trace that there was a fire in the first place. Under the experienced leadership of Matt Garrett, Garrett Construction and Roofing has been serving the East Tennessee area since 2005. We are a licensed General Contractor, and our general services range from full residential and commercial construction projects to remodeling, painting, drywall, roofing and gutters. We also help with disaster recovery with experienced teams available to address fire and water damage.