Rebuilding after House Fire

mkis99January 30, 2007


I am considering the purchase of a small New England home that had an interior fire, and which has been unoccupied for about 20 years. (I'm not entirely's on a wonderful wooded property with a creek, several acres, and I can garden!)

The house will require new walls, windows, roof, and updated kitchen and bath. The foundation and oak flooring appear to be salvageable, as is the exterior siding (for now). I'd like to add an addition in the back with a family room and extra bedroom. I will, of course, hire an inspector/engineer before this purchase.

My question, to those of you who have experienced renovating such a house, is: what are the things to look for in the rehab? What changes did you find necessary once the rebuild began? What advice in general would you offer?

I'd like to think this through, and plan accordingly, before I make this major purchase.

Thank you much!


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You might try posting on one of the other forums on THS- "Remodeling" or "This old House". I hope someone can give you some guidance.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 10:38PM
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Not having personal experience, but in general, I would really think you want to be very aware of water damage... was the fire put out by the fire department, etc... not only the actual fire damage, but I imagine you might find water damage anyplace below..

If you have an estimate needed to fix, I would at least calculate a worst case scenario and price out how much it would be to demo. the place and build new. Better to do this now than halfway through your renovation, IMO. Good luck!


    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 8:34AM
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If the house has been unoccupied for 20 years, the foundation may have suffered frost damage.

It may be least costly to start anew, and use the salvaged materials on new construction.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2007 at 8:19AM
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