Process of Rehabbing a house that has been on a fire

5 Replies

So I guess I was to brave to take on a new project thinking I’d figure it out along the way. I’ve purchased this house in a great location ARV 325, PP 160 . My issue is getting the process going, I know we must take half of the house down but the engineer I contacted gave me this whole lecture as to why he can’t help me, me being very resourceful want to only find people with a vision ( those who find a way). He told me the drawings come first then he comes in. The architect on the other hand, says the opposite. Which one is it??? I’m in the state of Utah in Salt Lake City. Anyone has good advice for me?
Originally posted by @Elizabeth Cordero :
So I guess I was to brave to take on a new project thinking I’d figure it out along the way. I’ve purchased this house in a great location ARV 325, PP 160 . My issue is getting the process going, I know we must take half of the house down but the engineer I contacted gave me this whole lecture as to why he can’t help me, me being very resourceful want to only find people with a vision ( those who find a way). He told me the drawings come first then he comes in. The architect on the other hand, says the opposite. Which one is it??? I’m in the state of Utah in Salt Lake City. Anyone has good advice for me?

Why do you need both an engineer and an architect? Are you building the Taj Mahal? Find a contractor who knows his stuff. A contractor can do both jobs.

Step 1. You have to remove everything that smells like smoke. Then Step 2. Do Step 1 more thoroughly.

I would put Posts every 10 ft on the supporting beam (Home Depot or Lowes can help here) then remove all burned material. Order a big dumpster. Put in supports and rebuild framing. Install water lines and electrical. Have inspection. Then install insulation. Inspect again. Then sheet rock. Inspect again. Then paint, fixtures, etcs. Or, Get a good contractor.

I know! I know! That’s what I keep telling these people but they can’t guide me. I have been educated about the smoke remediation, fire clean up, etc. I’m just trying to get permits to be build again but seems impossible 🙄 This engineer literally said, I’m not the guy you need 😒 even before I said what I need it!!! #unreal

Burnouts can be really challenging- from a permitting and engineering side, and I know a lot of generals who won't touch them just because the logistics are a pain in the butt.

Start by finding a good GC that will help you with the front side of drawing and engineering, and also do the project. Whatever GC takes on the project will probably have a pretty big opinion on planning, so might as well get them started early in the process.

I am an architect and I have found that structural engineers do not like to give opinions without drawings. They will tell you they need to know what is planned before they can make their decisions as there are numerous solutions. A GC will say the same because they have no idea what is structurally sound and neither do I. A GC will give you the sequencing of the demo put after he knows what has to be saved or removed.

I am currently designing a home for a client that was burned 25 years ago and has been vacant since. I met the client and we have a very basic floor plan and sections. Later this week I am meeting a structural engineer on site to discuss what can be salvaged if anything in regard to our plans. Hopefully the client can make it but they don’t need to be their as I know what the client wants to accomplish. From this meeting we now know our options for the design.

A respectful engineer shouldn’t charge for this site visit as they always need to do a site visit prior to providing a proposal for their work. If you can’t find one to do that you might have to pay a consultation fee. However you need some type of plans so the engineer knows what needs to accomplish.

You can even draw some basic plans yourself. Just measure the exterior walls and draw some interior walls with minimal dimensions. This is enough to start.

PM me if you need more help.

It is true that a good contractor can get from A to B but you would still need to produce drawings to get through the permit process. You still need a structural engineer to stamp the drawings and provide the calcs to the city. Most contractors either aren't willing to draw up the plans, or they will hire their own drafter to do it plus their markup. 

If drawing plans is new for you, it would probably be easier and cheaper to just hire an architect or house designer to draw up the permit drawings. Depending on the jurisdiction, the requirements for permit can be extensive and will exhaust all your time before you can even start any kind of construction. 

I am local and have years of experience in commercial and residential design and construction in most of the jurisdictions in the valley. If you have any specific questions or help let me know.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here