1. Our home was totally destroyed by Hurricane Harvey, and
we are going to rebuild. We are viewing this positively, as
a chance to add some of the bells and whistles that weren’t
part of our original home and that will maximize its value.
What do you recommend?
Because of the huge number of homes requiring
remodeling now, Bellaire’s future resale market is going
to reflect the trends in new construction. You can
maximize the value of your home by incorporating some
of those features into your rebuild. The things I see many
homeowners wanting are:
•Lighting and bright lighting: This can be accomplished
with recessed lighting, which is far more affordable than
it used to be — and the homeowner of today prefers LED
•Open areas: Engineering and technological advances
have allowed builders today to create open floor plans in
homes and a sense of flow that weren’t possible in the
past. If you have an area that feels too small, this is the
opportunity to open up that space by eliminating walls
and other obstacles.
•Clean transitions in flooring: Pre-Harvey, many Bellaire
homes had wood floors, but a growing trend is the tile
flooring that looks like wood. If you do go from wood
to tile, make sure your contractor “floats” the floors to
make them even. Otherwise, you’ll have sections of your
flooring on different elevations.
2. Harvey moved my home off its foundation — it shifted
right off the slab. Can you explain in layman’s terms how
You are not alone — I am working on several homes that
experienced this unpleasant surprise. The good news is
that it can be fixed. Some insurance company engineers
are blaming this on wood flooring that was installed too
close to a wall, causing the wood to swell and push out the
walls. My theory is that frequently the anchor bots around
the perimeter of foundations aren’t installed properly or
tightly enough. Water is heavy — about 62 pounds per
cubic foot. If a 1,500-square-foot home had two feet of
water in it, that meant it could have had 189,000 pounds
of water pushing against the walls. So there are many
possibilities about why foundations moved. Common
sense dictates that when you have pressure from water
pushing against something that is not securely fastened, it
will likely move.
3. We’ve been going back and forth: Do we do a substantial
remodel on our flood-damaged home, or do we rebuild
completely? We’d like to hear from you about the pros and
cons of each.
Here are the things I believe you should be considering:
•How long do you plan to live in your home, and what is
your financial position in it?
•What was the condition of the home prior to the flood?
•What do you imagine will happen with your home when
you sell it — will the new buyer be willing to pay for the
improvements you have installed? Will you get a return on
This is the hardest part: You have to remove any emotion
when considering those questions. If the home was
working for you and the answer is to stay, go the quicker
route and remodel. If you want changes, new construction
means a home that is exactly the way you want it —
and given the recent frequency of flooding, current
requirements will mean it will be built higher, far out of
the flood plain. That means peace of mind. Those are the
pros. The cons are all about time — the planning, waiting
on approvals, and longer construction period that are
required in rebuilding.
All these are huge decisions — but ones we deal with
every day at Luria. We’re ready to create your dream
home, however you decide to achieve it.
Do you have questions for Aaron?
Email him at Aaron@BellaireEssentials.com
Call Aaron at 713 828-2155