Resist the temptation to rush;
you’ll be glad you did.

Building a home takes years, and the extra time you spend getting all the facts, learning about the process, and researching your options fully will pay for itself down the road.

Watch our video to learn more about The Rebuild Journey

Take care of your emotional health; your head should be as clear as reasonably possible in order to make the challenging decisions that lie ahead.

Before speaking with a third-party claims adjuster (commonly known as a "public adjuster"), be sure to have a discussion about your policy with your insurance company's representative first.

Public adjusters typically take a 10% cut off the top of all claim monies received - even monies that you would have been paid without their help. Ask about their strategy - exactly how they plan to increase your payout. If they can't add more than 10%, then it's not worth hiring them.

Ask them what their policy is regarding your ability to communicate with your insurance company. Some public adjusters will prohibit you from contacting your claims adjuster directly.

When you begin to interview home designers and homebuilding teams ask if they will work with your insurance company; good ones do, and they’ll know how to maximize your payout without taking a cut.

Debris Removal

Know the facts about debris removal. Typically, authorities will come in first and remove

imminent hazards, like damaged trees, structures, and hazardous materials. They probably started before they let you back in and they may still be working. Stay alert - follow instructions and proper guidance to protect yourself while on site.

FEMA offers free debris removal, but FEMA contractors will not go lightly; they will demolish and remove everything. A private contractor can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but if you have things on your property that you wish to preserve, you may want to consider it. Be sure to talk to your insurance representative; this cost may be included in your policy.

Stay safe, think calmly, take your time. These are big decisions – get all the facts, and whatever decision you make will be the right one.

Research your design/build candidates and their completed projects. Ask questions about their philosophy, methods and their team.
Don't ignore your instincts - these people will be in your life for the next 18 months or more; it’s important that you like and trust each other.


Top 10 Insurance Tips

The California Department of Insurance provides important facts & advice for wildfire claimants dealing with an insurance company.

Coping With a Traumatic Event

Learn how to manage the emotional health of you and your family with this one-page reference from the CDC.

Thinking About Being an Owner-Builder?

Know your responsibilities if you are considering acting as a General Contractor.

Before Hiring a Contractor

Learn more about what you should know from the Contractor State License Board. Includes a checklist.

Fast Facts to Identify

Learn tips from the Contractors State License Board on how to navigate scammers that prey on victims of wildfire.


Contractors State License Board

Check your contractor’s license status and find helpful advice on protecting yourself when beginning your project.

FEMA Wildfire Assistance

Here you will find a hub for declared disaster assistance including hotlines, local and national help, and disaster relief applications.

California Department of Insurance

Guidance that can help you understand some of the key insurance coverage terms that typically apply, prepare you for the process of making a claim, and help you avoid some of the pitfalls that can occur along the way.

CDC “Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event”

A variety of resources for you and your family, including advice on helping children, the elderly and people with disabilities cope during and after a traumatic event