1. Insurance
    1. Are you a renter or an owner?
    2. What losses will your insurance cover?
      1. Replacement cost v. actual cash value.
        1. Clothing?
        2. Entertainment items (i.e., music and video collections, etc.)?
        3. Decorative items?
        4. Cooking utensils?
    3. What were the items lost, what was the value, how old were they?
    4. What should you do with the fire-damaged items you are able to recover?
    5. How should you retain proof of expenses incurred post-fire?
  2. Contractors
    1. Should I tell my contractor how much money I received from insurance to rebuild?
    2. How do I find out if a contractor is properly licensed?
    3. How do I find out if a contractor is reputable?
    4. How do I know if a construction bid is reasonable?
    5. How do I find out if a contractor is experienced with demolition and reconstruction?
    6. How do I know if my contractor is adequately insured?
    7. Does my contractor need to prove to me that he/she has adequate workers compensation insurance?
  3. Home Improvement Contracts
    1. What is a “Home Improvement Contract” and is my contractor required to provide one?
    2. Is it okay for my contractor to demand a large down payment before he/she starts work?
    3. How do I make sure the contractor sticks to the original contract price and doesn’t over charge me?
    4. What is a design-build contract and should I use one?
    5. What is a mechanics lien and how can I prevent my contractor from putting one on my house?
    6. How do I make sure my contractor sticks to the schedule and finishes my house on time?
    7. What is a three-day right to cancel and why does my contractor need to give me one before he/she starts work?
    8. Do I pay my contractor little by little during the course of construction or only upon completion?
    9. What’s a construction arbitration clause and should I sign one?
    10. What kind of warranty should my contractor give me?
    11. What’s a change order and when should I sign one?
  4. Temporary Housing
    1. Can I depend on government agencies to provide housing?
    2. What does insurance typically cover?
    3. Will I be reimbursed for the full rental value?
    4. How long will coverage last?
    5. How is corporate housing different than a hotel?
  5. City and County Approvals
    1. Do I need to get a building permit to rebuild my home?
    2. What permits do I need and when can I get them?
    3. Are construction permit and licensing expenses typically included in the construction contract price?
    4. Can my architect or contractor be responsible for obtaining all of the necessary governmental approvals?
    5. Are building permits absolutely necessary?
    6. Is there anything I can do to help expedite the process?
  6. Architects, Designers and Surveyors
    1. How do I know if a design professional is reputable?
    2. Before I hire one, should I make sure he/she has adequate professional liability insurance?
    3. Do I really need an architect or is it sufficient for my contractor to do the design?
    4. How does an architect work with the contractor and should I retain the architect after the plans are completed to help manage construction?
    5. Should I hire a landscape architect?
    6. Should my property be surveyed and, if so, when?

Compiled by Michael Martin, Esq.