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We Renovated a House Hit by a Tornado

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On March 25, 2021, an F-4 tornado cut a path of destruction over 38 miles long through the town of Newnan, Georgia, south of Atlanta. With 170+ MPH winds, over 1,700 homes were either damaged or destroyed. Only one person died in the storm, which seems to be a miracle considering the scope and strength of the storm.

Many homeowners were left without a livable house. But some houses were spared complete destruction, with only minor cosmetic damage. That was the case for our client who bought this property after the storm. The previous owner did not want to take on the repairs necessary to get the house back up to par, so our client asked us to repair the damage, and to do some cosmetic work on the interior, and to make some minor structural improvements to the house, as well.

Some of the work we did included:

  • Replaced the deck
  • Converted a closet into a powder room
  • Repaired chimney
  • Replaced front steps
  • Replaced all the floors
  • Replaced all interior and exterior doors
  • Replaced garage doors
  • Replaced windows
  • Replaced lights
  • New countertops
  • New cabinets
  • Repainted the entire interior and exterior
  • Some landscaping
  • Replaced trim work
  • Cleaned

In this video, we take a look at the planned repairs, and you’ll get to see the before and after. (scroll up to see video)

Video Transcript

Greg Kurzner:

So, hi there. This is Greg Kurzner, and I am the general contractor licensee for Halcyon Remodeling. I am pinch hitting for our project manager, Victor Torres today. He was here, but he had to run off to another appointment. So he left me to give you what we’re going to do on this latest property for a client, Resideum.

This is a partially or kind of minorly damaged tornado house down in Newnan. But most of what’s going to get done is cosmetic. So we’ll take you around and we’ll look at the outside of what we’ve got planned. And then we’ll also dive on into the house inside and show you what we’ve got planned for that, and then you’ll get to see the transformation. So let’s take a look outside.

To start with, we’re going to replace gutters. We’ve got a brand new roof on the property. Originally, there was a metal roof, and that got blown away in the tornado. The prior owner did replace the roof but did not touch the gutters. So we’re going to fix those.

If you can see over here, there’s a dip in about four sections of concrete on the walkway. And we’re going to use a Mudjacking hydraulic concrete to lift that and level it so that we don’t have a trip hazard there. That’s the first thing that inspectors typically have a problem with. You can also see that the front steps are a little askew, and we’re going to resolve that.

One of the things that you don’t notice as you’re looking at the front of the house, but as we walk around it, you’ll see is that there’s a substantial amount of the vinyl siding that is gone, blown away by the tornado winds. And the property owner is choosing to go ahead and put in the Tyvek and replace the missing vinyl siding rather than to change it out completely or to go to a different surface like a Hardie plank. So we’re going to replace the vinyl where it’s missing, and we know it will likely not match. But thereafter, we’re going to plan on painting the entire exterior of the house, both trim and siding. And we’re going to be using a process that allows us to do a permanent paint coat on the vinyl.

So it’s going to look fantastic. It’s going to blend and match, and it’ll look like brand new. When we’re finished.

Let’s take a look around the outside of the house along the back. So along the back side of the house, you can see that there is some section of fencing here that’s missing in two areas. So our plan is to just rerun and repair what’s missing, or potentially, if it doesn’t make sense, we’ll take it all the way out. There’s some landscaping that needs to be done. And as you can see, that along the chimney chase in the back is where the most notable tornado damage occurred.

So we’ll probably have to change that OSB board out, do whatever interior repairs are necessary to make sure it’s good and dry and go ahead and replace the vinyl. We’ll get up on the deck and take a look at it. But primarily, our plan for the deck is just to replace the deck boards. And if we need to do any work, some minor work along the railing or along any of the joists below, we’ll take care of that. We don’t anticipate that that is going to be a problem.

So as you can see, there’s been some deck boards that have been replaced prior. As you pan down, you can see that we’ve got quite a bit of rot and some of the prior paint stain that’s been put on this is definitely gone. Some of this railing is leaning. So we’re going to do the work that’s necessary to get the deck ready to go. Hopefully, we don’t have to replace everything, but if we will, we will, and that’s planned.

All right. So now we’re on the inside, and this is where most of the cosmetic work that we need to get done is going to happen. You can see that there’s a little bit of minor drywall and other damages relates to the exterior chimney chase problem. We are going to change out the fireplace grill here as well.

If you’ll pan down, too, you can see that we’ve got very, very heavily stained carpets. What you can’t smell in video, is that we also have pet odor. So we’re going to pull all this up. We’re going to treat for pet odor, and we’re going to replace the entire house with LVP, luxury vinyl plank flooring so that we don’t have a blend of carpet and prefinished hardwoods. Over here is the master on the main, and it needs a little bit of work. So in the master, we’ve got some old single pane windows we’re going to be replacing.

We’re going to obviously paint and pull up the carpet.

We’re going to replace this bifold door with a regular door into the master bath. You can kind of see in here that there is some nice tile work. And from the perspective of what we’re going to do here, more likely just paint, replace light fixtures and clean up the grout, make it look nice. Possibly if we can fit it in, we might put a cabinet in lieu of that standalone vanity, create a little bit more counter space for the master.

I’m right in the foyer as we come in the front door, and immediately to your right as you enter is a closet. What we’ve found is that this house has a master on the main, but it really doesn’t have a powder room. It has a toilet in the laundry room. And that’s not really a workable powder room. So in lieu of this very large closet, that really doesn’t do much for us, we’re going to turn this into a powder room.

So we’re going to have a vanity and a water closet toilet here and door. And that’s going to solve a lot of problems, definitely from a functional obsolescence point of view. Upstairs, we have two bedrooms and a full bath. And we’re going to just primarily carpet/paint upstairs. We’ll go up and take a look at that quick.

But I want to walk you over to the kitchen. As I mentioned back here, this floor is coming out. The carpet is coming out. We’re doing LVP all the way throughout. And then in the kitchen, we’re going to primarily keep these cabinets.

It’s good quality wood cabinets. The appliances are relatively new. Remember, this was a rental home. So these appliances were changed out. And we’re going to just pull this section of cabinetry and move this refrigerator, which is just sort of sitting out here on an island by itself.

And we’re going to build the refrigerator into this part of it. So it opens the kitchen, but it also gives us a very functional use. So the refrigerator is not sort of in the way, but it’s in the right spot. Other than that, we have what was, I guess, the dog room or some type of extended laundry room. And that has access out to the deck.

And this is the laundry room as well. As you can see, this is where they kept the dog. So the dog chewed up the vinyl, chewed up the trim and chewed up the door. But as you can see, as we mentioned earlier, this toilet serving as a powder room is really not acceptable. So we’re going to just come in and primarily replace flooring, paint, trim.

And then finally, the garage. Garage is nice and roomy. There is access to unfinished storage above. We’re leaving that alone. And so primarily in here, it’s replace these two garage doors. It’s paint, paint the floors, paint the walls, fix the stains and the holes in the ceiling and paint the ceilings as well.

And we’re done in the garage. So let’s take a walk upstairs, and that will wrap up the work that we’re doing up there.

All right. So now we’re upstairs, and this house is a master on the main with two bedrooms and one bath up. Both of these bedrooms are essentially about the same size, configured the same way. We have one larger closet here with access to the roof in front. And again, light fixtures, flooring, carpet, paint.

And then we have the bathroom that these two bedrooms share. We’ll likely, if we can, keep the cabinets, just fix them. We’ll change the countertops out and the fixtures, the flooring, and likely the bathroom framing and toilet. And then finally we’re going to do the same thing in this bedroom that we did in the other, which is flooring, paint, doors. If I didn’t mention, we’re going to be placing all the doors in the house.

Some of them were damaged. Some of these are just what I call apartment doors so they’re not particularly attractive. So we’ll be doing all of that. And that really covers it from the perspective of the cosmetics and you guys have seen the outside and the damage that was done by the tornado, we’ll get that fixed. So this is Greg with Halcyon Remodeling.

End Transcript

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