Archive for August, 2008

Insurance and Home Repair Help for Tropical Storm Fay/Gustav Victims

August 24, 2008

I am actively involved in travels to assist tropical storm and hurricane victims. If you know of any community groups that would benefit from insurance claim and/or home repair advice, please post a comment here or write me directly at


Flood Damage Hazards — Mold, Asbestos and the Insurance Company

August 23, 2008

Mold grows quickly after a flood – as quickly as 72 hours after the damage. Unfortunately, many insurance policies do not cover proper mold abatement. Here’s how I handled this problem.

Not only did I have severe mold growth in my condominium, but my home was also built in 1971. The ceilings, which needed to be demolished due to water damage, were loaded with asbestos. Both asbestos and mold require extremely skilled professionals to safely remove and dispose of them. The insurance company insisted that I authorize its contractor to remove the ceilings and asbestos from my condominium.  However, they refused to cover proper mold abatement, even though there had been mold growing in the unit (more…)

My Story

August 19, 2008

During my December 2006 holiday vacation, a plumbing accident on the top floor of my condominium building unleashed a downpour of water that saturated all of the units below it, including mine on the bottom floor.


Replicating hurricane-type conditions, flooding destroyed the walls, ceilings, hardwood floors and my beloved chef’s kitchen. Facing not only severe water damage, but also significant mold and asbestos hazards, my home would need to be demolished and rebuilt from scratch. The toughest pill to swallow was that none of it was my fault. And yet, this type of catastrophe is all too common. (more…)

Negotiating Insurance Claims

August 18, 2008

The below article was published in The Standard-Times, The Narragansett Times, The East Greenwich Pendulum, The Chariho Times and The Coventry Courier  newspapers.

Negotiating Insurance Claims: Ten tips to prepare for storm, wind or water damage

Between household accidents and natural disasters, homeowners insurance claims have become an integral part of home ownership. From the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 to the recent tropical storms and hurricanes in the Southeast, flooding has threatened countless American homes over the past several decades. Now that the 2008 hurricane season is in full swing, below are ten tips (more…)

Share your Contractor Story

August 18, 2008

Every homeowner boasts a contractor story, from the unscrupulous character who disappeared with his deposit to the remodel that lingered forever. Post a comment here if you’d like to share your story.

Greetings from Harvard to Hardhat

August 17, 2008

Greetings from the author of From Harvard to Hardhat: How I Hired, Managed and Survived my Contractor. As a former flood victim, I lost my home and had to rebuild it from the ground up (literally)! My MBA may be from Harvard, but my contractor’s license is from the prestigious School of Hard Knocks. If you have a question about hiring a contractor, managing the construction process, surviving the experience or haggling with the insurance company, I will do my best to help. Just send a comment. New to blogging? Check out this excellent video at: