A couple winters ago we had an ice storm that, in my estimation, did more damage to our immediate area than Hurricane Sandy. The power outages, downed trees and abysmal driving conditions paralyzed the region for days.
Soon after, I got a call from a neighbor of the client whose Wayne, PA house was wrecked by a tree during Sandy. He told me that a tree fell through HIS house during the ice storm.
Amazingly, again no one was hurt. But a section of his house looked like something from a disaster movie. And, standing at his front door, you can see the front door of my former client. That’s how close they are to each other.
The caller told me that, following the storm, he was standing outside trying to absorb the extent of his home’s destruction. My former client, bundled nearly to the point of unrecognizability, approached him with a folder.
“You’ll need this,” he said. “Here’s a tree guy, an insurance adjuster, a contractor, a storage facility for your belongings, an extended stay apartment…it’s all in here. Glad to share the knowledge.”
And I was glad to get the referral.
The reconstruction was streamlined by the fact that the homeowner wanted to rebuild the damaged area exactly as it was. Which made sense, as the tree fell through a (luckily unoccupied) guest room at the end of the house, so there was no need to reevaluate comprehensive systems . And the crushed windows, skylights and finishes had been of the highest quality and impeccable taste, so there was no reason to tinker.
When we were midway through the project, my new client asked me if that’s my thing – to find tree-damaged houses and rebuild them. “I never intended it to be,” I said. “It just so happens that you live two doors down from the last time this happened. I mean, seriously, what are the chances?”