Fire Questions: Timeline and Duration

Fire Questions: Timeline and Duration

Author: Chris Massie January 26, 2024

We continue our Fire Questions series today, as we answer three more questions about Timeline and Duration of the restoration process.

Q1: How long does the entire restoration process usually take after a fire?

A: Well, I wish I could give you an exact answer, but instead I will have to give you some generalities. We have helped restore homes and buildings that have had massive fires that have wiped out nearly everything on site, and we have also helped restore small kitchen fires that only singed one wall. Because there is a big difference between the size of the fires and the requirements of restoration with each one, the length of the restoration process will vary.

The minimum for fire damage restoration will be 1-2 months, and the maximum length could extend past 1 year. Many of our mid-range fire restoration projects are between 6-9 months from the day of the fire to the day we finish up.

Q2: Can I stay in my home during the restoration process?

A: Most of the time, our customers do not remain in their home during the restoration after a fire. The reason is because of the extent of the fire damage. It’s not so much the fire damage that makes the home owners not want to live in the home during restoration; it’s the smoke damage. The smell of smoke often permeates much of the home, which affects the air quality. With low air quality in the home, it can make it difficult to breathe until the smoke smell is removed.

Many times we strip rooms down their studs as we remove all of the smoke damage and smell. The HVAC system often needs replaced as the soot settles inside the air ducts. We seal the studs and base layers of the home before reconstructing each room with new drywall and fresh paint and flooring.

Until we have completed the restoration and can put our No Smoke Odor Guarantee on it, we don’t usually recommend staying in the home during the restoration process. Most of the time, home owners do not want to stay in their home during the restoration process, until we are in the final days of wrapping up.

Q3: What factors can affect the timeline of the fire damage restoration project?

A: There are multiple factors that determine the length and timeline of a fire damage restoration project. The first step in the process is the fire investigation. The fire department often initiates an investigation to determine the cause of the fire. Once the cause has been determined, they release the scene to begin the restoration process.

The second step is our initial evaluation and inspection. We determine what has been affected and damaged, and began to lay out a “scope of work” as we examine what needs repaired.

The third step follows on the heels of the inspection as we create an estimate for the repairs needed. This step sometimes takes some time as we submit the estimate to your insurance adjuster. The adjuster’s job is to keep us honest with our pricing, and our job is to ensure the adjuster allows repairs for everything that needs replaced. We work well with the adjusters on your behalf.

The next step, once the estimate has been approved, is to order materials. Depending on what materials you have chosen for your home may affect how long it will take for them to arrive.

As we await the materials to arrive for reconstruction, we begin the demo phase. This is the part where everything that cannot be salvaged is removed from the home. The walls are stripped down to their studs, and all fire-damaged and smoke-damaged materials are removed and hauled away.

Once we have a “clean slate”, we can begin to reconstruct your home as the materials arrive. If you have dreamed of remodeling or adding a new room or updating certain features of your home, this is the most opportune time to make that dream happen.

Then it’s a matter of restoring your home from the inside out. These are the main factors that determine the timeline of your fire restoration project.


Have you experienced a fire?

If you or someone you know has experienced a fire in your home or business, first off, our heart goes out to you. It can be a stressful time as so many decisions are required to be made.

Secondly, if you need a professional contractor who cares about how the process goes for you, and is committed to walking with you through the process to make your dreams reality, that’s us! Give Swartz Restoration a call to speak with one of our caring team members to begin walking you through the restoration process.


We Care about you, and we will serve you at the highest level you allow us.