Rebuilding After a Wildfire: A Kelowna Builder’s Insights

18 Oct 2023 - Design-Build, News

As Kelowna custom builders who live and work here in the heart of the Okanagan and helped rebuild after the 2003 fires, we know how emotional and personal it is to rebuild your dream home after a natural disaster.

It was a difficult summer for many of us. Wildfires forced people from their homes, and in BC alone, 400 houses were damaged or destroyed, with nearly half of those homes in the Central Okanagan.

But it was also a time of unity. Communities came together, neighbours helped each other, and people around the world donated food and blankets and did everything they could to pull through the challenging time, together.

As we reflect on this past summer and look to the months and years ahead, here are four things to consider if you’re rebuilding your home or starting new construction in 2024.


1. Staying positive

At Bellamy Homes, we know from experience how difficult and traumatic it is, and how important it is to stay positive. Nothing will change what you went through, but eventually, the dust settles, and you will have a dream house that you love to call home.\


2. Expect a spring building boom

After the devastating fires of 2003, a labour shortage led to delays in rebuilding.

As the province tackles a skilled trades shortage and with a limited number of builders and contractors available going into the spring construction season, we recommend reaching out to Kelowna custom builders as soon as possible.

Their schedules will fill up fast, and securing your preferred builder early can help ensure a smooth rebuilding process.


3. Be selective when choosing your builder

Construction insurance requires you to get three quotes before building. However, in an already taxed industry, these numbers are only a starting point. When you’re ready to choose a builder in Kelowna, look beyond the quotes.

Whether you’re building or rebuilding, creating your family’s dream home is an emotional journey. Rather than price shopping, we recommend working with a custom builder with deep community roots and reliable trade connections. A good custom home designer and builder will work with you to get the quotes and hire the tradespeople you need to make your dream home a reality.

 4. Update your insurance policy

The first thing to do if your home was damaged in the Grouse Complex wildfire is call your insurance company. Aside from covering emergency costs, your policy provider has a process to follow to claim the insurance money you will need to rebuild.

If you’re starting new construction in the spring or rebuilding your dream home, it’s important to know that insurers don’t bind policies on properties within 50 km of an active wildfire. And, when construction is underway, be sure to keep your insurance policy up-to-date to reflect any change orders that impact the value of your home.

Our hearts are with everyone impacted by the devastating 2023 wildfires and those who now have to rebuild. If you’re ready to talk about your plans to rebuild or looking for more information, contact us online to get started.