Who-is-Responsible-After-an-Apartment-Fire-in-Texas

Who is Responsible After an Apartment Fire in Texas?

Who-is-Responsible-After-an-Apartment-Fire-in-TexasLearn Who is Responsible After An Apartment Fire

The now-famous 4th of July fire at Panther Island Pavilion in Fort worth reminds us how important it is to keep a close eye on fire safety this summer.  If you are an apartment resident, you might be wondering who is responsible for the damages in the unfortunate event of an apartment fire. The huge number of grass fires sparked by our drought conditions might have you fearful that a neighbor’s misplaced cigarette butt or grill embers might spark a flame that takes out your entire building! If an apartment fire happens in your apartment community, here are things you should know about who is responsible for covering what.

What is the landlord responsible for?

When a fire occurs your first thought might be well my landlord is responsible no matter the cause of the fire, but this isn’t exactly the case. Additionally, the landlord’s insurance is only going to cover the building and surrounding premises but not the contents inside the apartment. However in some cases, the landlord may be responsible for all damages, including to your personal property, and those are outlined below. 
Situations where the landlord is responsible due to negligence:
  • The landlord failed to meet applicable fire code standards.
  • The landlord had failed to provide or maintain smoke detectors (which are required by law) caused a delay in the discovery of the fire
  • The landlord stored hazardous material in or around the building that caused or accelerated the fire.
  • The landlord blocked or allowed a blockage of passageways or emergency exits.
Should you find yourself in one of the above-noted situations then your landlord may be responsible for all the damages caused by a fire in your apartment building. The next step is to contact your renter’s insurance company to have a thorough investigation completed to determine the cause of the fire and find out if the landlord is responsible due to negligence. If the investigation determines that the landlord is responsible then their insurance would cover the cost of the damages due to a fire. 

What is the resident responsible for?

As a resident, you might be wondering what you will be responsible for in the unfortunate event of an apartment fire. Although the answer depends based on what was damaged and how the fire started will be a determining factor. Also, making sure you have the right coverage within your insurance plan will be a big factor in this as well. If for example the fire is ruled as your fault due to smoking inside or leaving a hair straightener on, you will be the one held liable.
If it was due to a faulty outlet or worn down apartment appliance, the renter usually isn’t at fault in those instances and the landlord would be the one responsible. If you still aren’t sure who might be held liable in your situation, the best bet will be to contact your insurance provider and discuss the details of your coverage with them. 

Maintain Renter’s Insurance

The best safety net for any resident is to ensure that you maintain your renter’s insurance after you purchase it – if you don’t purchase an annual plan, make sure that your monthly plan is up to date and never lapses.
When you have renter’s insurance and an apartment fire causes you to be displaced and/or damages and destroys your belongings, renter’s insurance is what gives you the ability to provide the ability to stay elsewhere and reimburse you and your family for the lost belongings. Living in Texas and the high risk of fires this summer is a great reminder to make sure that your policy has a loss-of-use provision for fire damage.
Ultimately, determining liability for an apartment fire requires each party to understand the cause that initially started the fire. In Texas, it is therefore of most importance to uphold legal options for these unexpected cases of accidents and obtain renters’ insurance for all parties signing the lease.
If your apartment complex experiences fire damage and/or needs emergency services for fire restoration, call Classic Construction for a quick assessment of the building and to begin working on the property and restore it to its original condition safely and quickly just as we have with Richardson Crossing in Richardson, Texas. 
Commercial-Code-Inspection-Preventing-Bad-Commercial-Building-Investments

Commercial Code Inspection: Preventing Bad Building Investments

Commercial-Code-Inspection-Preventing-Bad-Building-InvestmentsPrevent Bad Building Investments by Getting a Commercial Code Inspection

Investing in a commercial property can be exciting in planning for future business. When you find yourself looking into the logistics of what it takes to maintain a new commercial property, permits should be at the top of your list. Unpermitted work can be a daunting flaw in your investment. Thus, causing a huge setback in many of your business plans. Keep reading to learn why you should always get a commercial code inspection done on any property before you purchase.

Lack of Commercial Building Permits Puts You at Risk

Many construction companies operate with a “whatever it takes to get the sale” mindset. Some might even offer to do the work without pulling permits to cut down costs and speed up the construction process. On its face, this might seem like a prudent move, but skipping permits is often a costly mistake.

  • You might find if the general contractor is willing to skimp on permitting, they’re skimping elsewhere. Unlicensed contractors, uninsured contractors, and untrained contractors. These are huge risks to safety for the workers, your employees, and your customers.
  • Previous owners skipped on permitting and your building is out of code. This might result in your business being shut down by the city or county, having insurance claims denied when you try to file, or not being able to sell the building at a later date.
  • You (or the previous owner) want to save on property taxes and don’t pull permits, which might trigger a new assessment. Later, when the property is assessed, your taxes are increased and possibly back taxes will be owed.

What to Ask For When Investing in A Commercial Building

Adding more risk when investing in a commercial building isn’t at the top of any investor’s list. Thus, ensuring that you find a trusted partner to help you navigate and obtain a professional code inspection for the commercial building is a must.

Professionals from our team at Classic Construction are not only well-versed in code compliance for new buildings and reconstruction, but are experts in helping navigate new commercial building investments. This ensures that the property is fully protected from surprises along the way with a professional code inspection.

What to Do If You Find Something Out of Compliance

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of finding something within the building that is out of compliance, the first thing you should do is NOT purchase anything until the situation is resolved and the issue is corrected. The seller should be responsible for bringing the building up to code before ownership is transferred to you. If they are not willing to do so, you might want to walk away from that property. If you choose to purchase it without inspection, you are now the person liable for anything out of compliance.

Reaching out to the building department is another great way to also inform you if there are any open permits on the property. It’s good to note that an outstanding permit that was never properly inspected is just as risky as untrained contractors.

Reach out to us today if you are looking into purchasing a commercial building but aren’t sure if it’s up to commercial code inspection and compliance. Not only is Classic a reputable company, but you can always count on us to get the job done right. On-Time. On Budget. That’s Classic.

structures-to-keep-an-eye-on-for-heat-damage

Structures to Keep an Eye on for Heat Damage

structures-to-keep-an-eye-on-for-heat-damageStructures to Keep an Eye on This Summer for Heat Damage

Texas summer heat has its own schedule, as we all know, yet the New Yorkers and Californians relocating here are just starting to figure it out. With the spike in heat and no drop within the grasp of the coming weeks, heat damage is at the brink of every home not being carefully watched. When living in Texas, there are many structures where the heat may affect your property. In this article, we will discuss a few tips and structures to keep an eye on during these extreme heat temperatures.

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are structures that hold or retain soil behind it. They range in size from small terraces to hold a yard to large walls to hold up a steeper slope. Retaining walls are made of many materials, including concrete blocks or slabs, wood, rocks, and boulders. Because Texas has such volatile weather including droughts, severe cold snaps, and sudden microbursts, our soil is prone to cracking and moving. We all know what happens to your home foundation when extreme heat strikes, and because retaining walls are similar materials, they can crack, crumble, and fail. This is dangerous as rocks and dirt can hurt people and damage your property. A large rockslide can be devastating.

Sidewalks

During a hot Texas summer, sidewalks have the potential to crack in extreme heat. Whether it’s your walkway or home or building’s foundation, concrete can be a concern when high temperatures arise. Heat causes the soil to contract, which in turn can cause damage and crack to surfaces like concrete. During extended heat waves, cracks can form and spread if left unattended. That’s why regularly checking for signs of damage is crucial when preserving your concrete during the summer.

Monument Signs

Whether your monument sign is fully concrete or contains some metal or acrylic elements, all can fall prey to extreme heat in the summer. As with retaining walls and sidewalks, keeping an eye for cracks in the base and surrounding areas of the signage is key to preventing further damage as the summer progresses. Gaps in brick and rock can also begin to form, putting the structure at risk for more damage.

Acrylic pieces within monument signs are a bit different than structural damage. One key issue to look for includes trim caps in channel letters that will break down over time with exposure to heat. Warping and discoloration are also very common with acrylic signage and few preventative measures can be taken aside from purchasing replacement pieces ahead of time to swap when the heat damage is highly noticeable.

Texas heat can cause havoc in places that you least expect it! When it comes to walls, sidewalks, and signs the best defense is early detection. It’s best to have a professional assess and repair any damages caused by the high heat. Contact us today for a maintenance inspection or if you see any signs of damage on your property. Here at Classic, we offer free inspections of your commercial and residential properties to look out for the early signs of damage and fix them quickly.

When-a-Power-Outage-Strikes-4-Tips-to-Surviving-the-Summer-Dallas-Heat

When a Power Outage Strikes: 4 Tips to Surviving the Summer Dallas Heat

4 Tips to Surviving the Summer Dallas Heat When a Power Outage Strikes

When-a-Power-Outage-Strikes-4-Tips-to-Surviving-the-Summer-Dallas-HeatWhen a power outage strikes, while scary in the winter, you can always pile on blankets and more clothes. In the summer months, however, you want to take steps to make sure you stay cool and don’t succumb to heat stroke. After checking your breaker box for tripped circuits and reporting the power outage to Oncor, follow these tips to make sure you, your family, and your pets keep cool.

Resources In Your Home

If your power goes out in the summer months, there are several things you can do to help keep cool and protect your food. First and foremost: DO NOT OPEN YOUR REFRIGERATOR OR FREEZER! Even just to check. The more you open them, the more quickly the temps will drop and your food will spoil. Outside of that, to keep yourself cool you can do things like donning shorts and sandals or other loose and lightweight clothing, wetting a cloth and dabbing your arms, legs, and face with it, and drinking plenty of water. Another option would be to keep hand-held fans on hand, or in a pinch use, cardboard or paper folded accordion-style to keep air moving. Remember, heat rises, so if you have a multi-story building, stay on the lowest floor!

Resources In The Community

If you anticipate that your power may be out for longer than expected and need to evacuate your property, you may have some local resources available to make sure that you stay cool and safe. The Red Cross Metro East Chapter is a wonderful resource if you aren’t immediately able to find a temporary place to stay overnight.

If you anticipate the power to return within several hours and it’s during the day, you might consider reserving a space at a local co-working office for the remainder of the day. Check out this list of local co-working spaces to find an office/space near you to stay in until your power returns.

Monitoring Your Health

Staying hydrated sounds easy and necessary but when the heat starts to spike it can be easy to become dehydrated within your own home. monitoring your body’s temperature and symptoms can be the key to avoiding heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn, and heat rash. All of them vary in symptoms.
Some tips to keep in mind would be to always wear lightweight clothing and stay in the coolest, lowest levels of your home. Also try to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals as these can lead to dehydration.

Checking In On Your Neighbors

Power outages can be a stressful situation during the summer and turn dangerous quickly. If you can, always check in on your neighbors and make sure they have the proper resources to try to beat the summer heat as well. If your neighbors are elderly, be extra mindful that they might need help when it comes to transportation as well, since they will need to get to a cool and safe place. Sharing resources and knowledge with neighbors when available is always recommended so everyone gets through this tough time together.

Now you know 4 great tips on beating the summer Dallas heat in the event of a power outage. Remember to stay calm in this situation and know that there are many great resources available if you ever find yourself in this unfortunate predicament. If you are able to follow these tips as best as possible, you will not only keep yourself safe, but your family, pets, and neighbors as well.

Can-my-hail-damage-deductible-be-waived-or-is-it-a-red-flag

Can My Hail Damage Deductible Be Waived or Is It a Red Flag?

Can My Hail Damage Deductible Be Waived?

Can-My-Hail-Damage-Deductible-Be-Waived-or-Is-It-a-Red-FlagLiving in North Texas means dealing with heavy and constant hailstorms during the storm seasons. With hail damage to your residential or commercial property being at risk during each heavy storm, owners begin to raise questions about whether the damage can be waived or if it is a potential red flag. If you are wondering if your hail damage deductible can be waived, keep reading this article. We discuss who is responsible for hail damage, what can be considered a “red flag,” and how to appropriately report fraud.

Who is responsible?

We’re just going to put this straight – the homeowner is responsible for any and all deductibles that are part of his or her insurance plan. As of 09/01/2019 per Texas law, the state “requires property owners to pay the full insurance deductible they agreed to pay in their property insurance policy”. If someone comes knocking on your door offering a deal that includes your deductible, this should be a red flag for you! Here at Classic, we always ensure that we are following all Texas laws and regulations when it comes to repairs on your home or commercial property. Keep reading to spot the companies that don’t.

A Contractor Red Flag

Many contractors who purport to waive the deductible may either fraudulently report the costs incorrectly to your insurance company and/or cut corners by using lower-quality materials for your hail damage repair that keeps their costs low, provide a low-quality repair, and their pockets full.

At the end of the day – the insurance company will confirm that you paid your deductible before your claim is paid by asking for proof (a canceled check and/or credit card statement with the deductible amount). If the contractor “waived” your deductible – then you may be liable for fraud.

Reporting fraud

You may be tempted to call back a company that leaves a flyer claiming to pay your deductible as a means to save some cash, but for the reasons above, you probably want to steer clear! If you receive an offer from a company and something feels off, you should trust your gut! You can go so far as to report fraud to the National Insurance Crime Bureau to open an investigation. Typically, companies that make this offer are fly-by-night operators that are looking to profit from your distress after severe weather and major roof damage.

We’ve explained why you should never hire a contractor claiming to pay your deductible for roof repairs for a few reasons, including staying within the bounds of the law! Contact Classic for a reliable commercial and residential roofing contractor. Not only are we honest and trustworthy, but we have many years of experience under our belt, especially when it comes to hail damage. If you have further questions about when you as a homeowner are responsible for paying any and all deductibles reach out to us today for more information.

Tips-for-Multifamily-Living-When-the-Power-Goes-Out-in-Your-Apartment

Tips for Multifamily Living When You Lose Electricity in Your Apartment

Lose Electricity in your Apartment? Tips for Multifamily Living When the Power Goes Out

Tips-for-Multifamily-Living-When-the-Power-Goes-Out-in-Your-ApartmentRegardless if you’re working from home, relaxing with your favorite TV show, or enjoying central AC inside of your home, when the power suddenly goes out it is an immediate wake-up call from anything you’re doing. When you lose electricity in your multifamily home, the first thing to do is to reach out to the managers of the property but living in Texas, is this the right step to take? How do you ensure that this is a short time outage or a long term? Where do you go for helpful tips and contact information for your location? These are all common questions and concerns that we will discuss to assist you in what to do when you lose electricity in your apartment. Keep reading to learn some great tips for multifamily living when the power goes out.

Talking to Owners/Managers

As a resident, it can be extremely frustrating and worrisome when your power goes out, especially during the hot Texan summer months. If this is a recurring issue, you may want to consider reaching out to the Property Managers and letting them know that you’ve experienced this multiple times so that they know that it’s not just a one-time issue.

Alternatively, if this is the first time that this has happened to you, your best bet is to reach out to your electricity provider to see if they are aware of the outage. More often than not, if it’s a one-time issue, it’s an outage, whereas an outage that happens often (like for heavy winds, for example) may require your Property Manager to have a general contractor take a look and ensure that this repeated outage isn’t a maintenance and/or safety issue that could cause bigger problems as time passes for the residents and for the building(s).

Talking to Residents

When your power goes out it can be a scary experience, especially if you have young kids who may be afraid of the dark. Your first thought is probably to get every flashlight or candle you have ready and get as much light going as you can. However, this may not be the best approach, particularly since candles aren’t always the safest option. Instead what we recommend is that you take a second to access the situation, go outside and see if only your unit has been affected or if your neighbors are without power as well. If you find that it is only your unit then contact your office or on-site maintenance personnel to have them come out and see what’s going on. If you find that your entire build or complex has been affected then your next step is to check with your power company. Many of them how outage checkers as a way to report the outage in your area. Be sure to always report an outage in your area even if they already know as the more reports they get the more they’ll know how dire the need is. Lastly, just do your best to relax and wait out the situation.

Helpful Links & Contact Info

If you live in an apartment, condo, or HOA community and your electricity happen to go out, here is a quick list of items to check, and places to find information.

1. Check in with neighbors and look outside for street lights and other electric items to see if only your unit is affected, or whether the entire block or community is affected.
2. Look at your breaker box for any tripped breakers. Sometimes they are tripped, but the switch is not moved very far and might be easily missed!
3. Check your email or community bulletin board for notices about electric repairs. Sometimes these notices go to spam, so don’t forget to check there!
4. If you’re a Texas resident check Oncor’s Outage Tracker to see if your area is affected by a storm or other large outage. If it’s not reported, use that page to make a report to get power restored as soon as possible.
5. If you’re not a Texas resident, check your area’s main electrical provider for outage listings or your electric company’s main website.

Now you know the best tips for multifamily living and what steps to take whether you are an apartment manager, owner, or resident when you lose electricity in your apartment. Reach out to our Classic team today for general maintenance contract work and we can also help you find the best maintenance plan when it comes to your multifamily property when you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of an outage.

Justin Felts

Meet Justin Felts

Justin Felts

Classic Welcomes Justin Felts to the Team

Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc is proud to announce the hiring of Justin Felts as our new Director of Field Operations. Justin began his career in construction, maintenance & repair over 25 years ago after serving his country in the United States Coast Guard. He comes to Classic Construction with a background in residential multifamily, homeowner associations, commercial MEP and insurance restoration, as well as working with TxDOT. While Texas has always been his home, traveling and exploring have become a passion. When the weather cooperates you can either find him on the golf course or at the lake. His bucket list course is Sawgrass in Florida. He loves bass fishing with his new rescue Boxer, Homie.
Robin Anderson

Meet Robin Anderson

Robin Anderson

Classic Welcomes Robin Anderson to the Team

Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc is proud to announce the hiring of Robin Anderson as our new Vice President of Client Services. Robin is a longtime construction professional, with the last twelve years being dedicated to the prosperity of construction and its supporting industries. She is an Alumni of Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor’s of Arts. In 2003, the took on the role of sales within the structural steel industry, and she never looked back!

Through business development and marketing, she continues to be motivated by the importance of revenue success, integrity amongst clientele, and the ability to exceed company expectations. she spent 7 years on the Community Association Institute (CAI), both in Dallas and Austin, serving as board member, secretary and president. In 2015, she was elected chair of the CAI DFW Chapter Expo and won the National CAI Outstanding Achievement for Expo and Tradeshow.

As a lifelong Texan, Robin Anderson enjoys her time with her family and husband of 26 years. Together, they have three beautiful children, including her oldest, who is adopted from Russia. She has spent considerable time traveling and some of her greatest experiences in life include traveling to countries such as Russia, United Arab Emirates, and The Netherlands. Along with visiting these countries, her family was also granted an opportunity to live abroad in Egypt for some time.

Is-Multifamily-Building-Maintenance-Causing-a-Loss-of-Business

Is Multifamily Building Maintenance Causing a Loss of Business?

is-multifamily-building-maintenance-causing-a-loss-of-businessPoor Multifamily Building Maintenance Might Be Causing a Loss of Business

As we see more people building a family, multifamily housing marketing is becoming more common in the housing industry. With new builds bringing competition and old buildings maintaining structure, how are these conflicting markets affecting business? The things to consider when looking into multifamily housing range from the cost of living to upkeep and maintenance of the building and the appliances that you’ll be using during the duration of your time there. In this blog, we will be discussing how Multifamily building maintenance may be causing a loss of business.

Flooring

When it comes to multifamily living, flooring is a huge aspect when considering which apartment is the right choice for you and your family. No one wants to rent an apartment with old and torn-up carpet that hasn’t been replaced in years, so keeping up-to-date on the carpet and making sure it’s replaced after each tenant is essential when it comes to building maintenance. If you have tile or hardwood flooring within the units, making sure they aren’t cracked and outdated will help potential renters to choose your location. Keeping the inside of an apartment current and on-trend is one of the many reasons future renters will gravitate toward your complex.

Fixtures

Depending on how long it’s been since your latest fixture maintenance walkthrough, it’s quite possible that the fixtures may be outdated (or even at times non-existent). Cabinets with no drawer pulls or handles may not be as desirable as brand the new bronze-finish style that’s been popular in new builds. Units that have been rented for a long period of time without renovations may also have residents eyeing newer builds with modern stoves, microwaves, and washer/dryer combos.

As we’ve seen rents rise across the DFW metroplex, we have seen a high churn of residents who may jump from their current residence to a newer one that will charge the same monthly rate that has the latest and greatest appliances and fixtures.

Furnishings & Appliances

It’s a widely known fact that when a family comes together it’s usually in the kitchen! So when your current and future residents gather together you want to give them a space that’s sure to impress. Updating your appliances, cabinets, and more to a more modern feel can help the inner event planner choose your community over a competitor.

Another aspect that makes multi-family living really stand out is giving your residents a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. Having a bathroom with a comfortable tub and a vanity large enough to share are key components that you’ll want to think about when updating or building your community. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that your residents have a true place where they can relax and call home.

During this tumultuous time for residents and the competition for space, keeping units in a multifamily building is more important than ever. We have heard and seen multifamily residences lose residents in droves just for the lack of maintenance – which as most property managers know is one of the least desirable outcomes for a property.

Reach out to us today for a quote to recommend the best maintenance plan for your multifamily residence to keep your residents happy and attract new residents no matter the season.

Retaining-Wall-and-Monument-Sign-Maintenance

Retaining Wall and Monument Sign Maintenance for Your Property

Retaining-Wall-and-Monument-Sign-MaintenceRetaining Wall and Monument Sign Maintenance Tips and Tricks

When it comes to sloped or terraced properties, nothing is quite as handy as a retaining wall. Not only are they gorgeous and add a brilliant aesthetic to the yard, but they are quite practical and useful at helping you utilize your outdoor space. We wanted to share some tips and tricks when it comes to retaining wall and monument sign maintenance, as well as share the importance of keeping up with your commercial and residential properties’ wall and monument signs.

The Importance of Maintaining Walls and Monument Signs

When it comes to your property retaining walls can come in handy to help hold up the earth (aka dirt) and block it from sliding down when any part of the property is at the end of a decline. Monument signs give a beautiful way to showcase your property and are often found at the entrance to subdivisions. They also help future residents and visitors find your property when driving down the road. Naturally, both of these features provide essential uses to your property which is why proper maintenance is also essential. The last thing you’d want is a retaining wall or monument sign to come crumbling down causing havoc on your property and creating a hazard for residents. At the first signs of wear give us a call so we can come out and inspect and repair any defects before they become bigger problems.

Inspecting Retaining Walls

Inspecting and retaining walls are necessary when it comes to proper maintenance. Checking for gaps in stones themselves as well as cracks in the mortar between them is a good start. Cracks and missing mortar will only get worse with time, so making sure those are properly inspected and maintained are crucial when it comes to walls. Another thing to look for is bulges in the wall. If you notice this is happening and some sections are bowing out, this means the soil is shifting and can cause critical damage in the near future. If you notice this, you should contact a professional as soon as possible so they can help resolve this issue immediately.

Tips on How to Maintain Walls & Signs

Maintenance of walls is important and should be checked at least every quarter. If there are any weeds visible in-between areas of the retaining wall, make sure to remove those by the root as they will continue to multiply and separate the wall over time (despite looking nice in some cases).

If you see any slight settling, surface wear, rotation, or bulging of retaining walls or monument signs, the best next move is to call your partnered construction company to evaluate it for any preventative maintenance to keep the issue from worsening.

There are some preventative measures you can take for retaining walls and monument signs including surface treatments, but make sure to check in and verify any treatments with your partnered construction company in order to be sure you have the right treatment for your surface(s).

Don’t wait until the last moment when it comes to sloping or terraced properties. Consistency maintenance of retaining walls is critical to keeping a healthy commercial or residential property. So whether you need to repair an existing structure or you’d like to add a retaining wall to your property, we can help. Contact us today to get a quote and see how we can transform your property.