Useppa island off the coast of Southwest Florida received the direct eye passage from Hurricane Charlie in 2004. The residence was a two-story premium duplex and received massive damage from the hurricane. The aftermath left the owner with difficult decisions complicated by the presence of an identical structure attached to it. The difficulties and decisions made after a hurricane can have far-reaching effects down the line. This island made all of those decisions that much more important due to the nature of being 5 miles from the nearest marina providing access to the island via chartered boat only. This was typical of my experience on Bald Head Island in North Carolina.

This residence had lost its roof and received water damage in every room. The home was three stories elevated and of premium quality and design throughout. Complete was asked to come in after the contractor had made the repairs and delineate the costs associated with repair from the wind, flood, and betterments. The owners had decided ways to better use the space and took the opportunity while the building was apart to improve it in some ways. They expanded the second floor dormer, added a cooking porch, and improved the flow of the stairs from floor to floor. The quality of the work was for the most part very good but the contractor was not set up to properly distinguish the costs from one cause to another.

We were hired by the owner and served the law firm they selected, Davis and Harmon. Our appraisal estimate was accurate down to the nail and the claim settled. The only thing that would have been better is if we had been hired earlier; we could have been of more help. We enjoyed the owner’s hospitality and know that we have a friend on Useppa.