Hurricane Damage

New study shows the financial impact of Harvey and other recent devastating hurricanes

New study shows financial impact of Harvey and other recent hurricanes

September 9, 2017. Humble, Texas. Floodwater from Hurricane Harvey rose over 12 feet and ripped off the deck in front of this home, Houzz
Floodwater from Hurricane Harvey rose over 12 feet and ripped off the deck in front of this home in Humble. Photo by Photo by Chuck Haupt for the American Red Cross
Graphic, average cost to homeowner to fix hurricane-related damage
The estimated average cost to homeowner to fix hurricane-related damage due to Harvery is $111,000. Courtesy of Houzz
Flooding in Clay County, Florida, from Hurricane Irma, Houzz
Flooding in Clay County, Florida, after Hurricane Irma. Photo by Tim Donovan, Florida Fish and Wildlife
Graphic, initial two-week hurricane impact on business operations
91 percent of businesses suspended operations for one or more weeks due to Hurricane Harvey. Courtesy of Houzz
Hurricane Maria, uerto Rico National Guard soldiers, along with volunteers of the Puerto Rico State Guard, work together to fulfill the road clearing mission at Punta Santiago in Humacao, Puerto Rico on September 27, Houzz
Puerto Rico National Guard soldiers and volunteers work together to clear a road at Punta Santiago in Humacao, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Photo by SPC Hamiel Irizarry, The National Guard
Graphic, top business challenges due to hurricanes
Businesses face challenges from the hurricane damage, but expect to recover. Courtesy of Houzz
September 9, 2017. Humble, Texas. Floodwater from Hurricane Harvey rose over 12 feet and ripped off the deck in front of this home, Houzz
Graphic, average cost to homeowner to fix hurricane-related damage
Flooding in Clay County, Florida, from Hurricane Irma, Houzz
Graphic, initial two-week hurricane impact on business operations
Hurricane Maria, uerto Rico National Guard soldiers, along with volunteers of the Puerto Rico State Guard, work together to fulfill the road clearing mission at Punta Santiago in Humacao, Puerto Rico on September 27, Houzz
Graphic, top business challenges due to hurricanes

The greatest tragedy exacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, which hammered Texas, the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean in August and September, was the number of people who lost their lives — at latest count at 77 due to Harvey, 132 stemming from Irma and 48 so far in Puerto Rico related to Maria.

And in the aftermath, survivors have been hit with a financial wallop. As part of its latest Houzz Renovation Barometer report, Houzz asked a panel of renovation industry firms about the financial effect of these disasters. While homeowners are facing significant financial impact, businesses, too, are feeling the storm’s financial effects — from a shortage of available workers to project delays. Nonetheless, firms expect a rebound as rebuilding commences. Here’s what we know at this time.

The Houzz Renovation Barometer survey was fielded September 28 to October 12, 2017, and responses were received from 2,241 professionals. Companies in the Houston area estimated the average cost to homeowners to fix damage from Harvey at $111,000 per household, the survey found. One in 10 companies in the Houston area is estimating the total repair and/or renovation costs due to Harvey to be greater than an average of $200,000 per household.

Local Design Build Firms to Help You Recover

For Irma, renovation companies on the Southwestern Florida costal mainland, where the flooding was less severe, estimated the average cost to homeowners to fix damage at $13,000, the survey found.

The professionals on our panel who provided these numbers have businesses in the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas, metro area for Harvey; and for Irma the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Naples-Marco Island, and Punta Gorda, Florida, metro areas. Our panel did not include renovation professionals with offices located in Key West, but businesses in other metro areas on the Florida coast may have served the island.

What to Know Before You Build a House

Over the short term, hurricanes hurt renovation-related businesses, specifically in the first two weeks after these storms made landfall. Forty-one percent of businesses in Irma-affected areas suspended operations during this period, while 28 percent of those in Harvey-affected areas did so. More firms hit by Harvey (91 percent) closed shop for one or more weeks compared to Irma (65 percent).

The survey went out just one week after Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, and the number of responses from that U.S. territory were limited. But the numbers we do know help tell the story. Nearly a month after the storm hit, the majority of the island still doesn’t have power. A reported one-third of the population still lacks access to clean drinking water. More than 100 people remain missing, and the death count is expected to rise. Moody’s Analytics estimates the island has sustained damage of some $45 to $95 billion. To put those figures into perspective, consider that the island’s annual economic output is $103.1 billion.

How You Can Help After Hurricane Maria

Businesses face challenges but anticipate recovery. Like the homeowners affected by the natural disasters, businesses expect some financial fallout from these storms, but a majority expect to recover within one year. One of the effects of natural disasters on the renovation industry is that many of them will see their businesses boom once people are ready to rebuild. At the same time, the hurricanes worsened labor shortages across the region and increased project backlogs by about two weeks, the survey found.

Businesses face challenges but anticipate recovery. Like the homeowners affected by the natural disasters, businesses expect some financial fallout from these storms, but a majority expect to recover within one year. One of the effects of natural disasters on the renovation industry is that many of them will see their businesses boom once people are ready to rebuild. At the same time, the hurricanes worsened labor shortages across the region and increased project backlogs by about two weeks, the survey found.

Your turn: Do you have friends or family in affected areas? How are your loved ones doing? Please share your photos and stories in the Comments.