Storm Strategy Special Issue: the Video Series

An exclusive set of videos with Laurence Carolan, GCP, CR, owner of the House of Laurence; Jimmy Quinn, construction consultant at Alure Home Improvements; and Sal Ferro, president and CEO of Alure Home Improvements where they discuss the business strategies incorporated prior to and following Hurricane Sandy.

September 6, 2013

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the focus was on the human and property toll. News images told the story: a boardwalk roller coaster, mangled and surrounded by the sea; a flooded, night-time conflagration that was once a neighborhood of more than 100 homes; and many others.

Here at Professional Remodeler, soon after the storm, we began seeing images from camera phones and hearing first-person stories from you, our readers. Long Island remodeler Laurence Carolan told the story of a couple in their 60s who had been watching TV when the storm hit. Within an hour, the storm surge had risen waist high in their single-story ranch. They said their goodbyes to each other before the water finally stopped rising just under five feet, Carolan said, allowing the couple to make their way to higher ground and safety.

Another Long Island remodeler, Sal Ferro, of Alure Home Improvements, hopped on an ATV and navigated trees and debris to assist a hard-hit group of neighbors. He covered damaged roofs and supervised estimates and ordering. Meanwhile, two Alure employees were completely washed out of their homes, and their colleagues pitched in to help them get back on their feet.

Over the ensuing weeks and months, Alure took on scores of large and small jobs, extending and stretching the team to previously unknown limits. In hindsight, Ferro admits, if a storm like Sandy were to hit again he would likely have to say, ?No,? to more people in the community he serves. Responding to storms can be unprofitable. Worse, remodelers can overextend to the point of losing money if they are not careful, pushing some to the financial brink.

This package of stories is about the business impact of big storms on remodelers and home-improvement companies. Insurance-restoration firms specialize in handling emergencies because their business models are built to handle storms. But thousands of other firms, pressed into storm service out of necessity, are not trained or equipped to estimate for emergency service work. Nor have many remodelers had the experience of working with residential property insurance companies, how they pay, and how they mark-up labor. In the following stories we provide a primer that will help remodelers frame their strategies for approaching storm work.

First, we present our exclusive research demonstrating the high percentage of remodelers who see storms as a double-edged sword?opportunity and peril combined. Next, our award-winning contributor, Wendy Jordan, profiles leading insurance restoration firms with an eye toward imparting lessons from storm pros. The remaining portions of the package tell the stories of remodelers who managed amid the biggest storms over the past few years. Highlighting large remodelers and small alike, these stories provide insights for navigating a business through the next big storm.

Finally, we have many video interviews below as well as feature stories and photographs at


Laurence Carolan, GCP, CR, owner of the House of Laurence

Laurence Carolan, GCP, CR, owner of the House of Laurence was interviewed by Professional Remodeler in the Summer of 2013 in Long Island, N.Y. Carolan responded to calls from numerous homeowners that needed emergency help following Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Ultimately, many of the homeowners ended up hiring Carolan for long-term remodeling in projects. In this series of videos Carolan discusses a number of topics related to Hurricane Sandy including:

Jimmy Quinn, construction consultant, Alure Home Improvements

Jimmy Quinn, construction consultant at Alure Home Improvements and a resident of Amityville, N.Y., was a victim of the flooding from Hurricane Sandy. His home, located less than a mile from the shoreline, experienced a storm surge of more than 3 feet in his home. Without the help of his company, Alure Home Improvements, Quinn may not have been able to return to his home just six months after the storm. In this series of videos with Professional Remodeler discusses a number of topics including:


Sal Ferro, president and CEO of Alure Home Improvements

Sal Ferro, president and CEO of Alure Home Improvements, recently sat down with Professional Remodeler to discuss how his company and employees were impact ed by Hurricane Sandy. In these exclusive videos, Ferro offers tips on how to prepare your business for the next big storm and on how business differed before and after the storm, and much more including: