Currently Reading

Wildfires Inspire Software That Helps Survivors Rebuild Fast

Advertisement

Wildfires Inspire Software That Helps Survivors Rebuild Fast


January 16, 2020
Web Developer
Adult businesswoman working at home using computer, studying business ideas on a pc screen on-line. By undrey - Adobe Stock

Necessity is the mother of innovation, and from the ashes of the California wildfires, the notoriously slow-to-change home building industry may have found the next redesign. Homebound, a startup managing home rebuilds for 150 fire victims, uses software to streamline the home building process to eliminate inefficiencies that slow a project down. Nikki Pechet, the co-founder and CEO, saw how these survivors with nowhere to go needed their homes built fast, so she made a company that delivers: One victim who used the service returned home before others who had started the rebuilding before him. The business’ software analyzes 379 unique tasks common in builds, and helps connect the builders, subcontractors, and clients by sending delivery alerts, facilitating collaboration, and allowing users to track the homes progress. 

From his front porch in the hills of Santa Rosa, California, Richard Hicks can see majestic pines, rolling green slopes—and a bunch of unfinished houses. The 72-year-old retiree lost his home to the 2017 Tubbs Fire and moved into a new one built in its place in November. Some of his neighbors who suffered the same fate began rebuilding before him, but he was the first to return. One is still waiting for construction to start. Another lives in a shed put up by Habitat for Humanity.

“I wasn’t going to rebuild,” recalls Hicks, a lifelong Californian who’s owned the property since 1980. “At my age I should be traveling and fishing rather than going through the time commitment and stress and hundreds of decisions you have to make. But I kind of backed into it.”

More than 24,000 California homes have been destroyed by fires since 2017. Some owners sold. Others opted for ready-made homes built in factories. Of those who chose to rebuild from scratch, many continue to manage headaches ranging from debris removal to insurance claims to hiring contractors, engineers and architects. Hicks’ relatively speedy return was helped by Homebound, a startup formed 18 months ago and now managing the whole process for 150 fire victims.

Read More

 

Related Stories

Building Technology

Could This Product Approach to Building Maximize Efficiency?

Two previous Apple, Tesla, and Burberry employees believe their company’s product-like approach to home building can help solve the housing crisis…

Building Technology

KB Home Launches AI-Powered Chatbot for Customers

KB Home announced its launch of an AI chatbot platform aimed at answering home shopper questions, offering personalized information, and…

Prefab + Panelization

Prefab Methods Struggle to Compete With Traditional Techniques

While prefab methods may seem like a quick fix to many home building problems, the transition is not as easy as it sounds. One homeowner went off…

Advertisement

More in Category




Advertisement

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.


Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Subscribe
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.