Behind the Scenes: After the Hurricane Hit

Ten months ago, Hurricane Harvey hit my home city of Houston, dumping over 50 inches of rain and causing $125 billion dollars in damage. I haven't really talked about the impact of the hurricane on me, my family, and my business because so many others lost their lives and so much more than we did. And people are still struggling to recover from last year's hurricanes, especially in Puerto Rico. In fact, I would like to encourage anyone reading my blog to make donations to those who are in need. Click here to make donations for Houston, and here for Puerto Rico.

It's interesting to be in the "home business" and to see the rebuilding in my city from that perspective. I'm finally ready for the renovations on my own home and I'm going to give you a behind-the-scenes look in a regular series here on my blog, with a big reveal by year's end of my home's new look.

My home immediately after Harvey.

My home immediately after Harvey.

After the hurricane hit, the water had nowhere to go. I had over 3 feet of water in my house, which is on a golf course. But we were lucky because the water receded after only 2 days - for some people, it was a much longer wait.

The entire downstairs was damaged - entry, living, dining, kitchen, powder bath, study, master bedroom, master bath, laundry, and master study. You can see where the water line stopped. There was so much that was damaged and a lot of clean up needed to be done. All the drywall, flooring, furniture, and clothing that was damaged across the city created 8 million cubic yards of garbage. That's enough to fill the Texans' stadium up...twice.

We tried to salvage what we could, rehabbing appliances that would still work, having antiques refinished, and drying rugs and draperies when we could. We have not been able to live in the house since the storm and flooding 10 months ago, so it's given me a lot of time to plan out what I want to do differently this time.


Ironically, I had already started thinking about a renovation on this house. I just probably wouldn't have done as much as Harvey did for me. So why has it taken me 10 months to really start on this project? 


The city of Houston was devastated during Harvey. You would think being in the industry it would be super-easy to line up a contractor and subs to start working on my house. But with so many people needing help, I decided to wait a few months to start. I thought we would begin in January. Around December it was pushed back to the end of March, and now it will be the end of July before we can begin.


Over 135,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in Houston. This has had a ripple effect in our industry with a shortage of workers and supplies, higher prices, and time delays, which is frustrating for everyone. But I'm lucky - I've had a place to stay during this process, and I do have contacts with great teams to help us in rebuliding our home.


Next Monday, I'll talk a bit about my plans for the new house, and the incredible architect I'll be partnering with to make it all happen. It will be exciting to see my home - and so much of Houston - recovering this year! Stay tuned!