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Please consider R. L. Brown Contstruction, Inc. to rebuild or repair of your property lost and damaged in the recent North Bay fires.

Our expertise includes:

  • Complete rebuilds of total loss structures
  • Restoration of partially damaged structures
  • Cost analysis and insurance claim assistance
  • Design team coordination

The unprecedented Northern California fire disaster is a true tragedy.  It will take the destroyed communities years to fully recover from this unfortunate event.  Being a lifelong Bay Area resident, memories of the 1991 Oakland firestorm keep popping into my head.  It’s hard to wrap your head around the magnitude of the losses, and the enormous amount of resources it will take to rebuild.

  • Hire a contractor that has performed similar projects in your area.
  • Check the Contractors State License Board website ( to verify:
    • A contractor’s license is active and in good standing.
    • A contractor’s complaint and/or disciplinary action history.
    • How long a contractor has held the license.  Seven (7) digit license numbers should raise a flag.
    • Hire a contractor that has been licensed for several years or more.
  • Avoid contractors that have recently started working in the area, especially since the disaster.
  • Look for contractors that have an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau (
  • Be prepared to consult with an attorney when dealing with settlement offers related to your insurance claim.o   Be aware of “Code Upgrade” issues and coverage.
    • Insurance company estimates and cost development procedures.
    • Insurance company’s assertion of what something “should” cost vs. what it “will” cost following a disaster when labor and material resources are pushed beyond what is available.
  • Ask for, and follow-up with contractor references.
  • Select a contractor with long standing subcontractor and material supplier relationships.  This will give your project the best chance of getting the resources it needs, when it needs them.

The items listed above are just a few things you can do to make sure your project has the best chance of success in the shortest time possible.

The big takeaway is that you should be extremely cautious of the wave of “out-of-town” contractors that will be swarming the area in an effort to make some quick money.

I really hope these fly-by-night, inexperienced, scam artist “contractors” don’t succeed like they did in the Oakland firestorm of 1991.