Here we are on day 38 or so of our water damage event. The house is torn apart and a lot of our stuff is in cartons, especially things from the kitchen, family room, living room and dining room. There's damage downstairs too, but thankfully most areas are intact, including my office.
Once we have approval of the major repair estimates by our insurance adjuster, a preliminary check will be issued, payable to us and our lender. We can't keep the money and use it to pay for the repairs. That's too easy. The check must be sent to the lender's property claims department in California so they can set up an account and give us bits of money now and then as repairs progress. They will be inspecting every step of the way, and must approve the result before the final amount is released.
When we have the first payment, I can schedule the work which will begin with ripping out the kitchen down to the walls (cabinets, island, appliances, countertops, sink, etc.) so the floor can be ripped up, the kitchen tented off and the subfloor treated for mold. All the baseboards on the main level that Roger painstakingly refinished last winter will have to removed with tweezers, labeled and stored. With luck the pieces will come out intact so they can be re-installed. Then the new floor can go in. After that, the kitchen cabinets can be reinstalled, assuming they don't have hidden damage, as well as the appliances and sink, then a new countertop will go in. (The old Corian one will be destroyed when it's removed.)
There's a lot more to it than I've told you, and I don't know if I'm eager to start or dreading the mitigation and repair process. Luckily for him, Roger gets to be at work most of the time when things are happening. Just don't ask how our three cats are taking all this. As for me, the experience has refreshed my empathy for all our clients who have to put up with temporary inconveniences when we're there working, especially when we're doing interior painting projects that take time.
Roger and I are making the best of our situation because we're well aware of being luckier than people in Haiti or New Orleans who lost everything. At least we have insurance and we can stay in our home.