Our "Tree-tastrophe"

Kevin and Steve

On Sunday night, March 1, 2009, a massive oak tree crushed the back of our Atlanta home, totaling our SUV and damaging our sedan as well. Although Kevin, Steve and our three pets were home at the time, nobody was hurt. Somehow, the tree smashed the walls on both sides of one of our favorite stained glass windows without doing it any damage at all. Three of our favorite paintings were hurt (including one 9'x7' painting that fell 12 feet), but none irreparably.


We continue to be informal spokespersons for Fireman's Fund Insurance (FF) - they've been great. They had 30 workers onsite Monday morning charged with protecting our belongings and home from further damage. FF helped us find a wonderful place to live and have been very supportive throughout the process.


Here's a partial list of what Fireman's Fund agreed to do:

  • Pay all of our moving and living expenses until our home was repaired
  • Remove the tree manually, grind the stump and rebuild the fence around our back yard
  • Replace our SUV
  • Repair our sedan
  • Build a new back deck/carport
  • Build a new screen porch
  • Rebuild 2/3 of the back of our house
  • Replace part of the siding along our driveway
  • Replace our entire roof
  • Rebuild our chimney, replace one fireplace and restore a second fireplace
  • Rebuild half of our master bedroom
  • Rebuild portions of our master bathroom and replace our jacuzzi tub
  • Replace three skylights
  • Replace the upstairs banister
  • Refinish the wood floors throughout the house
  • Repaint the entire house, inside and out
  • Replace the front patio
  • Replace front and rear awnings

We were sure the repairs would take at least six months, but we were home in less than four and a half.


We decided not to make any major structural changes during reconstruction, but we did incorporate quite a few improvements. We:

  • Doubled the size of the shower in our master bath plus added a bench and additional fixtures
  • Upgraded our master bath from tile to marble and added a thick glass door and panel
  • Removed the tub from our upstairs guest bath and replaced the tile with marble
  • Added a skylight to our upstairs guest bath
  • Upgraded the staircase railing and balustrade
  • Added 23 additional recessed lights, mostly to showcase our art
  • Enlarged our upstairs rear picture window
  • Removed a pre-existing full-size basketball court from our backyard

Before, During and After

Many viewers have expressed an interest in photos, so we thought we'd provide a few before, during and after "tree-tastrophe" shots. We'll have specific photos up soon; for now, check them out on our photo website:

Skim through photos individually or click "Slideshow" at the top right of each page.