We always find it a bit humorous when discussing costs with an architect or designer on a project and budget concerns come up. We hear “sorry this was an after-thought” or “this wasn’t included in our budget”. Of course we always want to make sure that we are always providing a great product at a great value.
But quite often the priorities seem a bit skewed. A client may gasp at a price for a lightning protection system that costs less than 2% of the total construction but they will spend ten times that for an interior designer to come in and fill the home with items that would be inevitably be destroyed by a lightning strike if it were to occur.
Perhaps this is because lightning protection is one of the more passive parts of a home. Not necessarily in plain-view on a daily basis. Not part of your daily habits. You are not going to sit on it. It will not play music. It won’t broadcast a Football game.
But we are talking about something that is protecting all of those things. And besides the irreplaceable material possessions inside the home, it’s protecting your family. Your ultimate asset. Does anyone ever consider foregoing putting a roof on their home because of cost? Of course not. You need a roof. When it rains, it protects everything from getting wet. Then shouldn’t a lightning protection system just be an essential part of a home? It’s protecting everything from being destroyed in an instant.
We installed a system a few years back where the unfortunate client had experienced a lightning strike that destroyed their home. They had just finished rebuilding and they didn’t want to waste any time in getting it protected this time around. She told us about how there was jurisdictional conflicts with the two firefighting companies because they were on the border of two towns in New York state. Because of this, the response time wasn’t as prompt as they would have hoped (40+ minutes). Nobody was hurt, but they lost everything inside the home. When they filed the claim with their homeowners insurance, the policy was totaled and they were then dropped. She said they lost wedding photos and some other things that couldn’t have been replaced. While the insurance company had covered the damage, she certainly would have told you that she wished she did not have to endure any of the headache. We have heard from this particular client again over the years. She had sold that home, moved to a new one. One of the first things that she thought of with her new home is getting lightning protection installed. So her priorities are certainly different than some other homeowners.