Steps to FORTIFIED Home™

New construction

1. Choose a FORTIFIED Evaluator

Homeowners must first select an approved evaluator from a list of IBHS Certified FORTIFIED Home™ Evaluators working in the area. The applicant then schedules a fee-based evaluation of the home. The applicant has the option to interview any evaluator listed, discuss their fees and negotiate accordingly. IBHS certifies only those evaluators who have completed a comprehensive training program, passed an exam, and who meet IBHS’ rigorous professional requirements.

2. Select a Target Designation Level

Working with the evaluator, the builder—or potential homeowner, if one is involved—selects the level of designation desired (Bronze, Silver or Gold) and identifies all the elements that must be included to achieve that designation. At the scheduled time, the evaluator will visit the home and conduct a FORTIFIED Home™ evaluation. The evaluator will collect information about the home and complete a comprehensive checklist provided by IBHS. At the conclusion of the evaluation, the information is given to IBHS for analysis and processing and the evaluator will complete an application and begin the official designation process..

3. Document Construction of Any Hidden Features

Depending on the designation level selected, there may be one or more construction features that are critical to a designation that will be hidden when the home is completed. The builder or potential homeowner can work with the selected FORTIFIED Home™ Evaluator to verify how those critical systems were installed.

4. Complete Final Inspection

The builder or potential homeowner works with the evaluator to have a final inspection completed once the home receives a certificate of occupancy. This final stage of the evaluation process includes providing any remaining documentation and in-process photographs of the FORTIFIED Home™ upgrades, installation and materials.

5. Get Designated

Once the FORTIFIED Home™ Evaluator submits all required paperwork, an independent auditor will verify that all systems meet the requirements for designation. Once verified, a FORTIFIED Home™ designation is awarded. The FORTIFIED Designation Certificate is proof of compliance and can be submitted to the homeowner’s property insurance provider to take advantage of discounts or credits where available. Homeowners should check with their insurance carrier for more details about FORTIFIED Home™ incentives.

Once awarded, a FORTIFIED Home™ Designation lasts for five years. At the end of that term, a re-designation audit is required and will focus on the condition of the roof covering. If major structural changes have been completed or if systems covered by FORTIFIED Home™ requirements have been damaged or upgraded since the original designation was awarded, a more extensive audit may be required.

Existing Homes

1. Schedule a Fortified Evaluation

Homeowners must first select an approved evaluator from a list of IBHS Certified FORTIFIED Home™ Evaluators working in the area. The applicant then schedules a fee-based evaluation of the home. The applicant has the option to interview any evaluator listed, discuss their fees and negotiate accordingly. IBHS certifies only those evaluators who have completed a comprehensive training program, passed an exam, and who meet IBHS’ rigorous professional requirements.

2. Have Fortified Evaluation Performed

At the scheduled time, the chosen evaluator will visit the home and conduct a FORTIFIED Evaluation. The evaluator’s role is to collect information about the home and complete a comprehensive checklist provided by IBHS. At the conclusion of the evaluation, the information is transmitted to IBHS for analysis and processing and the evaluator will complete an application and begin the official designation process..

3. Receive and Review Customized Report

After the evaluation, the applicant will receive access to a comprehensive, customized Current Condition Report via a personal, secure online portal. This report includes analysis of the home’s condition, an explanation of deficiencies, if any, and an overview of the improvements needed to achieve each of the three FORTIFIED designations. If there are no retrofits required, a designation certificate will be issued at this time.

4. Take Action

If retrofits are needed, the Current Condition Report will be a road map for making the home more disaster resistant. The applicant’s FORTIFIED Action Plan begins with deciding what level of protection they want to achieve, identifying the needed retrofits and having the work performed. Upon completion, the FORTIFIED upgrades must be verified for compliance by a certified FORTIFIED™ Home Evaluator. The evaluator will submit compliance documents to FORTIFIED Home for review and processing.

5. Get Designated

Once the FORTIFIED™ Home Evaluator verifies the improvements have been made, a FORTIFIED Designation is awarded. The FORTIFIED Designation Certificate is proof of compliance and can be submitted to the homeowner’s property insurance provider to receive applicable discounts or credits where available. Check with your insurance carrier for more details about FORTIFIED incentives.

Once awarded, a FORTIFIED Home Designation lasts for five years. At the end of that term, a re-designation audit is required and will focus on the condition of the roof covering. If major structural changes have been completed or if systems covered by FORTIFIED requirements have been damaged or upgraded since the original designation was awarded, a more extensive audit may be required.