Do your home-repair homework: A WAFF 48 News Special Report

James Drain considers himself fortunate when it comes to April's storm damage. He only lost about five trees in his yard in Huntsville.

But that wasn't the case last summer, when heavy winds and a hailstorm messed up quite a few shingles on his roof. He called his insurance company in August, and then called an area roofing company to begin the repairs.

"The insurance company came out, did the estimate, and paid for the roof. They sent two checks. Well, I gave him one of the checks to get started and get the materials," said Drain.

In September, Drain paid the roofing company owner about $5,630 up front. A contract was signed and his check was cashed, but the company owner didn't show up until seven months later -- just last month -- to do the work, or at least some of it.

Bundles of shingles are still on the ground in Drain's yard. Drain said he hasn't seen or heard from the company's owner.

"He won't answer texts, he won't answer phone calls," said Drain.

We also tried to reach him on the phone, but were also out of luck. We went to the address listed on the contract and found the roofing company's owner in the front yard, putting up his business signs.

We told him Mr. Drain's story, and asked if he would ever return to the home to complete the repairs listed in the contract.

"Yes, within the next three to four months, and that's just as realistic as I can be with you," he said on camera.

We blurred his face in the story and are not naming his company because while it is clear he hasn't finished the job, the contract never gave a date for finishing the work. So technically, as long as he eventually finishes, he legally has done nothing wrong.

He said Drain told him that he wouldn't have the remainder of the money when the job was completed, so he left and never returned. Drain disputed that statement and said the company owner would get the rest of the money, but only when he sees a finished product.

[10 things to know when hiring a contractor (.jpg)]

In the meantime, Drain warns everyone, especially recent storm victims, to do their homework.

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