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Home repairs, renovation projects put on back burner for many families in North Alabama

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 7:46 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Many families across North Alabama are struggling to find reliable workers to help with home-improvement projects and home repairs. No matter what the project is, there’s some sort of delay.

Amanda and Matthew Townsend know this all too well. They closed on their Stoneridge home at the end of December. Months later, not much has been checked off their repair to-do list, identified with the builder at closing.

“There were a lot of things that weren’t done before closing day and then even now after,” Amanda said. “A lot of empty promises with the company and construction manager.”

The Townsend’s are dealing with an array of problems in their new home, from grouting, to drywall, to flooring. On top of that, they said they dealt with tons of electrical problems that just recently got taken care of. Amanda said she also had to send in three warranty requests for their fireplace. Matthew said this situation is particularly frustrating because they felt rushed into closing on their home. They eventually sent a certified letter to the builder, demanding answers.

“We’ve constantly been in contact with the construction manager, trying to get things done and we are just not having luck,” Amanda said.

Stoneridge Homes commented on the Townsend’s situation. Division President Scott James wrote, “While it is certainly a national story for all builders, in Huntsville we have faced particular challenges with trade labor and material availability. Regrettably, this has made it very difficult to accurately predict progress or completion dates on the homes we build, which is also true for my peers across the country.”

He further wrote: “As to the current state of the Townsend home, I am disappointed in the lack of communication and progress towards completing the items identified at closing.”

James also wrote that he will be joining his partner in a walk through of the Townsend’s home, and they will work to ensure the items identified are completed accurately and promptly.

The Townsend’s said they are tired of waiting, and want a clear timeline of when the problems in their home will be taken care of.

“We want them to finish it…finish what you promised us,” Amanda said. “So hopefully that will all get taken care of sooner than later so we can not feel on edge every time...”

Barry Oxley, executive officer of the Huntsville Madison County Builders Association said there’s a couple reasons why so many families are struggling to get repairs done in their home.

WAFF's Kellie Miller reporting

For example, since the onset of the pandemic, home improvement projects have become more popular. Two years later, there’s still a backlog of projects. On top of that, Oxley said smaller projects are competing with new builds in North Alabama.

“We are trying to build over 5,000 homes a year so a lot of people are tasked to get that done,” Oxley said. “So you have to really find that niche contractor that will come out and do those smaller jobs, which we have in this market it’s just finding the right ones to come to your house.”

If you are struggling to find contractors to help you with home-improvement projects or repairs, Oxley encourages you to check out the Spring Home + Garden Show at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville. It’s happening Friday, March 4 through Sunday, March 6. Oxley said more than 200 companies will be there, to help you with remodeling or building needs.

[ READ MORE: 34th Annual Award-Winning Show ]

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