MOUNT HOPE, Ala. - A Lawrence County woman wrote to us asking for help with a home remodeling project. She hired a contractor who started the job but left her living in the middle of a construction zone. Kimberly Clemons is legally blind and feared the contractor had walked away from the job.
The first time we saw Mrs. Clemons' house, there was wiring hanging out of the walls, open holes in the floors, lumber stacked in one room, and unfinished flooring in the rest of the house. This posed a serious hazard for Clemons, who gets around based on her memory of where everything is. The kitchen consisted of a toaster oven, hot plate and small microwave sitting on a folding table. Her kitchen appliances were in the yard.
She says her central heating system quit working because of all of the construction dust.
Mrs. Clemons and her husband, Robert, restored their old double wide once. It's where they lived together for more than 20 years.
"He was a good man," Kimberly said. "I never had no trouble. He gave me anything I wanted. He would turn over in his grave right now if he knew what was going on. It's so sad."
"We'll see if we can get it fixed. Alright?" Al Whitaker said.
"Alright," Kimberly replied.
Mrs. Clemons told me her family had all suggested she just buy a newer mobile home, and not pour her money into this older one. But she says her home simply held too many fond memories, and she wants to spend the remainder of her days here.
So, she began looking for a contractor who would do a complete remodel of the place and bring it up to date.
"Nobody wants to come out here. Nobody. So when he finally got somebody to come out, I called four people and nobody showed up until he did," said Clemons.
He is Tony Hill. He says he also tried to talk her out of doing the job but he says she kept calling back and he finally agreed, and in late October the work got underway.
"And then he just stops," said Clemons.
"He just stopped coming around?" we asked.
"Yes. I ain't seen him a minute," Clemons replied. "I can't call him, I ain't got no number. The number he gave me has been disconnected."
That's when she asked WHNT News 19 for help.
Within just a few days of me calling Mr. Hill, the work had resumed. I've gone by there several times to check on their progress and it's coming along, but they keep finding more and more problems that need to be addressed. There are a number of places where the floor has simply rotted away and that will have to be repaired before new flooring goes down.
Hill declined to speak on camera, saying he would simply let his work speak for itself. He did tell us Mrs. Clemons was never out of touch with his office. WHNT News 19 will keep checking by and when the work is finished, we'll show it to you.
In order to speed the project along, Mr. Hill offered to put Mrs. Clemons and her children in a motel while they finished the job, but she opted to stay close by at her mother's house. Hill says it will be several weeks before all of the work is finished.