HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - You may remember Connie Ibarra's story. She hired an unlicensed contractor. She says he claimed to have a license and took over $20,000 for renovations, which he never completed. The city shut down the job, finding his work didn't meet code.
On Tuesday, Connie Ibarra sits on her new porch, surrounded by the people she calls her new family -- a team of subcontractors who came together under Stoneridge Homes to save her house.
David Stanton of Stoneridge Homes handed over his key today. "It's my pleasure to give you my key back to your home, and I hope you enjoy it."
Ibarra tells us, "It's like having a whole brand new house."
The house is gorgeous, inside and out. She got the walk-in shower she's needed since her hip replacement. Her bedroom no longer features splashes of plaster. The kitchen has marble counters and new appliances.
Ibarra sums it up, "Everything is new and clean and shiny."
Plus, she can do her laundry inside now, which is a huge help with her arthritis. She admits, "If you can be in love with a laundry room, I love the laundry room."
She moved back in here a week ago, but she visited throughout the renovations. She wanted to talk to the people doing the work. She says she wanted to "just kind of give them a little pat on the back, tell them, "Oh man, that looks so good. You're doing such a good job. I love it. I love everything. I love that nail you just put in."
All the work and materials came free from Stoneridge Homes and its contractors, but if it hadn't, Stanton estimates it would have totaled between $40,000 and $50,000.
The donors made it their happy obligation.
"It was necessary due to the carnage that had occurred by the previous contractor that worked here," Stanton said.
Carnage is a good way to describe what the house looked like before, exposed wires hanging from the ceiling, exposed gas lines poking out of the floor. Not all the scars left here have healed.
Connie confides, "From this day forward, I have to walk through life very cautiously. It changed me. I mean, it changed me a lot. To where, I feel like I have to be more on guard now."
Never forget that people can be capable of incalculable cruelty, but they're also capable of astounding kindness.
Ibarra knows, "The good Lord was watching out for me, and he put all these people in my path."
Thankfully this time, Connie found in her path people willing to take action. Now all that's left is appreciating the results.
WHNT News 19 wishes to thank Stoneridge Homes and all the subcontractors who gave their time and materials to help Connie Ibarra. They are:
Southern Comfort HVAC
Dean & Sons Plumbing
Ascencio Painting and Drywall
J & R Enterprises
Bo and Matt Harrison, Attorneys at Law
Granite & Marble Co.
The Mantel Shoppe