Three months ago, the US experienced 3 major hurricanes. Hurricane Harvey hit, hurricane Irma hit Florida, and Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. Although we may no longer see these stories in the news, Richard and Judith Woods, owners of Albany Woodworks, understand that the recovery from major flooding is a long one. I sat down with the Woods’ to discuss some of the dos and don’ts of managing a flood recovery project. Our previous blog “From Flooded to Fabulous” showed the before and after of their own remodel after Louisiana experienced severe flooding in August of 2016.
1.What was the toughest part of your flood recovery?
Richard: “We had what seemed like a double whammy. We were having to recover from flooding in our home and our business, which both reside on the same property. Unfortunately major disaster can bring greed out of people. We had to be diligent in our search for contractors that were willing to do the work for a reasonable price. We had meetings with several contractors that tried to pressure us and even try to scare us in to agreeing to an outrageous price and to pay a deposit. They would say that there was no way we would get a contractor if we didn’t agree now. You almost believe them because you know that there is such a high demand when large areas flood. We actually had to fire one contractor because of poor workmanship. This seemed stressful at the time but we were so happy we did.”
2. As Christmas approaches, what advice would you give recovering homeowners through the holidays?
Judith: “Try to remember the positives and that your end goal is worth it. It can be stressful to not have your home through the holiday season but take the time to get together with friends and family regardless. Since the flooding happened in August, we were living in temporary housing through the holidays. We got together with friends and had our own celebration to give ourselves a break from the project. Breaks and rest are important!”
3. What are your major pieces of advice for those that are going through what you experienced in the past year of recovery?
Richard: “One major piece of advice is don’t get discouraged or overwhelmed by the project! Write out a plan to organize your tasks. Give yourself a tentative timeline but understand that these can change. Take one task at a time and recognize that each task, no matter how small, is getting you one step closer to coming home. I would also say don’t be afraid to check in on your subcontractors! Check their work, ask questions, remind them of the timeline you discussed. Communication is very important so you aren’t caught off guard by changes that can happen through these projects. ”
4. What was your best part of the recovery experience?
Richard: “That moment when you realize it is all done! It is such a great feeling, knowing that your heart and soul has gone into successfully completing the project.”
Judith: “The love and support from friends, family and neighbors throughout the process. We are lucky to have such a wonderful community of people that helped us along the way.”
Richard and Judith Woods moved back into their own home in August of 2017. Their family-run business, Albany Woodworks, has also made a full recovery.