Contractors ask for patience for derecho repairs while waiting for materials

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – The derecho last August created a strong demand for home repairs in Cedar Rapids. Many homeowners are still waiting for new siding, roofs and windows. Contractors are asking homeowners to be patient while waiting for materials to be available to complete this work.

“We’re going to be here until it’s all over, we’re not going to let anyone hang,” he said.

Anson’s company is based in Lincoln, Nebraska, but he’s been coming to Cedar Rapids every week since the last day to help rebuild his hometown.

“This is the community in which I grew up. I was, you know, I grew up here. It means a lot to me to be here, you know, ”Anson explained.

He and his team have worked on more than 200 homes since the storm and expect to repair around 300 in total, but there is a shortage of materials like siding.

“If it was ordered on Monday of this week, we are looking at 6 months before we get our coating,” Anson said.

The shortage is causing delays which Anson says is not up to the contractor.

“COVID has closed factories, you know a lot of people don’t want to go back to work. They are struggling to keep pace with the manufacturing of the material, ”he said.

is on Anson’s list of approximately 50 to 60 homes awaiting siding.

“I think we’re in the last 2-3 weeks, waiting for the final supplies to arrive,” Wilson said.

But not all owners have been so understanding. Anson told us that entrepreneurs like him had been heckled throughout this experience. He wants people in the community to know they are doing the best they can.

“We work until our hands are swollen and raw. Our minds are in mush. Our bodies feel like they’ve been shot through a fence. You know, some days we don’t eat until you know 6 or 7 in the evening because we rush to do this chores. I just want owners to be so quick to jump in and judge and throw all contractors in one pool that we’re all bad, we’re not. Without us this city would be like it was on the day the storm hit, ”Anson said.

Wilson says homeowners should do their homework when they find a contractor, but then they need to understand that it can be a game of waiting after that.

“Just practice patience, because it’s going to happen here, but maybe not as fast as you think, so just be patient and it will all happen,” she said.

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