Homeowner floored by Home Depot installation

If you've ever made renovations to your home, you know just how big of a headache even the simplest project can become. Some homeowners enlist the help of big name stores like Home Depot to lighten the load.

Posted: Nov. 7, 2017 2:11 PM
Updated: Nov. 7, 2017 2:12 PM

(Note: This story originally aired in March 2017)
But as the WAAY 31 I-Team found out from one Madison homeowner, even with help, not every home remodel is the makeover you expect.

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Gail Cooper and her husband have shared their Madison home for 26 years. After all that time, Cooper decided her sanctuary needed some sprucing up.

"As you can see, it's an older home, and we just wanted to upgrade it," she said.

Cooper wanted to get new flooring. When her husband granted that wish, she was so excited she painted a special message for him on the stairs.

"I painted I love you, so every time my husband went up the stairs, he would see I love you and thank you for getting me new flooring. I'm so excited," Cooper said.

"Little did I know he'd be looking at them for a long time," she added.

More than four months to be exact. In September, Cooper bought the materials for her new flooring at a Home Depot in Madison.

Contractors hired through Home Depot were supposed to install it in October, but as several months dragged on, Cooper's message remained untouched.

"Then, right before Christmas, they were supposed to come. Nobody showed up," she said.

The store said Cooper's materials, which she ordered three months before, had still not arrived. When they finally did, her dream staircase turned into a nightmare.

From damaged materials, to bad construction, Cooper says Home Depot contractors actually changed the width of each step from 11 to 9 inches, making it difficult to climb the stairs.

"When you go up or down the stairs, you either go on your tiptoes or you come down sideways," she explained.

Over the course of five months, Cooper says she called Home Depot dozens of times trying to get it fixed.

The WAAY 31 I-Team spoke to Home Depot's corporate headquarters. A spokesperson said they would pay to fix Cooper's stairs.

"We're very sorry for the inconvenience Ms. Cooper experienced. We stand by all of our installations, so we've offered to have these stairs replaced," Matthew Harrigan wrote in a statement.

"I don't think my expectations were too high for Home Depot. I just want the job done," Cooper said.

Something Home Depot was ready to pay for after the I-Team got involved. But frustrated by the company, Cooper eventually turned the deal down. She hired an attorney instead.

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