The cost of replacing Chinese drywall

BY Rebecca Livermore
Oct 17, 2009

Drywall imported from China and commonly referred to as "Chinese drywall" is causing quite a stir.

Chinese drywall was imported to the United States in massive amounts during the housing boom between 2004 and 2008. It appears that when the importation of Chinese drywall first began, no one knew how much trouble it would cause.

Over time Chinese drywall begins to emit toxic fumes and odors that smell like rotten eggs. As if the smell isn't bad enough, many people have become ill from chemicals found in drywall from China and homes themselves are falling apart as a result of the Chinese drywall. For instance, pipes are corroding and appliances are breaking down, all as a result of the drywall.

Desperate homeowners have filed claims regarding the problems associated with Chinese drywall with their insurance agencies only to find that problems as a result of defective materials used in construction are not covered in their policies.

To add insult to injury, the insurance policies on homes constructed with Chinese drywall are then canceled. To complicate matters further, other insurance agencies don't want to write up policies on homes constructed with Chinese drywall, so desperate home owners are left without insurance on their homes. Since it is required to have insurance on homes that are not completely paid for, this puts home owners in a real bind and some of them even lose their homes because of it.

Replacing Chinese drywall may seem to be the only solution to this problem, but such a fix is neither cheap nor easy. Depending on the size and construction of the home, the cost of replacing Chinese drywall runs between $75,000 and $100,000 on most homes.

Most of the homes that have Chinese drywall were built in Florida, but other states, including Colorado, were also constructed with Chinese drywall.


Jill Swidler says:
How can you make a blanket statement like that? The cost of replacing a home with toxic drywall is nearly the original building cost. You must remove this TOXIC material, remove all electric wiring, all trim, all cabinets, all flooring, all appliances. We built our home ourselves and know exactly what it cost to build. Guess's nearly the same to remediate AND replace. Get a clue.
October 17, 6:36 PM

Rebecca Livermore says:
"Chinese Drywall," thanks for your comment. Wow, it's bad enough as it is at $75,000 - $100,000. The bottom line is who can afford to do it? Such a shame with this not being the fault of the home owner.
October 17, 4:55 PM

chinesedrywall says:
The quote that most newspapers and reporters give of it costing $70,000 to $100,000 for remediating a Chinese drywall home is actually the cost to the builder. You must realize that the quotes that homeowners, who do not have a builder that is stepping up to remediate, are getting are at least 3 times that amount! This is astounding to me that reporters are showing these ridiculously low numbers for remediation when most homeowners with CDW are being quoted so much more!
October 17, 4:48 PM