Home Buying in Naples>Question Details

C Goldstein, Home Buyer in 95919

How bad is the "Chinese drywall" problem in the Naples area? Which years was it used the most by builders?

Asked by C Goldstein, 95919 Fri Dec 24, 2010

We are thinking of relocating to the Naples area and are concerned with Chinese drywall in some homes there. How is it detected and what's the cost of replacement? What years was it used the most and by which builders?

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi C Goldstein, as for chinese drywall it is a complicated issue

Read my four part blog for useful details and what to do about it

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 5, 2011
Do your Homework. Contact local Realtors and contact the building department - they know where the developments are where Chinese Drywall has been discovered. Also research the internet for the builders
who used Chinese drywall during the boom.

Phyllis Crosby, Realtor/GRI
ReMax Realtec Group
Tampa, Florida

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 15, 2011
In my opinion, from what I read it is bad enough that you should be concerned. Speak with a local realtor today, and please click on my profile as I wrote a blog article addressing this very question months ago.

Take care & best of luck.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 10, 2011
I had a family member who purchase one of these condos in 2004 and had an inspection and the price was about $ 30 -$50 a sqft to correct.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 9, 2011
Go to askcodeman.com
Jerry is down in Florida and is a great source of knowledge for this stuff and all building related questions. He knows buildings and Florida conditions.
Web Reference: http://www.aic-chicago.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 9, 2011
Chinese Drywall was not as bad in the Naples area as in Estero and Fort Myers. "Most builders" did not use Chinese drywall in Naples. Lennar Homes was one of the big builders who used a lot of it. They stepped up to the plate and repaired all the homes in communities they build with Chinese drywall issues. I know of at least one family where the President of Lennar came to their home and fulfilled his promise. He rented them an even larger home for over six months while their home was virtually rebuilt.

The biggest problem is that there can be just a few sheets of Chinese drywall in a home or condo. The builder may have used several different suppliers and just one of them could have supplied Chinese drywall. During construction in 2003 to 2006 builders were building homes at a fast pace. Drywall from 1, 2, or 3 manufacturers could have been used on a single home.

Even a certified inspector could have problems finding Chinese drywall if only a few sheets were used in a home. Samples are usually taken from around the home by opening electric boxes. If the inspector suspects anything, larger samples of drywall are taken.

Remediation costs could vary greatly. It could cost as high as $40 per square foot plus you need to figure in the expense of renting an alternate home.

Steering clear of Chinese drywall infected communities is the best way to go when purchasing a home in Naples Florida. Most Naples communities have zero Chinese drywall. Regardless if you get a home for a great price, if that community is known to have Chinese drywall issues it can effect the value of the homes in the community as a whole for decades to come.

Use a Realtor that knows Naples and can show you communities without a trace of Chinese drywall. I can assure you that there is No Chinese drywall in http://www.marbella-lakes.com or http://www.avianonaples.com. I know this for a fact and any qualified home inspector will back me up on this 100%.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 5, 2011
I have seen Chinese Drywall from 2003 thru 2007 in homes, best to have any home you make an offer on or purchaced checked before closing.

All the different builders used from local suppliers and non local so you really never know.

Cost of Replacement is generally - 30-38 dollars a square, and thier are other issues such as copper contaminnation and metals deterioration that need to be considered in the process i.e (how long has the drywall been installed in the house).

One way to tell is that the copper pipes turn black, looks almost like black mold.

Hope this helps
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 4, 2011
While a good real estate agent may be able to help you find a home, there's no guarantee they can detect whether a home has anything at all wrong with it. And even if they can, it's questionable if they should make a claim that a home is "OK" or "NOT OK". I can't speak for Florida license laws. But in Illinois, if I were to tell a client that a home was safe and it turned out otherwise, I'd be opening myself up for a heap of problems. A good agent should point you in the right direction and provide you information to help you learn about the property. They can also do a lot more. But home inspection really should not be one of those things.

It is true that there are disclosure laws. What needs to be disclosed varies by state. Again, I can't speak for Florida. But in Illinois, the disclosure form says "seller has knowledge of". All it really does is create a paper trail among sellers. Seller A sells to Buyer A who later sells. Seller A disclosed to Buyer A that the basement always floods during heavy rains. During the time that buyer A owned the property, it never flooded. And then they sell, and on the disclosure form they check the "NO" box regarding flooding. If a lawsuit springs up later on, it could be proved that Buyer A did have knowledge of flooding even though nothing occurred while they owned it. So, disclosure laws protect you from nothing really. It's just a way to help discover liability in the event something happens later.

Regarding your question: First of all. Get a good home inspector. Second, educate yourself as much as you can about environmental issues that can affect your home.

Below are some starting points:

The CDC posted information on their web site which ,as of this date, was current through September 2009. They report "This drywall was first imported to the U.S. in 2003 and is still in use. The number and location of all homes containing the imported drywall is not known."

Also important, find out more information about testing to find out if a home may have contaminated drywall.

Check out the below websites for further information:

Good luck.

Jack Jentzen
Prudential Starck Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 28, 2010
most you will find will be in 2006 homes......easy to detect. Use a Realtor well versed in the market and you will have no problem. Let us know if we can be that group.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 25, 2010
the problem is found in buildings from 2005 to 2007, your realtor must inform you in writing if the property has a Chinese driwall problem
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 25, 2010
Dear C,

Chinese drywall is a significant problem in Naples, and other areas of Florida for homes built between 2004 and 2008. Be careful when purchasing a home that was built or remodeled during those years and ensure you are dealing with an inspector who has the proper credentials to properly test for the material. If you need help locating an agent in the Naples area who can steer you in the right direction please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to point you in the right direction.

Remediation can be expensive and I have seen projects run as high as $40 per square foot. If you do decide to take on one of these opportunities your best bet is to be a cash buyer but I do have contacts that will take on a FHA 203K loan for Chinese drywall remediation. There can be financial rewards but make sure you carefully go over all the costs including holding costs during construction which can take up to 3 or 4 months. One thing I look for in estimates on these projects is a contractor who runs a HEPA air scrubber with a wet wipe down after the bad drywall is removed.

I hope this information is helpful but if you need anything additional please do not hesitate to give me a call.

Always at Your Service,

Tom Priester e-PRO
"Results Driven Real Estate"

Keller Williams Realty
561 308-0175
Web Reference: http://www.tompriester.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 25, 2010
You should have the home inspected and make sure you let your inspector know of your concerns and if the seller does not know, make sure it is inspected and or tested. You can use all the averages or approximates years in the world but if it could have been used, it is worth the extra inspection.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 24, 2010
Chinese drywall is a major problem in all the areas of the country where there was high demand from 2003 to about 2006 so Florida was definitely affected. It is possible that any property that was built, remodeled, or repaired during that period may have the defective drywall. Chinese drywall came from specific areas of China but it was distributed to building supply companies and they mixed into the general supply. There are no ways to tract it or any specific, contractors, builders, or developers responsible that you can avoid.

Reliable testing is available in the range of $250 to $500 depending on the size of the property. Currently, visual inspection or X-Ray Fluorescence are the most popular testing methods. Some testers will also submit samples of walls to have then tested in a laboratory but I am not familiar with that process or how expensive it would be.

I would suggest that drywall testing should be performed by a reliable company as a part of your usual inspections. If the property was built between 2003 and 2007, or has been remodeled, I would suggest that you have a specific defective drywall test performed.

Penny wise, pound fooling rules the day when is comes to the issue. Buy what you want but spend a few hundred dollars to protect your investment and give yourself some peace of mind.

Best regards,


Bill Sontag, Realtor
Prudential Florida Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 24, 2010
You have received some very good answers. Get yourself an inspection and that should put your mind to rest. There are still some issues around, but many places have mitigated already and are good to go. The problem is slowing going away. The bigger issue in Naples is selling properties. Inventory continues to increase and people are only buying steals. That spells good news for you! Good luck in your search and if I can be of help, let me know. Regards, Chris Spina
Web Reference: http://www.spinarealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 24, 2010
The problem was pervasive in certain communities generally built between 2004-2006. Overall it shouldn't be a concern. However, it's highly recommended that you engage a professional and qualified home inspector who should be able to dectect the presence of defective drywall. Odor and corrosive wiring are a couple of items an inspector will consider in their assessment. To remediate defective drywall could be very expensive because it may require stripping the interior down to the studs, rewiring, replacing appliances, replacing the A/C sytem, etc.

Please contact me at 239-248-6393 if you wish to discuss this matter further.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 24, 2010
Hi, I'm in Sarasota, FL a smaller city in SW Florida....and obviously I prefer it to Naples.

You don't have to worry about Chinese drywall for home built after 2000. In my experience in Sarasota, all of the communities with the issue have been identified and either repaired or in the process. It is a comparatively localized issue and I've yet to sell a home in the past five years where it was or has become an issue.

It is rather easy to detect by examining the a/c unit and/or by removing the outlet covers and generally seeing if there is corrosion evident.

Of more concern is mold and mildew which is also rather easy to detect (for me by odor) but in all instances your inspector will search it all out for you.

If you would like to investigate Sarasota, email me and I'd be happy to send you examples of homes here. As a MOT, it would be my pleasure Mr. Goldstein.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 24, 2010

Not as bad as you might think. I always suggest my clients ask for a seller paid inspection for this problem though. Call us so we can help you. 877.832.6173
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 24, 2010
Chinese drywall is a defect to a property and MUST be reported by the seller in the listing.

In your purchase contract, you now have a chinese drywall or "defective" drywall addendum to go along with your mold addendum that has been there a long time.

It is not so much an issue of which builders, it happened in 2004 after the hurricans. There was a shortage of drywall and it started coming in from Knauf in China. It is prevelent in 7 states. Remember, a home might have had a wall repair after the storms, so it is not total construction.

I have been blogging the topic from the start. Here is one of the latest as to "fixing" it...


by the way, I am not sure a house can ever be healthy after having Chinese drywall because concrete is pourous. Also the US health dept has NEVER said that chinese drywall is a health hazard...BUT...it is is corroding the metal in the house including plumbing and wiring, I do not want to be breathing it. This is my opinion not based in science.

Hope this helps!

Debbie Albert, PA
Keller Williams of the Treasure Coast
Web Reference: http://www.ronanddebbie.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 24, 2010
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