Expert Reveals How To Take The Stress Out Of Replacing Chinese Drywall
For many South Florida homeowners, just the words “Chinese Drywall” are enough to get them to break out in a cold sweat. But expert building contractor Ken Flanz of Terre Neuve General Contracting, based in Ft. Lauderdale Florida, says that those whose homes were constructed using the tainted drywall need not feel held hostage. “I know that’s easier said than done,” Flanz responded, “but affected homeowners can take the offensive by doing a few things differently.”
First, Flanz says, “Try speaking to your builder directly.” When the first cases of the damage caused by the Chinese drywall surfaced, some builders were reluctant to replace it. “That’s not the case anymore”. Flanz says that residential contractors like GL Homes, upon discovering that the drywall had been used in some of their projects, moved to replace it immediately. Any builder worth their salt should do that, according to Flanz. It comes as no surprise that GL Homes are now selling like never before. “When you do the right thing by your customer, people notice,” Flanz added.
Second, Flanz says, “Contact your state and local representatives.” Federal, State and local officials have begun to discuss taking action due to the number of complaints. Several months ago, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the EPA completed studies on the contaminated drywall. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission spent over $3.5 million, the most expensive study to date. Research showed that there were, indeed, higher levels of chemicals, but not the chemicals that were first thought to be the main culprits. “More studies need to be done, and keeping the pressure on our elected officials is one way to do it,” says Flanz.
Third, Flanz suggests, “Hire someone competent to replace the damaged drywall”. He says that people aren’t quick to do this because they think they may have to “foot the bill themselves.” But there is help. In the near future, Federal grants will be available to help victims complete the repairs. The federal government is also exploring ways to allow homeowners to borrow money via low interest Disaster Relief Loans. Additionally, Flanz said that Insurance Settlements also may be the way to go. “We have been told by a leading law firm that several insurance companies representing general contractors involved with installing contaminated drywall are now willing to pay cash to settle homeowner claims.”
If homeowners choose to go this route, Flanz added a word of caution, “Make sure you hire an experienced General Contractor who can manage the project from start up to clean up. This is not a do it yourself job,” Flanz warned.
Ken Flanz knows what he is talking about. He founded Terre Neuve General Contracting some 33 years ago in 1977. Since that time, the company has gained a reputation for both quality and excellence, having built many South Florida commercial and residential properties, including schools, synagogues, public safety buildings, shopping centers and private homes. Terre Neuve Corp. is a full service general contracting firm that can provide important consulting service prior to and throughout a project’s build-out. For the most up to date information on Chinese Drywall or to learn more about Terre Neuve Corp. visit www.terreneuve.net or call (954) 475-1284.
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