With what seems like no financial help from state or federal governments, or the insurance companies, two Hampton Roads families have decided to fix their Chinese drywall homes themselves.

According to a DailyPress.com article, Patrick Ryan of Carrollton, Virginia and Bill Ryan (no relation), of Hampton, are in the process of fixing their damaged homes alone. With the help of family and friends, both families said they realized that not everyone can afford to take this route themselves.

Patrick Ryan and his family, wife Jennifer and their 2 children, moved into their home in the Eagle Harbor neighborhood near the James River in 2006 to find out later in 2009 that 70% of the drywall installed in their home was the toxic Chinese drywall.

After purchasing the home for around $450,000, their options were limited and they could not afford to walk away from the home. So in May of 2010, Patrick Ryan decided to fix his home himself. The Ryan’s feared for the health of their two young children, as well as themselves, so his wife and children moved in with an Aunt in York County, while Patrick Ryan moved into his Brother’s attic.

Every day, after leaving his job at Northrop Grumman in Newport News, Virginia, Patrick Ryan would spend hours each night working on his home. On the weekends he would work 12 hour shifts with his brother, wife, and sometimes friends ripping out drywall, vents, plumbing, and electrical wires.

The family spent nearly $50,000 on materials. Patrick believes that if they were to hire contractors, they would have spent nearly $150,000 to redo the home. They did hire someone to hang the new drywall, install carpets, and floors, but everything else was done by him and his family.

In November of 2010 the home was finally finished, and the family was able to move back in.

Bill Ryan of Hampton, a 42 year old Army retiree, said that living in their home, which is believed to be made up of at least 15% toxic Chinese drywall, was not an option. Especially with his wife and seven month old baby being potentially harmed by the corrosive gases in the air.

Bill Ryan now works on the weekends fixing his home, and believes that he is halfway finished. He told the DailyPress that if the home contained more than 50% of the toxic Chinese drywall he would have walked away from it. With only 15% of the home containing the defective drywall, he plans to spend about $15,000 fixing the home, after which he plans to sell it.

There are currently over 300 homes in Virginia, and thousands more across the country whose homes are contaminated with toxic Chinese drywall.




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