Some homeowners gutting houses over Chinese drywall

Across South Florida and the country, distraught homeowners feel stuck in their stinky, corroding homes that are breaking down bit by bit from something leaching from defective Chinese drywall.

For most, moving out, paying rent somewhere else and keeping up with their mortgages is far too expensive, so they continue living in the unsavory conditions. They are in financial limbo, waiting for money from lawsuits inching their way through state and federal courts that might yield a payout a year or two — or more — from now, before contemplating repairs.

Some are hoping for home builders to come to their rescue. Others are hoping for money from insurance claims.

But waiting could just make the problem worse, said Frank Mackle, a home builder who recently discovered his own house has the problem product.

So he gutted the townhome himself a few weeks ago.

``This is coming out of my own pocket,'' said Mackle, walking through the shell of the 2,300-square-foot Coral Gables home.

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