We blogged about the building process of our house to document it for ourselves and to help others. Our house is finished and we have moved in and we love our home. Building a house isn't a process that goes perfectly, no matter what builder you pick, and this is our story. Every problem we had during the building process has been made right by Ryan homes. This isn't complaint blog, its how we felt at the time of our post during the building process.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Status Update and Short Review

Now that we have settled in a little, I wanted to give an update. We finally took all the plastic and cardboard off the floor. We used the sticky plastic for the carpet for moving and cardboard for the wood. It was nice not having to worry about people taking off their shoes while moving things in. However people didn’t seem to stay on the plastic of the carpet, so it was a little bit of a waste. The good news there was no harm done. As for the walls in the stairwell, that’s another story. I tried a magic eraser and let me tell you it made it worse with the flat paint they use. So we will be using the free touch up kit they offer for that until we paint. We were able to adjust our dampers to make it cooler upstairs. Having dampers is a great feature and they were all very easy to access. Our PM stopped by to help us locate and adjust our dampers, which was a big help. We finally have internet and TV. They hooked us up last Friday, the only day that week we didn’t have appointment. As all the techs that showed up for the appointments didn’t know what they were doing, lucky our PM was able to explain to the Comcast techs on Friday how to do their job. The Comcast techs were going to the wrong box at first then they ran the wrong cable.  The good news is it’s working great now. We got the X1, and love it. Since moving in our PM has been great helping with any questions. No problems yet, just questions, as there is a lot to learn with any new home. Since we don’t have any blinds yet other than the bedroom, we haven't really needed to turn on any lights unless until like 10pm, because the all the windows are great for letting light in during the summer and we didn’t even have to pay for any extra windows. Last week we did find the light in our attic left on by the workers from before we moved in. Glad we found it, I know it’s just one light, but one light on forever where we don’t ever need it is a waste of money/power.

We have completed a couple projects around the house:
Sealing all grout
Installed deadbolt  to the door into the garage  and added a Smart door lock on top of the deadbolt (the coolest thing ever)
Installed a Smart Thermostat
Installed Black out blinds in bedroom
Installed Ceiling fans/lights (one done, the other needs a new fuse)
Installed Garage door opener
Installed Water softener and filter
Changed all HVAC filters
Install latch vent (for the cat to be able to go into unfinished area of the basement without the dog following him)
Installed security camera

What’s left to do:
Install more lights/fans
Install security light outback
Get blinds for the family room and installing them
Get and Install a light on a timer for the cat (he likes to hang out in the unfinished area of the basement and needs a light)
Build Fence
Hang things on the wall

Review and What I would do different:
So far our 30 day fixes will just be drywall, cabinet, and grout touch ups. No big deal. As I didn’t notice them until we moved in.
What I would do differently if I ever built a house again (which I would build with Ryan again if I ever move again):
Put a hold on our lot for 24 hours while we think what we want added to the contact (extra things or costing cost included, being allowed in to our house to see during normal SR or PM hours)
Go to the flooring appointment together (write into our contract we can wait until a weekend appointment is free)
Double check the flooring paperwork name by name reading the name on the back of the sample not just taking the word of the flooring person that it’s called that (we missed a mistake)
Take off work the whole for drywall meeting (so we won’t be rushed to get back to work)
Ask for each bathroom outlets upstairs to be on a different circuit (cost extra)
Ask for every other outlet in the finished basement to be on one extra circuit, meaning 2 circuits for all the outlets instead of 1(cost extra)
Upgrade all the carpet to the carpet I loved (try to ask for a discount to be able to do it)
Email my PM weekly with anything I see wrong (I waited until the end, which didn’t leave our PM that much time)

One thing I have to say with building with any builder: The quality of work will be as good or bad as you allow. You need to have a trained eye or hire someone to look over things to point out things you want fixed. Mistakes happen no one is perfect and if you point it out chances are they will make it right.  Our PM made it right.

The great thing about Ryan Homes is there a big company. You know they will not be filing for bankruptcy and changing their name to run from their warranties, which smaller no name builders do sometimes. Their warranties don’t cover everything but it covers what matters to me. Like how they have 30 day and 10 month check up. Landscaping isn’t covered for a reason, as plates and grass can die depending on how you take care of them and how the weather is. Yes some things are builder grade they put in your home, but this allows you to upgrade later to the model you really want/need without having to pick an upgrade from a list and it not be 100% what you really want after having to pay more for it. Ryan homes isn't a customer builder, but you can count on them if something goes wrong, they will make it right and thats important part to me. Building a new house can be stressful and take a lot of time, but it's 100% worth it.

I hope to be fully unpacked when our 30 day checkup comes around. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

We Moved In

We are now moved in. Still need to finish unpacking and get things setup, so far so good. Everything was fixed that was on my list. I’m very happy on how my PM handed my list, everything on my list was fixed by the time we moved in. Since moving in I have notice things I didn’t notice before. Like everyone says no matter how hard you look, you will miss things. Everything I missing I will bring up at our 30 day checkup. It’s small things like drywall issues and cabinets have some scratch. The only thing I didn’t like is how dirty our returns and filters were when we moved in. My husband and I both had an allergy attack the days we were moving from all the dust in filters and returns. I had pointed out dirt in one of the vents to PM and he fixed it, but I didn’t check the returns until after we moved it. Not that big of a deal, we vacuumed out the returns and replaced the filters, and it fixed our allergy problem. We also have no internet or TV still after 3 cancelled appointments with Comcast. Hopefully the next appointment with Comcast will go better, because using my cell phone for everything is killing my data. My main concern is different in temperance in 2nd floor then the 1st  floor and basement. The 2nd is 78 when basement and 1st floor is 70. I know warm air rises, but 8 degrees is little much.  We plan adjust the dampers this weekend to hopefully fix this problem, if not I'm sure our PM can tell us if we need to make service call or if we need to adjust something else. 

My advice for getting things fixed before closing is send a list with picture of issues to the PM as you see them. Don't feel like you have to wait until the final walk through to say what's wrong. Spend time in each room and bring a light, it's hard to see in the rooms with no lights until you move in and install lights. 

Ones we get settled in we will post picture. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Final Walk-Through

Today went better than expected. I'm very happy with the outcome. When we got there our PM had my list I post on my blog from yesterday (very surprised since I had posted it just yesterday, they are on top it). They wanted to make sure we were happy with everything and thought it would be best to delay closeing so they could get everything done. By no means do we want delay closeing for the items on our list. I just wanted to make sure everything on my list will be fix before or after closing. Our PM says he can get everything done before closing and I think it's possible too. If not it is not a big deal, it can be done after and we will still be happy.

We went line by line on my list. Our PM said he had never received a list like mine. I'm surprised other people don't do list like mine. I think my list made it easier to cover everything and not forget anything. Our PM had received a list of some of these items not all the week before. He had fixed somethings already on Monday since there was even more fixed than my listed had marked. Other things he had questions on what we were referring to, and we cleared up those things today. Some of things he had already told the workers to fix but they didn't understand my wording on my list. The good news is everything is going to be fixed (some didn't need to be fixed, it was just a matter of explaining). 

I was very impressed with our PM's plan of action to get everything fixed. He has cleared up my worries. We have scheduled a checkup on Friday morning before closing to sign off that everything has been taken care of. If something is not done, we will just make note, and they can take care of it after closing. I have faith our PM can get everything done right. 

The only item in question is our extra outlet in the basement. He will be going over this will the electrician, to see what happened and how it can be fixed. 

The floor in our shower will not be fixed since it was also wrong on our paperwork which we already signed. Our fault, here. Read your flooring paperwork very carefully. I thought I did, clearly didn't. 

Everything else was marked and noted on the sheet to be fixed. 

Happy camper. Can't wait to close :)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 12, Final Walk Thru is Tomorrow and my list is so long

Updated from after our final walk thru *Our PM was great with documenting and going over everything on my list. Everything went very smooth and everything is going to get fixed with any problems. I have to say I'm very impressed with our PM handled our list*

Our Final-Walk-Thru / Pre Settlement Demonstration (whatever they want to call it) is tomorrow and I know that it’s going to be a lot to go over. Since visiting last weekend we found more issues, which it normal to see more issues the more you look. Our PM said he was working on my list I sent them for the last 2 weeks, yet only couple were finished this weekend. I really thought he would have done more. That leaves him only 2 full days to do everything else on my list, which I don't think he will have time. So most I will need to get in writing that they will be done after closing. I wonder if he is going to fight me over fixing some of my issues. If so, I will be asking for his manger contact information, as I won’t stand for poor quality work and a house that doesn’t meant code. If the manager gives me any fight on things that don’t meant code I will ask for the name of the county inspector that passed it and will be filing a complaint with county, saying that inspector is passing things that don’t meet code. I bet the county inspector didn’t look around as much as he should have, not that he doesn’t know the code. I’m sure that will get my point across.

Here is what doesn’t meet code:
·         A clean out pipe in our basement is facing a stud in the wall instead of the drywall opening. Code says there needs to be sufficient  space to access the cleanout, which defined as 18 inches. The stud is less than 6 inches. Also the cover over the cleanout is sealed shut. Code says it must have a covered that is removable and not sealed. I have a Master Plumber in my family that has looked at it and he said it doesn’t meet code.
·         Basement outlets are too far apart, and we also paid for an extra outlet, which we couldn’t have gotten extra outlet if all outlets are either are too far or just enough apart to meet code. Code says an outlet must be within 6 feet from any point on the wall. Meaning they can’t be more than 12 feet of wall space that doesn’t have at least one outlet. I measured one point that’s over 13 feet with no outlet. 13 dived by 6 is more than 2, so it doesn’t meet code.
·         There is an outlet installed in unfinished area of the finished basement that has a wire running to it that’s rated for a lower voltage than the outlet installed. Outlet or wire needs to be replaced.

We have a lot of items that were installed damaged or were damaged after they were installed. These being fixed after closing will need to be documented. Kitchen cabinets, light fixtures, and tile. I will not stand for them not agree to fixed these issues before closing or written into the contract that they will be fixed within so many days after closing.
Drywall issues aren’t that big of deal to me currently, but they still need to be fixed. Just not documented like the rest.

As for things Ryan Homes does that is a shortcut, but it does meet code:
·         All outlets in all bathrooms are one GIF circuit.
o   Meaning you can only use one hair dryer at a time in the whole house, if you’re in a bathroom, which everyone always use the hair dryer in the bathroom
·         All the finished basement outlets are on one circuit
o   Meaning you can’t plug in 2 different things in the whole basement that uses a lot power, so treadmill and mini fridge in the basement is a no go.
·         Re-direct Vents for sewers lines of sinks are under sink
o   So if they fail which will happen just a matter of time, then sewer gases will fill your house.  

My issue list has gotten so long that I started organizing my area of the house making it easy to go in order when reviewing the house.
(Green-fixed issues)
(Purple-new issues haven’t told my PM about yet)
(Black- issues have told him about he hasn't  fixed or commented on)

As you can see I check every detail. I didn't include pictures because there were way too many issues to upload pictures for. 

My Issue List:
1)      Basement
a)      Cleanout covered and facing the wrong way
b)      Needs to be touched up left front speaker cut out, In Basement the Front Left Speaker isn’t cut out, all the rest appear to be cut out with plates over
c)       Basement Door doesn’t shut well
d)      The outlet in the unfinished area of the basement near the cabling box has a wire running to the outlet that isn’t rated for the outlet installed
e)      The light in extra room of the unfinished area has no pull string or switch that turns it off/on
f)       Recessed lights is dented
g)      Hole in baseboard along wall with window
h)      Trim at top of basement door not level with door
i)        Duct run drywall isn’t level/straight/square opposite wall of basement door  corner
j)        (I already email him on this, he says it’s because the power washed the unfinished area in the basement, I have never heard of that, so I will check again)Water in unfinished area on top of sump pump and water in HVAC pan again, HVAC pan is sealed in corners, water is under the HVAC pan, check to see if sump pump is working correctly
k)      Main water run is outside insulation, should be inside
2)      1st Floor
a)      Corner cabinet damaged in kitchen
b)      Family room bar wall where carpets meets vinyl isn’t right
c)       Under microwave the drywall is messed up
d)      Morning room curved window isn’t smooth
e)      Water not work in fridge in kitchen
f)       No Kitchen stopper in sink
g)      Drywall in-between kitchen and dining room needs to be touched up
h)      Bottom Trim near patio door corner needs to be touched up
i)        Cabinet doors and draws aren’t straight in the Kitchen
j)        Mud needs to be touched ceiling in kitchen
k)      Bottom trim needs to be touched up in kitchen
l)        pantry door doesn't shut well
m)    The floor transition from carpet to vinyl kitchen/dining room needs to transition better
n)      front door doesn’t shut well
o)      In Kitchen the counter top lip was installed, but it shouldn’t, (please leave lip installed where it goes all the way up to the bar near sink, just remove the small 3in lip)
p)      Wall bump out between the family room and hallway on the kitchen bar side isn’t square
q)      There were squeaks in the floor at the front door area.
r)       Mud needs to be touched under downstairs railing base main floor
s)       Mud needs to be touched half wall bottom of ledge in family room
3)      2nd Floor Other
a)      Extra hole for switch of the fan in half bathroom upstairs, both the fan and light need to be on the same switch plate
b)      Wall outside Landry room mud needs to be touched up
c)       Very bad caulk job in spare bathroom tub, is missing at spare bathroom tub
d)      Upstairs hanging light has scratches on fixture facing wall/window.
e)      There were squeaks in the floor upstairs in master bedroom
f)       Mud needs to be touched in spare small bedroom the wall the Laundry is on
g)      Mud needs to be touched in spare larger bedroom outside wall near outlet
h)      Landry room pipe needs to be opened up
4)      2nd Floor Master Bathroom
a)      Door is peeling, painting over it doesn't work
b)      Missing soap dish in Shower
c)       shower walls have a bunch of chipped wall tile installed
d)      The corner tile in tub should be one tile not two tiles put together
e)      Grout in missing in spots around tub in master bath
f)       Mud needs to be touched outlet near mirror in Master bath
g)      Tub isn't secured and squeaks
h)      Tub faucet in master bath there is another chip in tile
i)        Wrong tile was installed in shower floor (The flooring company showed us a tile that was a cream color (almond, pictured below) and told us it was the only tile we could have for the shower floor, as we aren’t allowed to miss match our tile and it was the one that went with the tile we selected for the wall and floor for that bathroom, yet a dark gray tile was installed)
j)        Grout needs to be touched up all over
k)      Bottom trim
5)      Outside
a)      There are large gaps on where the siding and cement meet at the basement window, these gaps are too large to just be filled with caulk.
b)      There were a lot of siding/caulking issues we saw all around the outside, didn’t list all
c)       Siding isn’t down far enough down to cover framing braces, noticeable in the rear of the house
d)      Doorbell doesn't work
e)      Outlet in back next to basement door needs caulking
6)      All over
a)      The handrail in the stairwell has rough joints, nicks, and rough patches on it
b)      Inside wall of hand railing on stairs is rough
c)       Doors doesn’t shut well
d)      Door stops need to be adjust on some doors
e)      Recessed lights don't fit well and are rough around fixture
7)      Check Over
a)      All Windows
b)      All Doors
c)       All Trim (Top and bottom and window everywhere)
d)      DirtyAll Vents (Should feel air, clean, be in every room)
e)      All cabinets (looks)
f)       All appliances (looks and work) Water in fridge doesn’t work
g)      All flooring (looks)
h)      Check caulking outside
i)        Check caulking in bathroom (sinktoiletbath)
j)        Sit on toilet to make sure it’s tight
k)      Measure between all outlets (mark anything over 12)
l)        Check under all sinks
m)    Run all bathroom fans
n)      Check for paint and mud on outlet/light faceplates

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Week 11, All the flooring is in and uncovered

So we haven’t heard from our PM yet since he is still on vacation, and we didn’t want to contact the other PM listed on his out of office e-mail, as it wasn’t emergency. We wanted to give him time himself to address the issues. With that being said if we don’t hear back on Monday or like what he has to say, my husband will be stopping by on Tuesday morning to go over everything with him in person. As we want everything fixed that we have pointed out to him before the final walk thru, done by the final walk thru. We don’t expect our PM to be perfect, no one is, but he should be able fix things pointed out to him in a timely manner (We gave 2 weeks, he used 1 as vacation). If he is able to do this then we will make sure it’s reflected well in our survey. This week he said they would be finishing up the outside, that clearly didn't happen, lol. It still looks the same, so next week is the last week for this. We also noticed a couple more things wrong this week, some after some research. I was worrying about our cleanout in the basement pipe. It’s facing in the wall not out, making it hard to actual cleanout if needed. So I looked up the code and it doesn’t meet code the way the clean out is currently installed. Along with them sealing the wall closed over it, big no no. It must be accessible, so that will be fixed. We also measured between some of outlets and don't meet code, after we even paid to add an extra one, lol. It's sad the county inspector did even catch all these things that don't meet code. So I will email him to add these to the list along most listed below. I don't think our PM realized how detail we are at checking things, until he reads our list of what's wrong. 

Picture time (all pretty flooring)

And now for the pictures of things I'm adding to my list.

Sealed cleanout
Cleanout turned the wrong way

Doorbell doesn't work

Rocks all over our yard, weren't there last week

Cabniet trim in kitchen needs to be touched up

There is squeak in the floor here

Missing trim around bathtub

Another chip in tile

Didn't grout here at tub in master (tub was not secured down yet)

Trim not nailed to the wall yet

Master bathroom door painted over peeling door

Stairway light scratched up

Bad mud job

Ceiling light in basement dented 

Kitchen ceiling 
Hard to see small spare bedroom spot

Front door doesn't shut well along with pantry door, check all doors