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. 


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    1. My husband found your blog and this is all super helpful! We just bought a home in Mintbrook and should be moving in come November! We're so excited! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    2. So glad I could help. Welcome to the neighborhood. There is a Facebook group for the neighborhood if you want to join, just search Mintbrook residents

  2. Hello - I see you've been in your house almost a year now. I'm currently going through the process of buying a home in Culpeper.
    Are you happy in your Ryan Home, do you feel like you got a great deal?
    Not wanting to take up too much of your time, is there anything you'd change any advice you can give?
    Thank you

    1. I'm very happy with Ryan homes. I'm not sure if I gotten that great of a deal, as I think I could have maybe haggle a little more on price before we signed. I would definitely want to build new with Ryan homes again if we ever want to move. We are coming up on our one year drywall repair, not that much to fix other than the kitchen ceiling. If I would go back and change anytime it would be: trusting others answers for questions we should have double checked the answers ourselves. For example...Our SR telling us the fire hydrant was a street light, after looking it up he was wrong and it was too late to switch lots. the name of the tiles was written incorrectly for our flooring paperwork and we signed thinking the design person didn't mix up names, by not reading the label ourselves. Maybe pushing our closing date back to make sure they had enough time and weren't rushed trying to fix everything and still close on time, as it lead to them having to do tile work over and over again after closing. I would also upgraded the carpet for the whole house, not just the main floor. The most important thing is Ryan homes is willing to make it right if something is wrong. However like every builder they are only as good as the contractors they hire. I would walk the houses that are currently under construction in the neighborhood your looking to build it and see if the work looks good, they will usually change contractors if there is a lot of problem with one. Ask to meet your PM beforehand. Note pm do change over time. Go over the options list multiple times and be sure before you decide to leave out a morning room, it's so worth it. The cost of the finished basement was a great deal along with the morning room, the cost would have been double after closing I'm sure. Upgrades on flooring is over priced. Do rough in for lights for all rooms on main floor, 2nd floor is an easy add later, as for cable make sure to do any runs that will be hard to do later depending on your floorplan

    2. Sorry it took so long, but thank you so much for your reply.
      I finally came to the conclusion to move forward with my home in Culpeper.
      I've had the same PM's and they've been great - don't see that changing thank goodness!
      I had already added the morning room and the finished basement - very happy I did!!
      I did simple and bottom line "friendly" flooring upgrades in the main part of the house - you're right, those are over priced and things that can always be replaced later when they're not tacked on to a 30 yr mortgage.
      Thank you again for your feedback!!