Monday, December 21, 2015

10 month review

Well it’s been several months since I’ve blogged.  Today was our 10 month review and it went really well.  First, I seriously have the best service manager RH has to offer.  He has gone above and beyond and is always truly genuine.  He will get all 10’s on his survey and guess what!??!  He NEVER mentioned the survey during our time working with him.  I really wish that he was the person we dealt with during our building experience.   He has made us feel a lot better about things that have been done that we knew were not correct.  He is prompt with service calls and answers any questions we have.  Mike, you are AWESOME!

The floors were the biggest item.  There were several spots throughout our home that needed attention.  The issue that I have with the flooring is that a lot of these issues were pointed out during framing.  When we pointed out the nails that didn’t make it into the studs we were told that it was fine because they used glue and screws in addition to the nails.  WRONG!  So note to those in the framing process….if you see nails that were properly placed, say something and have them fix it then.  It’s a lot easier to repair when you aren’t dealing with carpet, vinyl, or whatever flooring you choose.

The yard.  OH the yard.  I’m so tired of this yard.  I put this on my 10 month review and got a phone call about it.  I said there were holes in the front and that the grade in the back STILL is not right.   The holes were supposed to be taken care of and they would take a look at the grade.  The landscapers came out and said they were here to fix holes and the back yard.  I was excited!  Finally, some acknowledgement about the crappy job in the back yard.  As they worked we were told how the grade was incorrect and they were going to fix it.  Then about 15 minutes later we were told they had the wrong house and the back yard wasn’t getting anything.   It would have been nice to know that the landscapers were coming in the first place, but hey they came.   I would love to see some documentation on what the grade is supposed to be between the houses and in the back yard.  I know without a doubt that it is not correct, but it was made “crystal clear” to me that RH would not do anything else to the yard.  As stated in a previous blog post, if the president of RH came to my house there is no way that he would agree that the yard is what it is supposed to be.  NO WAY!

Here are some pictures of our beautiful back yard….or rock garden.  


Other than the yard and floors, we didn’t have anything else really major.  Just some caulking and discussion about drywall.   Now the drywall repair will be a beast.  We have several nail pops and cracks.  Hope they drywall people are prepared for some serious work.   I will blog about that when that time comes.

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Few Tips

So now that I’ve gone through the Ryan Homes experience I think I have some tips for future home buyers and people who are currently building.   I’ve read a lot of blogs and have seen people have amazing experiences and others who’ve dealt with crazy things.  Overall, I’ve enjoyed our experience.  If I were to rate my house I would give it a 7 out of 10…..not too bad.

So here are my tips!

Document your experience

Whether you blog, post pictures on social media, or keep a journal….document this experience.   I do enjoy going back looking at the pictures of our progress.   I’ve used those pictures when certain selections were not correct and having those pictures helped tremendously.

Ask Questions! Speak up! Trust your gut!

During this entire process we asked a ton of questions.  If we didn’t understand something or didn’t like something we made sure to question it.   If you see things that you don’t think are correct, say something!  Don’t assume they will fix it.  If you don’t speak up you might be disappointed later when it’s not right. 

Go in your house!

So as you know, we were banned from going into our house and we were really good about getting permission if we wanted to go in.  If I could do it all over again, I would’ve went into the house ever day during the building process.  I think that not being able to go in the house definitely made me feel like they were trying to hide things (like the hole in our kitchen ceiling).  Why wouldn't you want me to go in my house?  I do feel that if we went inside and looked every day that we would have caught more of the lack of detail that we are currently seeing.  

Know all of your options and what you want

When we were looking around at various models we knew what we wanted.  My husband and I looked for a house for at least 18 months before finally signing a contract.  We knew we wanted an open concept, more space, a decent sized yard, and other various details.  When we met with our SR we knew exactly what model we wanted but it wasn’t offered in our community, so we asked and it was approved.   With knowing your options, I suggest you visit various model homes in your area.  This will help you see layouts, granite colors, cabinet options, and all the little things that you think are included but aren’t.   When you visit these places, take pictures and write down the things you love.   Take them back to your SR so you don’t forget!


Pay attention to detail

My husband said it best…..our home is good but it is not great.   Our house has the potential to be great and could’ve been great when we closed if they paid attention to detail.  Each contractor comes in and does their job.  Everyone’s job depends on the person who came in and did work before them.  If the first person didn’t do their job correctly, the next contractor is not going to fix that and do their job.  We have trim work in our house that was not cut or measured correctly.  At first glance it looks fine, but when you really look at it, you see that they did a bad job.   We have a running list of items we want fixed before our 1 year warranty is up and we do not feel bad about it.

Inspectors and inspections

A lot of people don’t realize that our homes go through a lot of inspections during the building process.  A lot of people also don’t know that the inspections going on in your house are public record and you can look to see if they pass or not.  While ultimately, all houses must pass all the county inspections before you close, it’s still good to know what’s going on with your house.   Our house failed several inspections before closing.  While I know everything was repaired, it’s still crazy.  We hired our own personal inspector because of all the Ryan Home horror stories and not to mention we were living in a Ryan Home townhouse that had some issues. While our inspector didn’t find anything major, he did find things that needed to be fixed.   I’ve read about other people who have had water issues, termites, and various problems with their home and how they didn’t hire an inspector.  Spend the money and get your own inspector.  This person works for you and not Ryan Homes!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

So-called Ryan Homes Starter Lawn...

Hey Folks!  It’s been a while!  We are settling nicely into our new home.  Things are coming along well.  Of course there is a long to-do list of things we want to do to our home, but those things will come in time.

Let’s get down to business…..this will be long.

I am EXTREMELY unhappy with our Ryan Homes “starter lawn”.  I will use that term lightly considering our “starter lawn” is more like a rock garden.  When we closed back in February, our entire yard was covered in snow.  It stayed that way for a few weeks because the snow kept coming!  Finally the snow cleared and we could see our yard.  I’ll start with the front….we got sod in the front and it looked nice from what we could see.  Taking a closer look, our sod is patchy, some of the sod is very thin, and then there are uneven places.  Told PM, he told us to wait until our 10 month.  Fine.

Now let’s talk about the back and side yard.  In our community, we only get sod and irrigation in the front yard.  On the sides, we get what is called a “starter lawn”.  This consists of dirt, grass seed, and hay.   Now we have a really big back yard.  Bigger than what Ryan Homes includes in their grading and starter lawn.  Our lot is unique because before there was a house on our lot, there was a huge mound of dirt.  This dirt was the holding place for a retaining pond on the two lots beside us.  Our lot also has a utility easement which they are currently doing a project.  There are several huge pipes in this area.  Now back in September/October, the pond was filled in with the dirt on our lot and the land was smoothed out.  During the course of our build, I noticed several places where water was collecting on the lot.  Our PM told us that we would have to get those places fixed since it was outside of the 25 feet.  We kept bringing it up, and he kept telling us the same thing.  The problem is, our lot past the 25 feet was disturbed by construction.  Why won’t Ryan Homes fix this issue? 

Now remember, we couldn’t see our starter lawn when we had our walk-thru and when we closed.  When the snow melted, I added our yard to the list of things that needed work.  At that point I noted that there were tons of rocks and construction debris.  I noted several places in our back that were holding water past the 48 hour mark and other things that were not right.  Our PM told us that he would send the landscaping company back out and they would power rake the yard and put down new seed, but we didn’t need hay.  He also told us about how great our back yard would look since we got two rounds of seed.  Sounds good, right?!  I know we were excited!   He also told us that he would talk to the developer about the holes/ponds in the back yard and that they would be fixed.  Well when the landscaping company came back out, something wasn’t right.  One of the guys was riding around on his machine smoothing out the dirt.  Ummmmm…..weren’t we supposed to get a power rake?  So my husband went outside to talk to the guy who said no one told him he was supposed to power rake, but his guys could rake the sides and back by hand.  When they were all done everything looked great and it was raining so that was even better! 

Now, here we are a month later and my yard looks absolutely HORRIBLE!  While I know it takes time to grow and establish a yard from scratch, Ryan Homes should be ashamed of what they consider acceptable.  The amount of rocks in the dirt they put down is unreal!  How is anything supposed to grow with a layer of rocks?!?

 I put in a service request about the yard and waited the 24-48 hours.  No one contacted me.  So I put in another service request with some additional issues with our front and back doors.  My service manager (SM) called back in less than 24 hours and had someone out that day to resolve my issue.  I asked my SM if he was responsible for the yard concerns and he said that my PM was….. My PM called about the yard and left a message.  I called him back and left a message and didn’t hear back before the end of business that day.    Another day went by….no phone call.  The weekend went by, no phone call.  Monday morning, I call him and we talk.  He says he will go by and look and give me a call that afternoon.  He calls back that afternoon and says that everything was done properly and that there is nothing else Ryan Homes can do.   I ask about the places that hold water and he said nothing can be done until the county is done with a project they are doing in our back yards.  He did offer to give me names of some landscaping companies who could come and fix my yard!!  SERIOUSLY?!?!?  So Ryan Homes won’t fix it and I’m supposed to pay someone else to come give me a starter lawn!

There are rocks everywhere and barely any grass.  There is still plastic and trash from construction in our yard.  In addition, since no hay was put down the second time they came out there is some erosion going on.  This is absolutely unacceptable.  This is what Ryan Homes considers a “starter lawn”.   We have a beautiful house, a decent front yard, and the crappiest back yard I’ve ever seen.  It’s really sad and disappointing.  And what’s even more disappointing is that Ryan Homes will not correct the situation.   Stuff like this is exactly why Ryan Homes has a bad name. 

Here are pictures......
Back Yard

Side Yard

More water and pipes

This picture is from the day the landscaper came out....we had plenty of rain for those seeds to grow.
Rocks and trash
Anyone need some rocks?!

patches in our sod

Big hole exposing more rocks in our sod


Friday, March 20, 2015

30 days in.....

We had our 30 day inspection and overall I'm very pleased.  We had a very long list of things that needed to be addressed....some of which were on our list of things before closing. 

The carpet in our bedroom needed some work.  We could see the carpet pad at the edge of the carpet.  This was fixed today and looks much better.

The rails to our steps were replaced today.  We had a mini walk-thru before our official new home orientation.  During this time we noticed our rails were not the correct color.  They attempted to re-stain them and they just did not look good.  I'm very happy that our PM suggested that they be replaced.  They look wonderful now!

There was a hump in the landing at the top of the stairs.  They had the framers come back to repair this.  This was a very loud repair, lol. 

Our microwave has been a collector of drywall dust.  I'm positive that I've cleaned the microwave more than any other item in this house.  Every time we open it, there is dust.  I clean it and more dust.  So today they took out the microwave and found dust on top of it.  They cleaned it off and vacuumed behind the microwave and hopefully we won't have any more dust.

We had the crown moulding on one of our cabinets repaired.  During this, we discovered a hole.  Not too happy about that, but it was covered with the moulding.  I just think that some sort of patching should have happened before the moulding was put on, but that's just my opinion.   It was patched today so we are happy.

There were some other minor things like trim and paint and a tiny piece of tile, but nothing else major. 

In a couple of weeks there will be some more repairs.....

We have a crack in one of our cabinets.  Nothing huge, but its a crack.  Our PM has to order the cabinet and it will be installed along with the other repairs.

Our back yard looks pretty bad.  I know that Ryan isn't going to seed our entire lot, but we currently have nothing but mud and rocks.  Our PM is going to have the landscaper come back and rake the lot and put down new seed.  Hopefully we will have some grass in the upcoming weeks.

The exterior will be taken care definitely needs some TLC.   There will be some painting and caulking and power washing.  It will definitely look nice when they are done.  The winter weather is to blame for this!

Overall our 30 day went well.  Our PM addressed every.single.item we pointed out.  He answered every question and we are very pleased with all the repairs.  I love our house!

Now for the fun stuff.  I'm definitely happy with the progress of our house.  We are down to very few boxes and are getting settled in quite nicely.   Hopefully we will get some curtains up soon!  We are trying to use a lot of the things we already had.  Of course I've purchased some new items and will purchase more at some point, but I'm trying to be thrifty.  We have a lot more space to decorate and we are on a budget.  I'm trying really hard to do one room at a time, but it's not working out so well for me, lol.  Here are some progress pictures....from my cell phone.

Dining room

Living room

Daughters room
Master Bedroom

Son's Bedroom

Kids bathroom

My picture wall....I'm very proud of this!

Monday, March 2, 2015

One room down!

We are slowly getting settled in our house!  I am so happy to have more space.  I keep trying to remind myself to take it one room at a time, but I've been all over the place, lol.

We have all of our blinds up.  I can't live without blinds....don't want people looking inside of our house.  We also had ceiling fans and lights put in all the rooms.  Ceiling fans went in the family room and our master.  The other bedrooms got simple flush mounts and the morning room got a "chandelier".  Here are a few pictures.

morning room

Fan in family room

Other bedrooms

We also have one room that I can check of the list.....the powder room, lol!  It's small and didn't take much to decorate.  I stuck with neutral stuff since we will paint it at some point.  Everything came from Target except for the scroll art work which came from Pier-1. 

We have also purchased some new rugs which I really love.  They also came from Target when they had a rug sale a few weeks ago.

I have such love for Etsy.  They have some really nice and unique things that you can't find at regular stores.  Since being in our house we have had a solicitor....which I really dislike.  I know its a new neighborhood and we will have them, so I went ahead and purchased a nice little sign in hopes that they will stay away.   I also love to have things in my house that have meaning.  So I also purchased a little something as a keepsake for our new house.   Here are some pictures from the Etsy shops.

We have a meeting with our PM tomorrow morning. to go over some things we want fixed in the house.....I'll go into more detail after our meeting.  Let's just hope it's a good meeting.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

So we are in here!

I'm soooo tired!  We moved Friday after closing and have been rolling since.  We have almost finished unpacking so that's good.  We had tons of boxes and I'd say we are down to around 15 left.

A lot has happened this past week!  I don't even know where to begin. 

So Monday, we had a "kind of" walk thru with our PM.  We pointed out things that we wanted fixed and that was that.  We also got a lot of snow for our area....6 inches!  I know you people up north are used to it, but its a lot to us!  During this time, we noticed our rails inside the house were stained the wrong color.  We also pointed out a lot of issues with the exterior which can't be addressed until the weather is warmer.  I'm glad my PM offered to meet with us earlier this week because he knew I was apprehensive about having our orientation the day before closing.  I will say that if you can avoid this and get things NOT have your orientation the day before closing.

Tuesday, we were supposed to have our personal inspection, but he couldn't make it out due to the weather.

Thursday, we had our new home orientation and our inspection.   A lot of the things that we discussed on Monday were taken care of, but our floors (vinyl) looked awful and the rail still was not correct.  We also noticed that we could see the pad under the carpet in our master bedroom because the carpet was cut too short.  Our PM said they could fix it by basically using a tool that would push it under the baseboard.  We got all of the things we wanted fixed in writing....things to be fixed before closing and things to be fixed when the weather permits.  Our PM told us to call so he could show us everything was corrected before closing

Friday,  I had to run errands with the kiddos.  After I was done, I called my PM and he couldn't meet......anyway, we closed!  It was fast.....just a ton of signatures and we were out of there. NVR has been a joy to work with.  Everyone was prompt with emails and any questions I may have had.  I would highly recommend using NVR to anyone purchasing a Ryan Home. 

After closing, I ran by Home Depot to pick up a few things and got on the interstate.....with a FLAT TIRE!  Let me tell you, sitting on the side of I-95 on one of the coldest days of the year with cars going at least 70mph is no fun.  Luckily a friend who was helping my husband load up the truck was able to help me out.... it was repaired quickly and I was able to finally see our house!  The floors look a million times better, but they still missed several spots.  The carpet in the bedroom was not fixed.  The rail was not correct. The kitchen was dirty....dust was everywhere....cabinets, appliances, pantry....everywhere.   Even though those things were not satisfactory, we were still excited to be moving into our house.  Blinds started going up, beds were set up, and I was able to start unpacking the kitchen.

Saturday, we had a friend put the rest of the blinds up (awesome friend) and did a ton of unpacking.

Today we had our cable, internet, and phone set up in addition to an electrician (another friend) putting in all of our lights and ceiling fans.  Lights make such a huge difference!  We didn't do anything fancy, just needed to get some lights in!

Overall, I am very happy with how things have turned out.  I will say to make sure you speak up if you see something that you don't like.  Don't assume obvious things will be fixed.  For us, we just need for things that were promised to be fixed, to be fixed correctly and not some quick temporary fix.

I will post pictures at some point this week!

Friday, February 20, 2015

We closed!!!

It's officially ours!!!!  Closing took 30-45 minutes.  It was wonderful!  

Will update later in the week once we have internet!

Friday, February 13, 2015

One week!

We have sod!  It is like the icing on the cake to our beautiful home.  I absolutely LOVE how everything has come together.  While I was worried about the colors and trim, it really has come together nicely.   I didn’t get to go in today, but there were a lot of people doing work.  From what it looked like, there was a man power washing the exterior, someone painting, and someone cleaning.  They are really trying to get our house ready!  I can’t wait to see everything on Monday!

I figured that since we were in the end of the process that I would look to see if we passed our final county inspection and we didn’t.  Not sure why it was submitted knowing that the house was not 100% complete.  When we walked through for our security meeting, there were some things that we noticed…..for example, the back door still didn’t have a deadbolt, which was one of the reasons for the failed inspection.   I know the house will be 100% before we move in, but it’s still disappointing to see that it failed due to little details that haven’t been taken care of.  

Speaking of inspections, we have our personal inspection scheduled for Tuesday and should have his findings that evening.   I know that he will do a thorough job and I hope that all of the contractors have done the same.  He told us from the beginning that this is where he finds issues….with the finishes and workmanship of the various contractors that put together the finished product.  

Speaking of finishes, I hope that the painters have fixed some of the sloppy work I’ve seen (hopefully that’s what they were doing today).   I have learned a lot from reading from others experiences, and I know to go over our house in great detail and to always speak up if we feel something isn’t right.  We will point out any and everything we see that we feel is not done correctly.  While this might not be a big investment to some, it is to us and we expect it to be done right.  It’s not personal, it’s business.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

8 days!!!

Normally after I leave work, I drive by the house to see if there is something new.  Today I needed to run errands for the kiddos Valentine’s parties ….As soon as I parked at Target, my PM called.  He addressed a couple of things I emailed him about.  I asked him about the sod and plants since we are about to hit a cold streak (probably followed by 80 degree weather….that’s Virginia for you).  He told me they were going in today!  I was totally shocked because I really didn’t expect to have anything.  So after I got off the phone with him, I called my hubby and asked him to swing by to get some pictures.

In our current house, the previous owner planted flowers and they come back every year, so all the work was done for me!  I do think I will make an attempt to ensure our yard looks nice and will plant some of my own flowers to enhance what has been done, but I have no clue when it comes to things green.  I asked the PM if our sod and plants would die especially with a chance for snow next week.  He said they would be fine, so here’s to hoping we have nice green grass and beautiful plants in the spring. 

We also got our stair/porch railings today.  They look very nice and I am EXTREMELY happy to see them!

Our PM told me they are doing the final finishes to make our house perfect! 

Here are some pictures of the yard and the rails.  I will be back tomorrow to see the sod!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

9 more days!

We stopped by the house today to meet with a representative for our security system.  I'm pretty excited about that, but even more excited about what's in the house.....APPLIANCES and CARPET!  The next time we are in the house it should be almost complete.  

I'm guessing we will be waiting for warmer weather before we can get our sod, tree, and other plants....

It also looks like three other houses on our street will begin soon!  It's nice to see our community filling up.

Here are a few pictures from today....



Saturday, February 7, 2015

Week 11

13 days to go!  This time in two weeks, we should be moving in to our new home!  I’m so excited!


A lot has been going on this week.   Our granite counter tops were put in the kitchen this week and they look great.  I love the way the kitchen is coming together!  We should be getting appliances this week.   Here are some pictures of the kitchen.



Our vinyl flooring also was put down this week.  I absolutely love the way it looks.  While most of it is covered, I did pull the covering back to get a few pictures.  It looks very nice and I feel is a nice alternative to hardwoods if they are outside of your budget.  One day we will get hardwoods, but this is great for now.

The master bathroom now has tile.  The ceramic tile came with our package and we just stuck with the standard.  I really like how it came out.   I’m also really excited about our shower with the seat.  Even though I'm not excited about keeping that glass clean!



Here are some more pictures of the inside.
Master Closet




Living room

Dining room

Family room

Powder room

Here are some exterior pictures.   I’m so excited about the porch and I really love the recessed lights.  Oh, our irrigation system was also put in this week!  While we were visiting the house, they were working on grading the yard.
We have a driveway!

Exterior lights

Porch with recessed lights

We walked through the house with our PM’s assistant and we did notice that our extra dedicated outlet in the garage is in the wrong location.  It should be beside our steps, but instead it’s behind the water heater.  He said it will be fixed, so that makes us happy.  Not sure why it was put there when it’s clearly marked on our paperwork to be beside the steps.   There are also a couple of spots in the subfloor that we are concerned about….the best way to describe it is that they give when you step on them.   Our PM’s assistant said that when carpet goes in the flooring people will make sure it’s nailed down correctly. 

There are a lot of little details that we are watching closely and a lot of work that still has to be done.  More drywall, more paint, more trim……I'm sure they will do everything to make sure we love the final product.  This is a huge investment and we want it to be as close to perfect as possible.  We ask a lot of questions and I will say that our PM’s and SR do an awesome job of answering everything and trying to put our minds at ease.   

So what’s next?  Appliances, carpet, sod, and detail work.   I can't believe it's almost finished!