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



  1. If you can, contact the plan reviewing agency (mine was the County) to see if you can get a copy of the Grading Plans submitted to them. These should be available to the public. You may have to pay copy fees.
    Then determine if the lot was graded according to plan. If not, get the plan reviewing agency to intervene on your behalf. The builder is required to grade the lot to what was approved (which usually requires it to drain).
    As far as the rocks and grass go, Ryan Homes should have done a better job, but the review agency can't do anything about that. Just keep after them and maybe they will fix it eventually.

  2. That sucks, they really did a crapy job. We were originally supposed to close in February too, and were told they would come back and lay our sod in the spring so it wouldn't die. But we didn't close in February, still waiting lol

  3. This is quite alarming!! I hope it is fixed for you!


  4. You and thousands of others had this same problem including myself!! Its our third year and I have my own blood, sweat, tears and money into my lawn. We had companies from RH come out soooo many times, does not matter how much seed you throw done on rock hard dirt and rocks, it wont grow!!!! They did not give you enough DIRT from the beginning to cover up all that debris so now you will just have to keep digging out rocks on your own,having dirt delivered and keep patching it yourself, it this point, they would have to dump a shit load on dirt on your lot to get it to cover all that debris to grow grass. This is the #1 complaint with RH homes.
    Wait till you try and dig a hole to plant something like a tree or install a fence, its like hitting concrete, its impossible and you will need a digging bar. LOL...truly

    But keep fighting, they can keep coming out and bring you more dirt and seed, nothing can be done about the rocks now, like I said unless they start over.

    You can save it, but you have to put the work into it. I have for 3 years and my lawn looks pretty good so far. Still has some places just WILL NOT GROW no matter what I do, I imagine its because there is a HUGE rock there and roots can established, BUT that requires digging a bigger hole,so I just turn my head to those spots. They are pretty small so I can live with it.

    Also, make sure you hire a lawn company to treat your lawn, its essential to a good lawn. You cant right now, you don't have enough grass. But preventing weeds in the spring will SAVE your lawn. I have learned so much about grass its amazing!!

    Good luck, make the lawn you hobby and it will grow, it will, but you have to tend to it.

  5. Dwtimes2 is absolutely right! I wish these blogs existed when I bought the first time. It would have saved us 5 years of wasted money trying on our own to get our yard together. We live in NC and have the same issue with RH. In the last couple of months we have started the yard treatments and it has made a significant difference in the front. Almost six years later and our back yard looks like the pictures you posted (except in some places our rocks are huge). Many of our neighbors chose to completely remove the RH sod/seed and have professionals come and clear the yard, treat the dirt, then re-sod.

  6. Wow, I know it sounds strange to say but lucky you with the Sod, in my development Ryan provides grading and then straw and thats it (no seed/sod/ or topsoil) They also of course don't clear the rocks. My plans are to hard rake the lot (or rockhound), Lime the property, cover with topsoil, seed, and then cover with straw. We are scheduled for September of this year so we will see how all this goes.... Good luck, keep fighting the good fight

  7. after read the article.. I was really stuck. its really sad to read it. Hope Nepal will be back. Thanks for the great article.

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