Tuesday, September 24, 2013

10 Month Inspection Follow Up

We've had a difficult time getting our punch-list items from our 10-month inspection completed.  As I noted in my post about our inspection, we had quite a few issues and we've discovered more since then.

1. Nothing ever happened with our lot grading issue and we've given up on it.

2. The crack in the driveway was "filled", but they didn't fix the erosion under the end of the driveway which caused the crack, so it will continue to crack.  Again, not worth the aggravation to follow up.
3. The HVAC technician that came confirmed that we did not have enough air flow through our system, which we previously pointed out to our PM several times during construction, but he assured us that everything was fine.  (In actuality, he was in the process of leaving RH, which we found out less than a week before closing, so he was just trying to do as little work as possible :().  The "fix" for this air flow problem was to drill a hole in our furnace.  What?!?!  That can't be right!  The ducts in the attic that are pinched almost closed need to be fixed!  And ALL of the flow for the second floor is distributed through one little, less than 1-foot duct (picture below).  Again, something we pointed out during construction, but we trusted the builders when they told us that the system was designed by a professional and would be fine. 
Another thing, which we missed during construction, is that the only vent in our master bedroom is directly above our bed and blows right on our faces while we sleep.  The way our model is, there's only one wall that it makes sense to put the bed on so we're stuck with this.  Lesson learned.
4. The biggest issue we've had was with our water softener system for our well water.  After seven, yes, seven separate visits to our house to try to fix this thing (to no avail), Greg finally called our RH rep's manager and was able to get them to install a whole new system.  It's amazing, you can actually feel the difference in the water now that the softener system works.  And the fact that the water doesn't smell and is not brown is a nice bonus too!  It takes a lot to push Greg's buttons, but even he was at his wits end with these guys.  On top of their incompetence, they were not very pleasant to work with.  I am thankful that the manager was able to do something for us, but it's frustrating that it had to get to that point to make something happen... especially with something as important and basic as clean drinking water.
5. In the process of fixing our water softener, we had to use the sump pump and found out that the electrical outlet that it's plugged into does not work.  Someone is supposed to come out to fix that tomorrow.  Another lesson learned... check all of your electrical outlets for your 10 month inspection!
6. All of our drain field clean outs for the septic system were about 3-6 inches above grade so we asked them to cut them down to be even with the ground.  In standard RH fashion, they fixed all but one of them!  Ugh.
7. We have an erosion problem at the back corner of our house, which caused our AC unit to sink about 4 inches.  The cause was the poor design of our down spouts, which outlet water toward the AC unit, which is lower than the down spout outlet.  They came out and leveled the AC unit, but they didn't fix the erosion problem.  We have come up with a solution on our own to mitigate that, but again, poor design on RH's part.
With all of this frustration and aggravation, I've been asking myself lately whether I would build another Ryan Home.  I think the answer is still yes.  Unfortunately, I think the building problems and poor customer service we've been dealing with are not exclusive to RH, but rather are a sad reality in many businesses in our country today.  It seems like craftsmanship and pride in one's work are the exception rather than the norm these days.  It's all about making money.  That being said, RH still has some of the most reasonable prices around, so if I'm going to have to deal with problems, I'm at least glad I didn't spend a ton of money.  It's difficult to resist such an affordable home, which is why I'd probably do it all over again given the choice.  I would, however be much more critical during the construction phase.  I do wish I had pushed and maybe called a manager then instead of having to deal with it all now.  I think the excitement of building our first home caused us to overlook some things that we shouldn't have.
So... now that I am off of my soapbox... the bottom line is that overall I am happy with my home.  :)


  1. Great recap! Your comment about the HVAC definitely worries me. We asked our PM the same thing about vents that were stretched/pressed around beams in the attic and were informed that "they're only pressing against the insulation, the tube inside is much smaller". We have our walkthrough tomorrow... so I'm going to blast the air conditioning and see how well we can feel the air from each vent.

    I agree about your comments on how it's frustrating to have to get to a "manager" level to get resolution on issues. We actually were contacted by the Production Manager for our region based on concerns we had raised on our blog about schedule. It wasn't necessarily that we were looking for action, just that we were pointing out of furstration with lack of progress over a week-long period of time.

    It turns out that because he looked into our build, he found out that our kitchen counters were not going to arrive until after we closed (they had ordered them wrong the first time) so he called the company and "paid and arm and a leg to get them expedited". It made me laugh, because he kept pushing the point at how expensive shipping them was... (more than the cost of the counters in the first place) and I just kept thinking, they shouldn't have waited until the last week to order them in the first place!

    I'm glad to hear you still look at this as a relatively positive experience. I agree that these issues will not be unique to a Ryan Home or any other "budget" builder. My in-laws built with a custom homebuilder, and they've been in their house under three years and have been having a whole mess of problems related to their foundation (block, not poured) and other settling issues.

    1. Yes, I definitely wouldn't be shy about getting stuff fixed while you're in the building stage. That's so funny about the counters. I can totally picture that... acting like they are doing you a favor by getting them there when they were supposed to be in the first place! Your house is beautiful by the way!

  2. This is the same story in our neighborhood, everyone complains about the 10 month and 2 years later are STILL fighting to get things done.

    Is the purely RH? NOPE! I agree it's prob with any business today once they get your money.

    We also "trusted" they must know what they are doing during the build process, I no longer believe that and you are your own best PM.

    We just got our 10 month letter to submit our list. I can done so, but now cannot get an answer if they received this list at all.......but in the letter they wanted the list within 10 days, but funny how that never applies to RH.

    Lot Grading is a huge problem in our community and a HUGE fight and you have to be in it to win it for months of fighting! None of us get it!

    1. Ugh, at least we are all in this together! It really does help to vent on here and realize that you're not the only one dealing with issues. Awesome job with your back patio area... I can't get over how amazing it looks!

    2. Colette, did you have a "meeting" with your 10 month guy? I cannot get a hold of this guy to save my life, he doesnt answer emails and his voicemail is full, ...it seems to be her personal phone also...LOL

    3. Yes we did. He came out on the day that was listed on our letter after we sent it back. He basically looked at everything then scheduled the subcontractors to fix the stuff. Maybe you could try putting in a service request via the website?


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