We’ve been in our home almost 90 days now, so here’s the update from closing on the issues we had that needed repaired. Warning, this is long. But I know from reading other Ryan Homes home owner blogs, my husband and I were able to be more aware of what to look for during each inspection point, so hopefully this list helps you avoid the issues we have had.
Unfortunately, we still have quite a few outstanding issues. Our project manager is no longer with Ryan Homes, so we met with his supervisor on Wednesday, December 23rd. The supervisor now has our remaining work list and said we’d be hearing back to get contractors scheduled this week after the holidays. REALLY hoping there is light at the end of this tunnel now.
An important note that you’ll want to avoid: We had our pre-closing walk through on October 7th. Our closing was October 9th. When we did our final walk through to make note of any issues, our house had not been cleaned yet. Floors were dirty, counters were messy, walls still had scuffs on them, paint was chipped in a few places, the master bathtub we upgraded had black streaks, and we were waiting on the electrician to put in one more light switch that had been missed during construction. We were told not to worry about any of this because the house hadn’t been finalized yet, so nothing we pointed out went on our inspection form because it was “being taken care of” during the final touch up before closing. That did NOT happen. So anything that isn’t absolutely perfect at your final walk through needs to go on the list. Don’t let your project manager brush it off. Make him write it down (he fills out the form).
Smaller issues that have been fixed:
- Door locks. Our keys didn’t work in the front door at all and the back door was so far out of alignment that it didn’t lock AT ALL. After three weeks in our home of leaving the back door unlocked, a handy man was sent out to repair it.
- Powder room dry wall was incomplete around plumbing under sink. At our pre-closing walk through, it was flagged with blue tape. It didn’t get fixed before closing, so we had to have a dry wall guy come out and do it after we moved in.
- One master bedroom window had different window panes. It was missing one of the white strips. It has been swapped out after closing.
- Master bathtub black streaks were actually scratches. Had to have tub sanded/refinished after closing. Side note: cardboard and construction trash was stored in the tub (without a protective liner) during construction. Definitely watch for this.
- Master bathroom exhaust fan spit out insulation and sparked when it was turned on. Thank goodness it happened to my husband and not me! The whole corner was scorched and turned black. They sent someone out to replace it.
- Sump pump cover wouldn’t come off. It had been hammered into place. A handy man pried it off (we didn’t want to force it in case it broke). It now just rests on our unit and he told us to keep pets/kids away from it. Interesting. 😉
- Both garage doors were damaged in the same place on the bottom. You couldn’t see it unless they were open. The door company replaced both bottom panels. Also, while they were here they replaced one of the door openers because the second garage door had an electrical problem. It buzzed, even when the light was off and it wasn’t in use. They said this was an indictor of a problem down the road and went ahead and changed it.
- Font concrete was crumbling on the stairs and porch. It has been patched.
- Stone finish out front didn’t come down to the foundation. We noticed this early on, but the lot hadn’t been graded and the driveway hadn’t been poured so it was hard to say where the actual “ground” would start on the house. It ended up being about a foot too short. After pulling up to the house and seeing it every day, it was making me crazy. The neighbors’ all go down to the driveway, so ours was the only one like this. The stone company came back and finished it. They said it was installed like that initially because the driveway wasn’t poured yet so they lined it up with the front porch. Just something you might want to watch for.
- Sinking spots in the yard. At our walkthrough, one spot was marked on our sheet because it was the size of a lawnmower, lol. Two weeks and lots of yard-watering later, several holes appeared in the yard. The side grading seems to be a little off too, which may cause a water problem in the future. The sod company came out and filled/repaired the low spots.
Wow, right? Here are the smaller issues that are still outstanding but should (hopefully) be easy to fix:
- Damaged windowsills. Thanks to my pregnancy hormones, I was HOT when we were moving in. As I opened a few windows, I noticed the windowsills were bent and damaged on a handful of windows. Initially our project manager said he ordered new windows to replace them. That never happened. Now the supervisor said the siding company can actually heat them up and repair them, so we’re waiting to schedule that.
- Damaged stair spindles. An upstairs spindle had blue tape on it during our walkthrough. Our project manager didn’t know why and we didn’t see a problem so he said it must have just not been removed. While climbing the stairs one night, I saw the problem. The spindle had been broken! It wasn’t attached at the bottom at all, and the top was being held in place by a glob of clear glue. It looked like dried hot glue on a school project. Seriously. After checking out all of the other spindles, another one had also been damaged but repaired correctly with a wood plug. It’s not a big deal, but I hate that something was broken and they tried to repair it (poorly) to hide it. After the holidays, it will be repaired correctly.
- Like the spindle, a square section of our kitchen cabinets had been taped off/repaired poorly. You can especially see it in the natural light. Again, not a big deal but it shouldn’t happen. They’re ordering a new panel. They had already replaced an entire cabinet above the microwave for being deeply scratched.
- Exterior mortar. Our water bib where the hose attaches was initially installed in the wrong spot. By the time they moved it, the brick had already gone up so the plumber drilled a new hole for the water bib. It was held in place with two screws, that weren’t actually attached to anything. So when my husband went to water the lawn, the bib came off in his hands. It’s definitely not water-tight either. Same thing for our sump pump pipe. The pipe had been melted into place so it was too small for the hole. They put in a new pipe that isn’t melted, but now it needs mortar to keep water from getting into our house around it. The supervisor said he’d send the mortar people over when the house next door gets mortar.
- Crushed attic HVAC pipe/duct. When my husband went into the attic to install our master ceiling light, he found that the heating pipe was totally crushed. He’s guessing it was stepped on while other work was happening up there.
- Broken window seals (like between panes). We noticed that one of the windows upstairs looked dirty. I thought it was exterior paint or something on it (and again, the house hadn’t been cleaned so no big deal). Turns out, it wasn’t dirty. It was a sign that the seal between the panes was defective. A new window has been ordered I guess, but never installed.
- Dining room ceiling trim issues. This one was making my husband crazy. The tray ceiling in the dining room has gaps in it between the pine boards, so you can see several black seams. When we pointed it out, our project manager said pine was difficult to work with. He had his handyman repair one corner (which looks awesome now!), but they didn’t repair the rest. The supervisor is having them all filled.
- The master tray ceiling also has issues. The drywall/paint left stalactites around each corner. We’re repainting ourselves and will sand those down before painting, but if you aren’t planning to paint yourselves be sure to look at the tray ceiling work closely.
Major Issues that I’m still holding my breath over:
- Basement carpet stains. We have a light beige, woven carpet in our basement. It wasn’t protected after installation, and our electrical room is in the basement. Our project manager said putting plastic down voids the carpet warranty?! So contractors (tile, water bib, etc) were walking on our carpet and left dark footprints in a few spots down the stairs, and outside of unfinished areas. When we pointed this out during our final walkthrough, we were told not to worry because it hadn’t been cleaned yet. Well… it did NOT come clean. So after closing, Ryan Homes sent their repairman to shampoo the carpet. After two cleanings (one hour apart), it was way WORSE than it had started. Now the entire area is dark and the stains were just smeared around. After several promises to send the carpet company and/or ServPro out to clean it professionally, nothing had been done. When we met with the supervisor last week, he brought the carpet company with him. They’re going to schedule a professional cleaning after the holidays. If that doesn’t work, they’re going to try to patch the carpet. :/ Super unhappy with the way this has happened. DO NOT close on a house with dirty carpet.
- Windows, windows, windows. When we moved in and I tried to open a few windows for air, I noticed they were really squeaky and hard to close too. After opening several, a few of them wouldn’t lock either. It’s like they were too tight. Initially, Ryan Homes sent a handy man to silicone them. The handyman tried, but said that wouldn’t work because the windows were installed incorrectly. A few weeks later, the window contractors came to adjust the balusters. That worked for a few windows, but the larger issue is that the windows are actually installed incorrectly (as the original guy suggested). The drywall openings are not cut squarely, so the windows sit in the openings crooked. The supervisor we met with last week says they will need to remove our exterior siding, redo the openings, install the windows again, and touch up drywall. WAHHH!!! This is a huge issue. He asked if we wanted to wait until spring when the weather warms up, but with my baby on the way in March that’s not happening. We still want to have the house professionally painted too, which we can’t do until windows are repaired. They will be scheduling with us after the holidays.
- Blueprint issues. We are the first home owners to build this Ryan Homes Olsen model here in Dayton, Ohio. There was some version 1/version 2 changes, as well as a few things that just didn’t match up to the blueprints. For example the bonus room HVAC issue that isn’t actually on the plans, but I learned about from another blogger. Well, one of the things is that our laundry room includes laundry cabinets. At our pre-construction meeting the cabinets are on the blueprints, but they weren’t on the order list or something. Our initial project manager (who was moved to a different development just before we broke ground) made a note about that on our paperwork, circled them on the plans, and said it wouldn’t be a problem. However, as construction went along the cabinets were never installed. Our sales rep and second project manager continued to go back and forth about whether or not we actually received them. We signed off on them, they are on our prints, and this was already addressed before construction began. The supervisor we met with has them ordered and they’re going to be installed after the holidays. Hopefully.
- Another blueprint issue, trim. Our Olsen Model comes with a nice trim package and we also upgraded to Level 4 Trim. However, our house is missing the upstairs foyer/hallway trim as well as the picture frame molding/wainscoting in the dining room. There was also debate as to whether or not our formal area openings should be cased. After meeting with the supervisor last week, he has ordered upstairs trim and wainscoting to be installed after the holidays. This means a day of installation and painting.
So… as you can see, it’s been an interesting 90 days. Did I mentioned I’m pregnant with our first baby and due in March? ugh! My husband is also working 80+ hour weeks at the hospital, so neither one of us really has the time or energy to fight this. A major reason we decided to build a new home was to get exactly what we wanted without a bunch of issues to fix after closing. That has definitely not been the case. Here’s to hoping that everything will be finished in the next 30 days now that the supervisor is involved.