We're coming up on our one year already. It feels like it's been so much longer in some aspects and in others like we just move in.
I love my house. That's first and foremost.
I do not love the builder most days.
We've actually faired REALLY well in terms of nail pops and cracks. I only have one really big settlement crack, and it's above my sliding glass door to go to the deck. I think it's more from the weight of the roof of the deck than anything. Even on the areas where my neighbors were posting photos that had me a little scared, we've done well.
Now, it could've been the installer, weather, and any other factor, but I'm pretty happy. What I do know is that I will NOT allow Ryan Homes to be fixing any drywall. I saw two neighbors and ... yeah ... no. Not happening. I'll have my painter do it. (Which, I negotiated when I had him paint.)
We've had a few issues, which Ryan has been actually great about fixing fairly fast. I really suggest using the online form to submit evvvvverything. Documentation is key.
I'm planning a few other modifications to the house. First, the microwave placement over the stove is STUPID. STUPID! You can't cook anything! It's SO freaking low. I don't get it. I want to move that into the island and put a pretty stainless vent. I honestly am living with it for now, but that's probably next year's must do.
Then, it's my closets. I want custom closets done. My husband laughs at me because we got a quote. So, that might not happen anytime soon, but a girl can dream.
There are only a few lights that are original to the house and I'm so picky on what I want. I don't really love anything. I've searched Shades of Lights, Wayfair and every store I can find, but the dining room still has me stuck. I also want to replace the hall light in my bedroom to be a pretty crystal thing and then another in the entry hall. Otherwise ... I'm pretty happy.
Where I'm not happy has been the lot. The grading has been a mess. The swamp we have was not what I envisioned when I said I wanted a pool or a lazy river. This is ... stupid. And Ryan has been unhelpful. Thankfully, my neighbors and I have a great landscaper who we love and is actually honest and helpful. (Thank you, Wes!)
We're planting trees. Trees are my world right now. I want some privacy since our lot was more of a pasture than the woods. So, the more trees I plant, the more wind and privacy will come from mother nature.
Other than that, things are just ... calm. And I like calm.
As much as I hate certain aspects of the house, I love so many.
We did a lot of work after closing to make our home feel a bit more custom and what we wanted.
In the Normandy, the pantry is ridiculous.
I don't know how they think a family of 5+ (which is the appropriate bedrooms to people ratio) could use that TINY little pantry.
My husband had the idea to close off the passway to the mudroom-ish area and then design the inside the way we wanted.
Pinterest and I had a date and I found a photo and then modified it to meet my needs a little more.
The next project I knew I HAD to have was the coffered ceiling.
The model home had a very ... umm ... faux type ... coffered ceiling. While it was interesting, I knew I wanted something more, plus, it wasn't even an option (SHOCKER) for Ryan to do. (Another frustrating thing they do. Why show us options that aren't even available?)
Annnnyway, I went to my trusty favorite site, Pinterest! I started to look for the depth I liked and the options. It was actually my color designer from Sherwin Williams (who I love) that picked out the color for the ceiling.
We did a BRIGHT shiny white for the wood and inside is Sherwin Williams Black Fox - 7020
The walls are MINDFUL GRAY - SW7016.
So here's a photo (we were watching Thor and I love him so I didn't take a new photo ;) )
We love the shadow box thing in the dining room. It's super pretty and classy. However, I'm the least traditional person ever.
So, I decided to go with a little bit more of a contemporary feel with the woodwork. I did the same very bright white from Benjamin Moore and we added the crown molding (again, Ryan Homes had it in the model AND they told us it was standard ... but it's not).
The top is: BLUSTERY SKY - SW9140
For the windows, we did the extra top molding for the formal dining.
Regarding the windows, we did do the molding on each one. I hated the unfinished look of the windows without any molding.
TIP: DURING THE BUILD, tell the framers to leave 3 inches on each side of the window sill. Otherwise, you'll need to replace the sill. We knew this was going to happen the day after close, so we did this and it saved us a ton.
Annnd the last thing ...
I knew I wanted a mud room area. The wall that we closed off gave us that perfect spot.
We measured out the space and then I knew I wanted the bench part to match the floor and the barn door area.
We've since put hooks up and the cubbies are filled with crap which is why I picked an older photo, which is also prompting me to now make this my weekend project.
Mostly, the carpentry we did was the extra crown molding in the entire house, every window had the casing added, coffered ceiling, mudroom, and the pantry.
We were really fortunate our painter is also a carpenter and the undertaking wasn't too much for him. Everything was done to a really quality and I'm honestly REALLY happy we did it after the build so that it was done exactly to my preferences.
I like to describe myself as a pretty understanding person.
I own a business, manage employees, and do very well.
What I don't do, is what Ryan Homes does.
My home, for the most part, is great. There are a few issues, that we keep finding, and our PM has now ghosted us. Now, I know that 30 days pass close we're not supposed to still be dealing with the PM, HOWEVER, all of these things were part of our freaking pre-close that are still not completed.
Also, I'm NOT the only one in my development. In fact, it's every single one of us.
Our PM was great DURING the process, but the minute we closed, things changed. Well, not even then, when I would bring up an issue and push my hand, he didn't like it and was often very difficult after that. Again, I get it to some extent, people don't like to be called to the carpet, but you know what? Too bad. Do your job right and no one has to do that.
Now, the main issue is that NO ONE has their grading right. NO ONE. Our homes have sitting water all over, the "dry pond" should have fish. It's absolutely comical and ridiculous. Their fixes are done by people who have no idea what they're doing. We're promised the moon and delivered a rock. It's ridiculous.
I've tried so hard to just breathe, and kill 'em with kindness, but this has reached a level where I'm unable to anymore.
We were told that a landscape company would be addressing the issues, it's been weeks since we've seen a single person on site. I called the company myself, because I was tired of not having my messages returned, to learn the scope of work they weren't aware of. How is that even remotely okay? It's not. That's how.
Ryan Homes cuts corners at every turn.
First, I LOVE my house. I love all MY choices. I love the colors, the way it came together. I love everything ... what I don't love is the issues we've had since.
Our PM is great. He's a nice guy, went above and beyond in so many ways to give us things to make us happy. He was nice, and really focused on customer service. With that said, the follow through ... ehhh no so much. We expected some things thanks to the neighbors we've been fortunate to meet through Facebook. They forewarned us about a lot of things to be aware of. Corners that seemed to be cut in some ways, things that were done they wished they did different. A lot seemed to be things that (if I were a GC, I would've been on top of). So, we were definitely diligent in some aspects.
So, we had a list of items PRE CLOSING that needed to be addressed. Things that now a month later, still haven't been done. I get that it's not the end of the world that my two cabinet doors aren't replaced, but ... they should've been.
My husband is ready to kill someone over the sod. I'm not a landscaper, but the one we have said this was so badly done, he would be embarrassed. I was told this was the best job they've seen in a while. Really? Well, that's ... umm ... bad! We have dead grass all over because when you lay sod in 102 degree heat, it DIES! Who knew? *sarcasm*
I want to get to the good things ... then I'm sure I'll tangent back to Ryan Homes and my irritations.
1. We painted RIGHT away. We were advised not to because of settlement, but here's the thing, when you paint the walls, you SEE EVERYTHING. Alllllll things the white paint hides, is suddenly very visible. So, I have lists for days regarding drywall because now, I know where it all is and come my 13 month drywall repairs, there will be a hefty list.
That wasn't why we painted, it was because I hate white walls. I wanted color and design and to feel like my house was a home. I also didn't want to move a single piece of furniture in until it was done. I work from home, I needed it to be as much a sanctuary as possible from day 1.
2. We had a LOT of custom carpentry done. I had extra trim, crown molding, (okay, when the hell did builders decide putting trim around windows was too much work? This is bullshit. The Normandy is a big home with 25+ windows, put the damn trim around it!), I had that "planning desk area" made into a custom pantry, and a coffered ceiling done.
We had a lot of things done that we love. It's really want we wanted and couldn't be happier.
I changed out all the light fixtures, because ... eww. Seriously, EWW! This is another wish that Ryan should allow. Let us pick from different fixtures! Most buyers would pay for it in their mortgage versus after close. So lame.
I AM super glad they don't do the custom paint though, which I had wished for before. They really suck. There's no pride in their work. They just do it and then you're like, well, okay then.
Where as my painter wanted to WOW me and make me happy. Which he did in spades.
I've learned a lot through this build. I can say that. I know more about construction than I ever cared to know, but I also know if and when we do this again, the things to ask. I won't put up with shit. That's for sure. I allowed a lot to slide because that's sort of my personality. My husband is the maniac screaming and cursing. He went toe to toe a few times. I was a lot more laid back and figured it would work out in the end. I feel like that was a fatal flaw for me.
Annnd circled right back to the not so great things ...
The drainage and grading is a huge issue for our homes. We have 10 acres and they only "grade" two of them. I have swampland people. Swampy ass land and dying grass, go figure. The back field you can SEE where tractor trailers drove through, and they say it was crops. No farmer drives 18 wheelers where he's going to plant crops. We're all fighting that part as a community.
Oh, and all of the Normandy's in the development have smaller AC units than the model. Why? Why? Because ... cut corners.
I feel like I verbal vomited.
Someone asked if I would build with Ryan Home again, and I can't say yes or no. Probably not. Not because they're horrendous, but because I don't think there's enough supervision. A lot of the issues my neighbors and I are dealing with shouldn't have happened.
This blog post will be a mess. You've been warned.
Today was supposed to be our final walk through, however, so much wasn't done ... we couldn't REALLY do that.
Now, that's not entirely our PM's fault. A lot has been pretty much 3 weeks of rain. Which has sucked. But ... still.
Our home inspection:
On Saturday we hired the same inspector who did our pre-drywall because he's awesome. We were there for almost five hours as he scoured through the house. We found a lot of things that needed to be resolved, nothing that was terrible, though. Everything is definitely fixable. The electrical should've been fixed today (I believe).
- Roofing issues, should be by Thursday, as well as plumbing things.
- Lots of caulking needs to happen.
- Cleaning, drywall repairs.
The tile. Oh, the tile. We actually had the flooring people come meet us because I was at the edge of my very small rope. Since the tile was installed I had issues with it. I mean, it's been a freaking nightmare. So, after finally losing my cool this weekend and we threatened to delay closing, the managers all met me.
Now, I'm a <strike>pretty</strike> sometimes easy going about things. I can push when I need to, but I'm not always the most forceful. Since the day the tile went it, I've hated it. There have been a lot of issues, and none of them really got resolved.
I finally lost my shit.
We'll see on Friday how much has been fixed. I really hope it is because I don't even know what I'll do.
It is really amazing how fast this goes. Throughout the process, it felt like nothing was moving. Then once framing is up, it FLIES by.
We're now in the final stretches and it's really amazing to see the house come together. When you pick your tile, floors, carpet, and fixtures ... you're using imagination to pull it all in a cohesive way. Which is freaking hard!
Things that were fixed:
1. Tile. FOR THE MOST PART, the tile has been fixed. There's still a lot left to be desired and I plan to work through that, but for today, I'm just taking the small wins I have.
2. Wiring - they did move the wiring for our internet access to the office (instead of the stupid dining room).
We still have some small things that need to be looked at, but each day another thing is crossed off our list, which makes my little OCD self happy.
The last few photos had all the floors protected and covered while they were still in the construction parts. Now, that's all cleaned up and we can actually see it all.
First, I have to say, I'm so freaking in love with my selections. I was SO worried about the floors with the backsplash and carpet not looking right, I can breathe. It's beautiful and living in it is going to make me smile. Especially once it's painted and all done.
I took some photos since you can see more of how it went for the rooms.
Ahhh! The siding, gutters, lights, and exterior are all done. We had a lot of issues with moving the flood lights, but now they're where I want them, so YAY.
The inside is going along. Kitchen is done, backsplash, floors, carpet, and fixtures are in. I went through with our PM and marked all the tiles that were laid wrong, when I went back yesterday, the tape was gone ... I really hate these freaking tile guys.
We have a lot of things not done yet, and some cabinets need to be fixed in the bathrooms.
But we still have about two weeks until our final walk through, so I'm sure it'll be done by then.
We scheduled our full home inspection a few days before that so we have the results by the time we walk through with the builder. I definitely recommend doing that after a lot of research.
An update on the issues I had in the last post.
1. The wiring is being moved and I was assured that it was no problem at all.
2. Tiles are supposed to be fixed.
3. Flood lights were moved.
I can't remember exactly what else we were upset about, but I know we went over it with the PM.
At this point, I'm just feeling really odd. I'm excited, nervous, ready, and just want everything to go smoothly from this point ... but I'm sure it won't.
Now, I'm getting to do some of the fun stuff. I'm picking out blinds, sofa, new table and chairs, and light fixtures because the ones they put up aren't my thing.
I probably shouldn't be writing this today since I'm really unhappy, but ... I'm sure my friends would prefer it to be crying to them.
I woke up this morning with this sinking feeling in my chest that something was wrong with the house. Since we're in that 10,000 subcontractor phase, it feels like I've lost the build. I know it sounds weird, but it's all these other people who really don't care the way I felt it did in the beginning.
1. Some of the things aren't bad.
2. It's still coming along.
3. They *should* meet the date.
4. The siding is beautiful. (I was super worried)
1. A lot of shit that's "done" is wrong and shitty workmanship.
- The knobs on the doors are all off. There is a cabinet that doesn't match the others (I've been assure this will be fixed with no issues).
- The tile work is horrible. I'm sorry, but I'm about to lose my mind on some of it. The tiles are crooked, sinking, off center, wrong grout used (I picked specific grout to match different things).
- The shower door that's been "hung" has a huge gap ... (we were told this will be fixed as well).
2. Wiring issue.
This is honestly what has me heated today. We had the upgrade for wiring internet service in our house. I paid a lot of money for this. I was VERY clear (also we sign a floor plan) that the router was to go in my office. They put it in the effin dining room. Our house is a reverse model. Well, some idiot didn't pay attention.
I have no idea how much time we'll lose since I'm assuming they need to rip out dry wall. But it needs to be fixed. Who the hell would put their router in the dining room? Seriously. No one thought, this is weird ... ??
3. Lighting wiring issue
Again this goes to someone just not caring. I don't think any of them do care, honestly. Our PM does, but the contractors that work for him ... not so much.
We were very specific as to where the flood light has to go in the back, they put it ABOVE the window of the Princess Suite. Why? Why? Why would you put a FLOOD LIGHT above a window where a kid will sleep? Like, does that sound practical to ANYONE?
Sure, child, while you sleep, let me flip the outside light on and ... oh, I don't know, shine a flood light into your room.
I'm not happy.
I'm pretty sure I'm overreacting to how I feel, but whatever. I'm grateful I live so close that I can check on things because I can't imagine being far away and not being able to catch all the little things they screw up.
I have a running tally.
My biggest issue is that I HATE confrontation. I don't want to be that pain in the ass who is pointing out every issue, but I'm also not going to suck it up. We're paying way too much for this house to have a subpar build.
So, I'm going to drink some wine and try to calm myself.
Each day I go see the property, I'm so excited. All the fun stuff, as I like to call it, is happening.
Our well is dug, septic is in, propane.
All the trim is done (with the 3 inches on the sill so we can have our carpenter add trim to all the windows).
Doors are in.
Cabinets (for the most part. Apparently they need to move plumbing or something).
Rails for stairs and loft.
It's really great so far! Siding was supposed to happen this week, but we had a lot of rain, so... delayed.
But they did the posts on the outside, and I haven't gone today to see if maybe they did start the siding. Who knows.
Either way ... I have some photos, and hopefully some more will come shortly. We have about 30 days from today until our final walk through. It feels like so much is done already, and we'll hit that stall where nothing is really going on ... which will drive me nuts.