Thursday, February 27, 2014

No more Ryan Homes

Ryan Homes has pulled up stakes in our community. It appears the company was not able to sell properties quickly enough to satisfy their bean counters, so they closed their office and vacated the model home. Our developer has made a new arrangement with Keystone Custom Homes, who have said they will be building properties that look very similar to the existing homes. Generally speaking, I have to say my experience with Ryan Homes has been a positive one. I love the home they built for us, although there are one or two nagging issues that really couldn't be resolved to my satisfaction.

I am unlikely to update this blog in the future, unless something interesting happens during a warranty claim. I've been living in our new house for two years, so my home building experience is complete. It's been fun!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Oven door glass shattered

After using the broiler in the lower oven of our GE Profile PT-956 to cook some burgers, something we have done without incident many times, the inner glass of oven door shattered after it had been cooling for about 10 minutes. Needless to say, this came as a massive shock. Since it is 19 months after we settled, the oven is out of warranty (of course). I have just scheduled an appointment with GE Appliances to get it fixed, but I have absolutely no idea how much it is going to cost.

My wife searched on the internet for reports of similar issues, and she found countless examples of people having shattered door glass with GE Profile ovens of various types. Clearly there is some sort of defect, although GE doesn't want to hear about it, apparently. Consequently, I strongly urge people in the process of building a Ryan home to see if it is possible to go for a different brand (or at least model range) from the GE Profile.

I'll let you know how the GE service goes, and how much they charge me.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Joist fix

Ryan Homes fixer-types came yesterday and took care of the upside-down joist. Rather than trying to replace it, they opened up the ceiling in the basement and installed an extra joist next to the existing one. After a bit of chocking and shimming, they managed to get rid of most of the creaky bits of the resilient flooring and it no longer has any spots where it bows when you tread on it.

At the same time, a few kitchen cabinet doors were replaced (we had some that rattled) and the plumbing issue involving the guest bathroom was resolved.

We still have a few outstanding issues (including drywall repairs from the work done yesterday), so I will report back on those when they are completed.

Monday, December 31, 2012

10-month inspection report

We had our 10-month inspection, and most of the niggly little things have been dealt with (including the drywall nail pops and cracks). There are a number of significant outstanding issues that have yet to be resolved, but that is mostly because of the time of year.

The biggest problem we have concerns one of the joists that runs under our kitchen and out to the morning room at the rear of our house. Apparently, the joist was installed upside down. This has caused all sorts of creaking and bowing under the resilient flooring we have in this area. It is possible there may be other joists with the same problem, but it is impossible to tell because the rest of the first floor is hardwood. The Ryan Homes fixer says they are going to “flip the joist” under the kitchen floor. I was quite alarmed at this because it sounds like an enormous amount of work, but the guy seemed to think it wasn't too much of a big deal. I guess we will find out!

There is some kind of knocking noise associated with having a tap on in our guest bathroom. Attempts to fix it failed, with the sound basically moving around from one area of the wall to another. Lots of head-scratching on that one.

Like many other folks, our fireplace is subject to the recent Monessen recall. We have been contacted by the dealer who is meant to do the repair, but we don't have a scheduled fix because he is waiting on a part. It's a really bothersome time of year to be without the fireplace, quite frankly. The fireplace has never really performed as expected, with a relatively weak flame on even the highest setting.

I will blog again once the joist issue has been resolved.

Monday, October 1, 2012

10-month inspection due, landscaping

We are coming up on our 10-month inspection/final review meeting. The list of issues with our new home is very short. Basically, we have a few stairs that are creaking too much (particularly going from the first to the second floor) and there are a few areas where the floor is creaking and deforming more than is really acceptable (mostly on the first floor). We have one window (on stairs to basement) that shows evidence of water seeping in and a small problem with the way the dishwasher was installed, but that is essentially it if you exclude the usual drywall-related issues.

Frankly, we are extremely happy with the build quality of our home. To have such a short list of minor problems is a testament to how well Ryan Homes can build houses. I imagine this is one of the advantages of going with a large builder - they build so many homes that they've had the chance to iron out almost all of the problems at the design and construction phases.

With that said, I'm not all that impressed with the landscaping aspect of the work. We have sod everywhere that was laid atop the loam common in these parts. The preparation of the soil prior to laying was substandard. Existing weeds were not treated with any sort of weedkiller and because no rolling was done (of the soil or the sod after it was laid), various areas have sunk over the last few months to make the ground uneven and a little awkward to mow. The lawn has been attacked by voracious grubs and populated by crabgrass and field grass.

The choice of plants in the front of our house was not well thought out. Closest to the front porch are variegated leucothoe, but then we have physocarpus opulifolius (eastern ninebark diablo) in front of them. They are growing quickly and will soon obscure the leucothoe completely. To make matters worse, no landscaping fabric was used beneath the mulch and weeds have been fairly rampant.

My wife has been hard at work managing the mulch beds, and she plans to move or replace the plants in front of the house next year. To address the problems with the lawn, we've decided to bring in Scotts Lawn Service to help us manage weeding, feeding and insect damage. It will probably take a year or two to get it looking the way it should.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New neighbor watch #6, black top

Work continues on our new neighbor's Savoy. Most of the siding is done and the house has such a delicious-looking buttery color it makes me wish I could spread it on my morning toast!

Meanwhile, the final bit of Spring Summer work has been done on our own place with the fine black top added to our driveway. This picture shows the new coat, with our new neighbor's house in the background:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New neighbor watch #5

The concrete bases for the basement and the garage were poured the day before yesterday and framing began this morning. I am expecting the first upright piece of house to go up very shortly. Unfortunately for the workers, it has started raining at Sadsbury Park. I'll try to post a picture later today.


It's 5:45pm and the guys are still working: