Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The granite they installed was....

Golden Garnet:

We knew it wasn't the St. Cecilia when we first saw it but not sure what it was.  Now they are going to remove all the granite (counter-tops, gourmet island) and install the CORRECT granite.  Hope no damage is done to the cabinets and dry-walls. We are doing our best not to get upset over this as we have been through worse mistakes before this.  As long as they properly repair/correct any mistakes.

Like JandM said, It's a lot of counter space.  Here are some pictures of the kitchen counters from the model home. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

What granite is this?

We stopped by the the house last Friday (supervised visit) to check on the progress.  We noticed the kitchen granite doesn't look right.  We selected Santa Cecilia but what we found does not look like it.
Can you tell what granite this is?

The patterns and characteristics are total different from the Santa Cecilia.  It looks like a darker version of the Wheat granite in our bathroom.  We don't want our kitchen to look like our bathroom!!

Santa Cecilia looks like this (below) and the above granite looks nothing like it.  This picture (Santa Cecilia) is from my neighbor's house in the same community.

We contacted our PM to verify what was installed and still waiting to hear back from him.

Monday, July 1, 2013

"anger will not help your cause"

It's been a while since I read other blogs and it seems like there are quite a few unhappy bloggers dealing with Ryan Homes.  A word of advice is that being angry will not get you anywhere (or in life in general).  You will only stress yourself and others around you (as I was and my poor ...).  We've been there and done that these past few months and have learned much from the experience.  Your goal is to buy your future home which you have already spent so much energy, time and money to get to this point and Ryan Homes' goal is to sell you this home and have a happy customer (= good reputation and build a good relationship for possible future business).  Don't let minor issues ruin your goal of having your dream home.  Simply be nice and they will most likely to see things your way instead of blaming who is at fault.  Remember, you still have another year working with the builder after you move in so best to set a nice mutual relationship now.

Quick update on the house.  It's been a few weeks since last blog and the house is well on it way.
They've installed bricks and working on trims/molding and cabinets last week when I met up with PM's supervisor.  What will they work on this week?  I don't know.  PM is too busy to send out anymore updates to us and we were told not to do anymore unsupervised visits. :(

Friday, June 7, 2013

More rain

When it rains, it pours.  I'm not talking about just rain here but also talking about our bad luck and experience so far. Since the foundation issue (and flood, and delays which resulted in higher mortgage rate and....) bad things are just keep on coming our way.  WE ARE CURSED!

Small concern out of the way first.
Last night it rained so I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to check for any leakage after the shingles installation.  Well............. of course there is.  There was no flashing for the living room bump-out ceiling so that part of the floor got water dropping from the ceiling.  The front door left open so the entrance is also wet.  I know they tell you the wood is made to withstand getting wet but just because it can, doesn't mean it should.  The OSB boards can get wet but I don't think they were made to be soaked in water for a long period of time. The constant wet and dry cycles is probably bad.

                             As of Monday evening 6/10/2013 , still a pool of water sitting there.

Water dripping from ceiling

The 2 pictures below were taken from 2 different houses but at the same spot of these houses.    It holds the roof and the steel beam for the garage.  Do you see the differences between these 2 pictures.

The first picture is from my neighbor down the street and the 2nd pic is (that's right) my house.  I would say they did a very poor job of it.  My neighbor's house is clean and everything fitting nicely.  On my house, the concrete is slanted (probably from the early bad foundation pour).  The wood appears to be seated incorrectly on the concrete base, only 35% of it is resting on it.  Why is there a gap in between?   Here is another closer look.  Should we be concern? 
(update: This has been fixed after bringing to PM's attention, will update with pic when I get a change to take one)

On my last post, I email our SR and PM's manager about helping with closing cost and some closing credit but have not heard back from them yet.  In the mean while, I have continue to discover problems with this house.  PM is on vacation since last week but will be back Monday.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rates are going up up up but still no set date

Things are not looking good for anyone not locked their mortgage rate yet.  Each week for the past month rates are higher at a very fast pace.  We are now looking at 4.5% vs low 3% a month ago.  We purchased with Ryan Homes at the end of December 2012 and our completion is 2 months behind schedule.  If we were suppose to close in June as scheduled when we signed the contract we could've gotten the low 3% rate but with all the problems with construction and other delays, we are looking  at 1.x% increase in rate on a high balance loan, that's A LOT OF MONEY.

This morning I wrote a letter to our SR and PM's manager (who has been very nice helping us with the construction problems we found) to request for closing credit and closing assistance.  I held them responsible for the delays and construction problems we been having since foundation.  (you can read them by going back to last 4-5 blog posts).  I will post a follow up if Ryan will take some responsibility for this.

Anyway, here are some updates on the house construction.  They have installed shingles yesterday on the roof.  There are still wet spots in the basement and the subfloor is not completely dry yet on the upper floors.

I used a moisture meter to test the wood in the family room (where it was over 1" of water sitting over night) and it reads18% moisture vs 9% -10% on the dry wood on the wall and over 20% in the cracks between the wood panels.  We had 80 degree weather the last 2 days which helped with drying the wood but will need more drying time.  Mold can still grow in the cracks between the wood where saw dust are packed in and still wet.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Even Mother Nature hates us - flood everywhere

We just can't catch a break!!! Water here water there water everywhere. It hurts us to see the pictures below.  Does anyone know if this will have any ill affect on the wood (framing wood, sub-floor, walls etc).  Our house got flooded by last night's storm.  Everything is installed but the shingles so water got inside and each floor (each room) and basement have large pools of water.  The family room has over a inch of pond a fish can swim in.  The HVAC unit is already installed and got wet as well, hope it will not rust or early failure.

#1 concern is molding.  uuuuuuug it hurts.

This is what it looks like from the outside - no shingles!!!

 HVAC unit - it got wet

front door

 Morning room and Famil room

Family room

Family room is the worst since there is no floor above, just an open roof.

Yup each room has it's own swiming pool

basement pools.  I hope it's not coming thru the walls.

Stair Waterfall

 Basement wall

Friday, May 31, 2013

Foundation drama update and fixes

For those of you who followed my blog the past few days know about our foundation problems.  If not you can read about it here (with pictures).

I wrote a 2nd letter with a copy of this posting from my blog to SR and asked to get Ryan's management involved.  Not long after I received an email from PM's supervisor apologizing (good start).  PM's supervisor informed me that he has contacted the Framer and the Foundation contractor to fix the problems.   I wasn't satisfied with the answer because I want to know what their plan of action was to fix it.  I don't want just a patching job covering over the mistake.  The supervisor email back and ask us to meet him onsite the next day.  (Isn't the power of the internet amazing).  With Ryan's reputation online (pun intended), he wanted to make sure all our concerns were taken care of. 

When we arrived onsite and met up with our PM first.  He showed us that they have already fixed the steel beams and the wall cavities where the beams sit.  They have straighten the metal plates and made a clean cut of the concrete instead of the sloppy hammering job before. 
PM said they will also weld the steel plates and fill in the cavities.  They normally just leave the cavities open so that's good.  (before and after pictures):


As you can see the markings on the beam above, they had to jack up each beam (and the rest of the house above it) to repair them.   I ask PM why didn't they halted construction and fix the problem before adding more weights on top of it? (especially the beam with the wooden block)
Supervisor arrived while we were going over the repairs.  He asked why I still look concerned... well....because now I don't know if the whole structure has been compromised from the repair.  It looks fine now but will it hold up in the future?  They both assure me it'll be fine.  OK THEN!
We would much prefer an extended warranty over talking.

Now back to my question to PM about halting the construction when problems with the foundation supports were discovered.  This is what we disagreed on.
If this is your house, I know most will agree with me that construction should stop until they have the proper tools and Plan of Action to fix it before proceeding.  It's only logical and especially we are dealing with the foundation support.  Our PM had 29 years in construction for various builders and he said he would've done the same and continue to build on top of faulty support.  He sees it as a difference in opinion but I see it as common sense to stop.  I'm not an expert but I would rather be safe than sorry later. What do you think?

We are happy they did the fix, it's better than before but our concern now is will there be issues from this in 5, 10, 15 years down the road.  We'll see, at least now we have documented everything.  If they can give use a 20 year structural  warranty (normally 10) and 3 years of wall-to-wall warranty (normally 1 year), It will make us feel less concerned or even closing cost help since we have delayed from June to August to close.  Mortgage rates were much lower a month ago if we are to close in June.

On a side note.  Ryan's management acted quick and responsive.  They really care about their reputation and customer satisfaction (so far).  What had happened to our house don't happen often as none of my neighbors  had this issue. (I checked out 5 other constructions in the area and they were fine)  We just happens to be the unlucky one.

At that same meeting I asked if I can insulate the garage before drywall goes up and the supervisor offered to have it done for us by the insulation company.  I also asked PM about TV mounting supports and we went around the entire house and marked where I wanted the extra 2x4s in the walls as well as extra support underneath the washer/dryer.  As we walked around, PM let out a small chuckle and said "I'm helping you while you're beating me up" jokingly I think.  I assumed he meant that I wrote him up and got his supervisor involved.  We had no intentions of offending him, just want to make sure our house is safe and sound for our family.  We really do feel bad about it but we have to voice our concerns especially on such a large investment or it'll be too late when the house is finished.  He's a really nice guy like I said in previous posts and we still plan to giving him high marks on the survey.

I guess we are ok for now and wait for inspection.  Here are some pictures I took yesterday to show how much they've done in 4 days (Monday-Thursday) from steel beam install to roof.  That's fast but not sure it's a good thing either. :)

House as of 3/26/2013.........
House as of 3/30/3013.
From foundation to roof in 4 days.
 The dirt ground in front of the house will be future green area. 

 TV support markings
 TV support markings

2 level family room and future fireplace.