Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What a mess...

Wow, what a weekend.  I wasn't going to visit the house this weekend because all they were doing was hooking up the furnace, finishing the drywall (which already looked good), insulating the attic, and I think that was all that was scheduled.  Well, I had an itch to visit after church on Sunday and am I glad I stopped by.  The contractor must have forgotten to properly close the front door so it was partially open (probably from the wind) so I took a personal tour and found some seriously disturbing things like MOLD!  Not a lot, honestly just a little, but mold in a house under construction, yikes.  There was also another water leak, the floors were squeaking, the basement had a wet spot, and the siding contractors instaled the starter strip in two different ways, one correct, the other not correct.  I'm glad I didn't miss any of this, though I'm sure my PM would have caught all of it and fixed it for me anyway.

The culprit for all this dismay seems to be that the house was never fully sealed up.  The framers didn't have enough housewrap to finish the job and it was decided the siders would finish sealing the house...well then winter actually arrived in Buffalo, blew off some huge sections of house wrap, and sent water running down the sides of the house and into the walls, as well as into the basement (at least I hope the basement issue is due to water dripping down the walls. 

After seeing this, I promptly drove home and very calmly sent my PM a very nice, but thorough email clearly stating the problems in detail.  I then went to the gym, did some shopping, etc. and came home and hired an architect from my church to inspect the property for me due to my busy work schedule this week.  The verdict is in:  all should be fine.  My PM was very responsive, quickly replying to my email, and assuring me things would be fixed correctly.  My architect met with my PM and sent back a detailed email with photos explaining the seriousness of the situation, but the ease with which it can be corrected.  My PM also called several times, and has since emailed me photos of the repair work.  I haven't made it down to the house yet, but I'm glad to have the photos he sent me.  I will upload them for you to look at.

This is the exterior living room wall, it looked fine, but now it is back to basic.
The back wall is the exterior dining room (front is living room).  The leak was in the corner, near the middle seperating wall.

Now you can see that the house is fully sealed up, for the first time ever!  I will stop by soon to make sure it is all sealed up properly, but I'm sure my PM has done this for me.  I'm very happy that the house is fully sealed, now even if it rains the water should not be able to penetrate into the wood walls.  Of course, let's hope the siders arrive soon because if we get another wind storm before they side the house, they may need to do all of this again.  Let's hope not.

I have to admit, this was a trying weekend.  I like Ryan homes, I have spent years looking at their models, talking with their sales reps. and searching their website, studying different floor plans.  They have some of the nicest floor plans I've found, very thoughtful, very well laid out.  But they have had a reputation in the past.  Over the last 5 or so years, I feel they have made huge strides improving the quality and consistency of their construction.  I have some issues with things they have done with my house thus far.  I'm not saying it is bad, just that things could have been done better.  Overall, as long as they fix the problems, all will be good- or even better than good. Winter construction is messy and difficult so I understand some of the issues, (like cutting a hole in the front of my house to pour the basement floor) but I don't like them.  Things could have been planned out differently, I don't know the logistics that prevented a different timeline from taking place, but I know a different timeline that didn't require cutting a hole in the front of my house to pour a concrete floor could have been designed; same thing with the full sealing of the house, it didn't have to take several weeks.  In the end, this potential cost savings for Ryan homes ended up costing a lot more because they have to redo work already done.  I'm still hoping and looking forward to a well built home at the end of this process.  Nothing appears so bad at this point that it can't be safely corrected.  Stay tuned...

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