When building a new home, you have so much to think about. One tiny little thing can be out of place and there is this fear that it won’t ever be right.
I am providing a detailed review of our Ryan Homes new construction home that was built in the winter of 2016. after 2 full years of living in the home, I plan to break down our experience into a few sections and rate each one.
I also have tips and recommendations for not only those that are just entering into the buying process but also those that may have already closed on their home and might be coming up on their 30-day warranty or their 1-year warranty.
In short, for those of you that are impatient, I would never purchase a home from Ryan Homes again. Like ever..
The sales process was pretty much what you would expect. Nothing too pushy but they did have incentives that “were ending” that weekend. What we learned after moving in and meeting our neighbors was that there was always some incentive, they just changed frequently.
My advice here is to work with a real estate agent, period.
You need someone in your court. We realized quickly that everything sounded good, you start signing papers and get caught up in the dream of owning your new home but what you will miss are the fine details. Someone who is looking out for you and has the knowledge to do so.
A lot of our neighbors or other home buyers (new construction) will not engage an agent and then when they move in they are fighting battles that shouldn’t even be an issue. There is NO ADDITIONAL COST to you as the buyer.
Overall Build Quality
This is where things go downhill…fast. Ryan Homes is cranking out homes so fast every year and trying to keep costs low. They aren’t the ones doing the construction on your home. What I mean by this is, you don’t have trained Ryan Homes employees working on your new house. You have whatever cheap labor they can find in your area working on your home. The project manager is the only one employed by Ryan Homes.
Here is a taste of what we dealt with…
Our roof failed the roof inspection several times. By the way, get a separate roof inspection, most normal home inspectors will not walk the roof. After it failed, Ryan homes came out and “made the repairs”. What we did next is something most will not do.
We had the roof reinspected again. Do not take anyone’s word for it when they say they fixed the problem.
The roof failed inspection again! This went on three times until we finally got a clean inspection report. Most home buyers would assume that a brand new roof is, well a brand new roof. These guys had done such a sloppy job with their work it made me cringe.
This is another area that had terrible workmanship and is now going to cost us over $10,000 to repair.
When we moved in we noticed discoloring on the back patio, nobody knew what it was but they just ripped it out and replaced it.
Here is what that looked like:
It almost looks wet but this was stained into the concrete and the pattern didn’t change after a couple of days. No issue here being we reported it within the first year. The driveway and patio were laid at the same time but we didnt notice any issues with the driveway at that time.
Now after our 1-year concrete warranty was up just before our 2-year mark, here is what our driveway looks like:
Over 75% of the driveway surface start chipping and cracking after a recent snow we had this winter. We swept all of the concrete from the surface of the driveway and filled up half of a 5-gallon bucket!
We called Ryan Homes and they just stonewalled us saying, your concrete warranty is 1-year and its now year 2.
Yup, that’s right…
It’s like if you bought a car and it had a 3-year warranty on it. Year 4 the car is having a major problem, fixing it isn’t an issue and the car needs to be replaced. Rather than the manufacturer looking into the issue to see how it occurred and how they can prevent it moving forward, they tell you to go fly a kite.
We had several concrete guys come out to the house and they all agree this is a finishing issue. The driveway finish was inadequate from the start and after a cold spell of freeze/thaw the surface cracked.
Ryan Homes refused to even come look at the driveway.
The interesting part is this should be taken up with the initial contractor but they won’t even tell me who that was or how to contact them.
So in the end, I can either fight this with an attorney or pay $10,000 + to repour the driveway. Currently, the driveway continues to chip away day by day and we have only been in the home 2 years.
Last but not least, here is a comical photo that looks hours and hours of battling with our Ryan Homes project manager to fix.
We paid thousands of dollars for our front porch (this is an upgrade). As you can see in the photo below, they poured our concrete front porch at ground level and then wanted to put a rinky-dinky staircase on the porch itself.
Luckily, we had a real estate agent who also thought this was absurd and fought this for us.
After doing our own research we realized this isn’t even to code. You need to have at least a 36″ landing outside of an egress door. Why are we (the homeowners) educating the contractors and our project manager?
It’s like it was the first home they ever built and were just winging it
Needless to say, they quickly fixed this and filled this in with concrete so that the porch comes up to the bottom of the door, then the stairs leading up to that from the sidewalk.
Structure of the home
The actual structure of the home is a concern, the process they use when framing the house is just enough to get by. Walk through the home during the build process and you will see that you can grab a stud and pull slightly, the entire wall moves. This doesn’t change after drywall either, we can push on a wall and there is movement.
When we are downstairs and someone is walking in the bedroom above the living room there is extreme deflection. What this means is the floor pops and creaks due to movement in the subfloor. We reported this at the 30-day and 1-year walkthrough and they will just keep telling you “oh that’s normal”
The Ryan homes warranty is just enough to get by in most areas. A lot of things that you didn’t think will be an issue and are expensive to fix (like the concrete driveway) is only covered for 1 year.
As noted above, ours didn’t start cracking and chipping until year 2 but this is still due to inadequate finishing during the installing of the concrete.
Ryan Homes warranty department offers no help beyond the specified warranty dates. I have placed several calls, sent photos, and emails. They keep responding with the same generic response and refuse to even come look at the issue. That’s extremely troubling.
During our short time as homeowners, we have had to deal with Ryan Homes customer service a couple of times. They were typically slow to respond but did fix 2 issues we had during our warranty period. Be prepared for multiple visits and some shotty contractor to come in and do a sloppy job on the repairs.
Where they really failed was issues that fall outside of the warranty. You would think Ryan homes, a company as big as they are would be open to seeing and listening to major problems that occur outside of the warranty window. These things will not only help them pinpoint problems moving forward but it will help them provide a better product.
At the end of the day, the local contractors barely speak English if at all and are usually the cheapest local contractors you can find. Most don’t have their own company name to uphold, no BBB listing or even a website where you can see who it is that is working on your home.