Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Odds and Ends

A few various things from the past week or so:

-I discovered a downside to living in a new neighborhood weekend before last - I picked up a sheet metal screw in the tire of my car. I can't say for certain it occurred around our house but odds are it probably did. Thankfully it was only took a $10 plug to fix. (I really didn't relish the idea of replacing a less than two year old tire which is initially what it was looking like.)

-The door-to-door marketers have been really obnoxious since we moved in. At our old house we might get one once a month at most. Here it's been more like once or twice a week. I guess they see far more opportunity with new neighborhoods. It got bad enough that Jenny finally made a no solicitation sign for our front door.

-Speaking of things my wife has made she also did this wreath for our front door too:

-Aside from the various scuffs and smudges we put on the walls moving in we finally incurred the first self inflicted damage on the house a few weeks back. We had family over for our younger son's first birthday and because our cocker spaniel lacks any sort of manners we put in the master bedroom for the duration. He wasn't very happy about that to say the least so along with barking he also ripped up the carpet in front of the door.

-The project manager came out last Wednesday along with two other guys to fix the handful of issues we've had in the house since moving in. The soft spot in the floor upstairs ended up being a spot in the subfloor that just needed to be filled in with putty to level it out. The crack in the toilet tank in the hallway bath was limited to just the outside but the project manager went ahead and replaced it. (Learned something new - the bowl and tank are two separate pieces.) And the issue with the weather seal around the door was resolved by adjusting the strike plate. (I didn't know this was possible.) All told it took about an hour.

-There's one other small annoyance we have right now but there's nothing that can really be done about it until construction is finished concerns the sewer drain in front of our house. It currently has a barrier in front of it of rocks and wire to keep construction debris from flowing into it. Because of that however whenever we get anything short of a drizzle in a short period of time it backs up in the gutter and in front of our driveway. A few weeks ago we had a huge downpour that was high enough to keep us from going anywhere until it subsided. This was the scene a few weeks back during a particularly heavy spring storm:

Having been through several tropical storms in the past few years I'm a little concerned about what will happen if we get even more water within the span of a few hours or day as typically is the case with those.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Few Issues and The Survey

We've now been in our house seven weeks and have started having a few issues that need to be addressed.

Our 30 day post-closing walkthrough occurred about three and a half weeks ago. The only real problem that had come up by that point was a soft spot/dip in the carpet in the doorway of bedroom #3. It almost feels like there is a lack of padding underneath the carpet in that spot. The project manager noted it and assured me I would get a call from the flooring subcontractor to schedule a time to come by and take care of it. A week went by and I heard nothing so I called him back. This was followed by a few more calls over the following week after continuing to hear nothing from the contractor. When I was finally called to schedule the appointment (two weeks after the 30 day meeting) the woman I spoke with said she had just been given the report to call. Because of their booked schedule we weren't able to schedule the service appointment until Wednesday of this week, nearly four weeks after the 30 day meeting. It's a minor problem but Jenny and I are both annoyed that it has taken so long to get addressed.

In just the past several days a few more issues have cropped up. I noticed late last week around our front door that I could see daylight through the spot where the door meets the frame. It appears the weather stripping has gotten deformed and isn't creating a tight seal anymore. More pressing is a crack in the tank of the toilet in the upstairs hall bathroom that Jenny discovered Saturday. It's leaking slightly so we've shut the water off at the wall and flushed the toilet to keep the tank empty until it can be fixed. There's no crack in the toilet lid itself (and we haven't even removed that since we moved in) so we're guessing it must be some sort of manufacturing or installation defect. I called the customer service line this morning to report the issues and within 20 minutes I got a call from our project manager to follow up on it. He's putting in an order for a new toilet tank and is hopeful it will be here by Wednesday so it can be installed at the same time the flooring issue is fixed.

The other thing we did several weeks ago was the 30 day post-closing survey. This (and giving perfect 10's) was harped on constantly every step of the way to the point of being downright annoying. Overall we gave everyone high marks and wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of them or Ryan Homes in general to anyone we know. There were a few issues however I noted with the process:
-Getting information about the Homeowner's Association and how to get approval for a fence, shed, etc required far more time and effort on my part than should have been necessary. What should have been a simple question to the model home staff or sales rep with a simple answer in return instead required several hours worth of phone calls and emails to track down the correct information after being given incorrect information by several folks within NVR.
-Visits to officially (i.e. walkthrough with the project manager) check progress on the home were not convenient for working professionals. The project manager was unable to meet beyond 3pm so Jenny was only able to officially walk through the house twice during construction. Thankfully with working for the school system I'm generally done with work around 2:15 at least a few days a week and was able to meet with him otherwise I would have not been able to take off to do so.
-While the front yard was sodded and nicely done, seed and straw was simply dumped down in the backyard without any prep work . We had high winds and rain not long after it was done and a lot of it blew away leaving bare spots all over the yard that turn to mud when it rains. It was almost a waste to have done it if they weren't going to do at least a simple aeration beforehand.

Lastly, on the topic of grass that leads me to one other annoyance at the moment:

I had to call a few weeks ago and again this past Friday to get the grass mowed at the finished but unoccupied house next to us along with the grass on the empty lots on the other side of us. The project manager called me not long after I spoke with customer service and assured me that they're on a rotation to get mowed. It's high enough to be in violation of the county ordinance and has been for over a week at this point. I would have thought the developer would be more on top of getting this taken care of as it makes the community look bad as a whole. With kids and dogs we're quite concerned about the higher chance of ticks, snakes, and other not-so-fun things coming into our yard.