Friday, September 27, 2013

Nothing More, Nothing Less

When we first met with our PM at our pre-con meeting, we had a few special requests.  They were all denied.  Our PM told us, "I will build you the house that you contracted.  Nothing more, nothing less." Unfortunately, we received much more than we asked for.  We didn't ask for leaky windows, siding issues, shoddy carpet, crooked walls, crooked trim, doorknobs that fall off, $300+ electric bill because the HVAC installer put the wrong kind of battery in the outside sensor, squeaking and creaking floors, cracks in the drywall, numerous other issues and all the half-hearted repairs that come with them.  The most recent example of their ineptitude occurred a couple of weeks ago.  I am still dealing with the repairs and awaiting the outcome which is why I have hesitated to blog about it.  But, I need an outlet to vent, so here's the scoop:

I was on the first floor when I heard a sound like a firehose hitting the house on the second floor.  First, I ran outside.  Nothing seemed amiss, so I headed for the second floor.  The washing machine was running, so I checked on that first.  The sound wasn't coming from the laundry room, so I followed it to the secondary bath.  The sound was coming from behind the shower enclosure.  I flipped the shower faucet on and there was no water.  At this point, I ran down the steps to find water pouring out of my foyer light.  I headed to the basement and found water running down the pipes and door frame around the storage area.  I turned off the water to the house at the water meter.  About five minutes had elapsed from the time I heard the sound to when I turned off the water.  It was warm water, so I assumed a hot water line had burst.

I called Ryan's emergency line.  I explained the situation to the rep on the phone.  He gave me the plumber's phone number, said he would contact the plumber and the Service Manager and that I would be hearing from them shortly.  When an hour had passed and I didn't hear anything, I called the emergency line again. The rep that I spoke with that time asked me if I had explained that it was an emergency.  Really??? I can't see how anything that I explained did NOT constitute an emergency.  We couldn't use our water.  There was water dripping from several locations.  I could not believe she was implying that it was my fault for not expressly stating it was an emergency.  That's what the emergency line is for!

After she rewrote it as an emergency ticket, I got a call from the service manager.  He came over within 20 minutes to inspect the damage.  As we were walking through the house, the plumber arrived.  (Imagine my panic when I saw it was the same genius who, when reconnecting the master bath faucet during a previous repair, never bothered to turn the water back on and check to see that everything was connected correctly.  This resulted in water dripping through my eyeball lights above my fireplace because he did not re-install the faucet properly).  Anyway, the plumber came in and after telling my story, they tried to determine the location of the leak.  They first thought it might be the hot water connection to the the shower.  They cut a three feet by eight inch hole in my closet only to find that that connection was secure.  They headed to my daughter's bedroom under the assumption that it would be a connection at either the sinks or the toilets.  They ended up cutting five holes in the wall!

The final diagnosis was that the installer didn't cut the lines long enough to wrap around from the shower and pick up the lines from the sinks.  So, he added a coupling.  This would have been sufficient, except that he didn't bother crimping the metal band at the coupling.  There was nothing holding the coupling together.  The plumber was surprised that it didn't come apart the first time the shower was run.  The kids prefer our shower, so that shower does not get a lot of use.

Here are some pictures of the damage. Some pics may need to be clicked on to see the effects of the water.

Water dripping down the siding

Water dripping from light switch
at the bottom of the basement stairs

Bottom of basement stairs

Puddle in basement bath

Water dripping from pipes in basement storage area

Water had slowed by the time I took this picture.
At the time I turned off the water, there was a curtain
of water coming down through this doorway.

Streaks where water ran along the joists
in the family room ceiling

That is not a shadow.  That is wet drywall
near the foyer light at the bottom
of the stairs.

Basement stairwell taping

This is an example of the repair job in the main stairwell.
Needless to say, I'm not impressed.

I have sent an email to the service manager regarding the quality of the repairs.  I am awaiting his reply, but if this is not handled to my satisfaction, I am prepared to go over his head.  I have been nothing but patient with all of this, but I am at my wits end. There is also a flooring issue, but this has been way too long already!


  1. Wow....I really don't know what to say--that is aweful.

    I'm still in the beginning stage of my build. My per-drywall meeting is next week. I hope and pray that I don't have any problems. What state and/or community are you in?

    1. I'm in northeast Ohio. I would recommend an independent inspection prior to drywall, if possible. We neglected to do so, and I regret it immensely!

  2. Im so sorry to read about these problems. I can't imagine how frustrating that has been. I hope everything works out for you.

    1. Thanks. It seems like the problems just never end.

  3. Oh wow! I cannot even imagine... after looking at the pictures, my first thought was how will they avoid mold in the walls???? Wow! I hope this gets fixed quickly.

    1. Mold was my #1 concern. We had fans running non-stop for a few days to dry out within the walls. I made sure it was completely dry before they closed up the walls. We had an industrial fan in the basement along with our dehumidifier.

  4. What a nightmare! Good luck with getting RH to fix all of the issues correctly!

  5. That is awful. How could they mess up something that big? You should get your own plumber to come check their work when they are fixing it and send RH the bill. I'm sorry you have to deal with this :(.

  6. Olmsted Plumbing? Olmsted Plumbing did the work on our house, and we were very disappointed with a lot of the work that is behind the walls. PEX hoses that go into walls for example, are not supported, so they can freely be pulled out or pushed into the wall.. The number of 90 degrees elbow corners used are staggering instead of running straight lines and bending the hoses around corners with supporting metallic frames. Every time I looked at one of those connectors I knew it was just a disaster waiting to happen.. If any of the kids pulls at any PEX line sticking from walls by toilets and sinks who knows what would happen to the loose structure inside the walls.

    Plumbing and Electric (Electrical Accents) were the worst offenders of all those who worked on our house.. HVAC was up there too, as the house was not balanced at all and low on Freon, but the owner of the company came out and balanced it himself and it has been great since.

    Very sorry you had these problems. It seems that the damage is all over, and you may never realize the full extent of it soon as you can't really see what's going on behind the walls.. Are you still within the 2 year plumbing warranty? And, who is going to pay for and fix the water damage? Ryan Homes, plumbers, or do you have to use your home insurance? Best of luck.. this is not a pleasant situation to be in..

    1. It was Olmsted Plumbing. I cannot believe their incompetence! We also have loose connections at the walls with the PEX. I am definitely missing our copper plumbing from our previous home. It's interesting that we had the same plumber but different electrical.
      Viccarone did our HVAC. Last year when it was time for the furnace to be running, we ended up with a $300 electric bill. This seemed incredibly high as our prior bills were less than $100. We determined that the heat pump wasn't switching over to gas, so we set it to emergency heat to force the issue. Once Viccarone came out and inspected everything, the problem was found to be that the installer put the wrong kind of battery in the exterior sensor. The battery froze and therefore, the sensor didn't work. This carelessness baffles me.

      We were still within our 2 year plumbing warranty, so RH is taking care of the repairs. We'll see how long it takes for them to get this right.

  7. OMG, Rachel! I am lost for words and that's not like me. This is horrible! I would not rest until this is DONE! They should also compensate you for the cost, the inconvenience, and the trauma for your family not sleeping peacefully etc etc etc.

  8. "When we first met with our PM at our pre-con meeting, we had a few special requests. They were all denied."

    That line held true for us too. I did a lot of research prior to building with Ryan Homes and came across so many people who were able to get minor changes or special requests complete.. so we went into this process thinking that was ok. Out PM agreed to nothing. I could not even get the toilet roll holders from being installed to stop holes being put into the wall.

  9. Ugh!!!! Get em Rachel. Stay on them until they repair every last thing. Stop at nothing. That's awful, they should be shot.

  10. That's so awful and I'm lost for words... I'm so sorry. I hope RH fix everything to your full satisfaction. You deserve nothing less.

  11. if you've got any time to blog, can you share the progress with this issue? If there is any?