Friday, June 15, 2012

Ryan Homes loves to use the word "No"

  I am starting to get angry, strike that, I AM angry, about all the simple requests/upgrades that we want to do, but are simply told "No".  In this posting, I will go over some of these things.

  From the beginning, my wife and I had fallen in love with the Jefferson model.  We had seen the elevation C variant, with brick and stone front.  When we told them that was what we wanted, they came back and said "No", you can do siding and stone, but not brick and stone.  Despite the fact that there is someone who is also blogging their Jefferson build who just got brick and stone and we have seen it done numerous times in Ryan developments here in Ohio.  It’s not a true brick structure, but rather just a brick facade, not much different than adding the partial stone facade.  So why is this "No"?  Ryan Homes doesn't have an answer.

  I really wanted a 9' door for the optional third bay in the garage.  I had told them this before we signed the documents, and they told me that it might be possible, well the following week, it was "No".  Ryan homes don’t want to mess with the structural change required to fit the 9' door.  Not, this is how much it would cost and therefore not realistic, just simply "No", they won't do it.  This wasn't a huge deal, but it was something that I really wanted.

  Then it came to the interior selections/options where I was truly left scratching my head for the things I was told "No".  Let’s start with the granite selections.  The granite options, all whopping 4 of them, for the bathroom are a complete joke.  They are the cheapest granites offered by the industry for a reason because of their lack of desirability.  We asked if we could instead use one of the Kitchen granite choices which were much nicer, of course we expected that this would be more expensive, but Ryan Homes came back with "No".  No reason as to why "No", just simply "No".  Okay Ryan Homes, screw your bathroom granite, I'll just go with the cultured marble and rip it all out right after closing.

  Then we had to choose the faucet for the Kitchen sink, once again they were all crappy choices.  Don't get me wrong, they do use name brand Delta/Moen faucets, but the styling is limited to the simple single handle/faucet combination.  No 3/4 piece (separate handle, sprayer, soap dispenser) that are commonly used today, just the throwback ugly single faucets.  So I asked if we could simply provide them a much better faucet ourselves, and they said "No".  Now I understand that they have to warranty their work on something like that, but they aren't the ones warranting the faucet, that’s up to the manufacturer.  I don't even mind getting approval of the type/brand of faucet that I give them so they know it’s of high quality, but once again it’s simply "No".  Now I’m left with purchasing their crappy faucet, paying their contractor through the purchase price of our new home to install it, and then ripping it out, and paying for another plumber to put the new one back in.  Plus, they don't even offer an oil-rubbed bronze option.  What?!?  We are getting oil-rubbed bronze everywhere else, why can't we also get it in our kitchen?  Crazy!

  Now let’s move to the upstairs hall bath.  We inquired about getting the shower/tub area tiled instead of the one piece fiberglass that they use.  The flooring people had told us that they had seen this done before in Ryan Homes and even gave us the pricing to have it done upon Ryan Home approval.  So we ask, and of course they said, "No".  This one I was okay with, I felt it was stupid that this wasn't an option, but it isn't a make or break thing.

  Now let’s move to the bathroom in the master where they told us "No" twice.  The first when we asked about getting a heated tile floor.  According to them, no one had ever asked to get this done, which I found preposterous, so they would have to get back to me, which they did with a "No".  Then we wanted to make sure that our glass doors around the shower area would be the same as we had seen in other newly built Jeffersons.  In these newer builds, they moved the back glass towards the tub, enclosing a small portion of the tiled tub surround creating a small shelf/bench.  This was very important, because without it, you are left with no where else to put anything except on the floor of the shower, and that is not acceptable.  Of course, they sell things to hang off the shower head or over the doors, but that quite frankly looks like crap.  So we requested that our sales rep verify that this was indeed the current standard way they did it, and if not, to make sure that we get the same option that other Jefferson builders selected to get this.  We even sent her pictures from those other Jeffersons so she could see what we are talking about.  So to say the least, I was shocked when she came back and told us "No".  No reason as to why ours will not be the same as the other new builds, just simply "No".  This one REALLY pisses me off.

  Carrying on with the bathroom theme, we requested that the upstairs full bath have one type of cabinet while the basement half bath had another.  They even said "No" to that!  The basement bath is an option completely on its own, so why can't I select the cabinet completely on its own?  Our sales rep's reason for this one, they just don't have an option for that.  Then make it an option!  There is no way that I am the first one to request a different cabinet for the half bath in the basement from the full bath on the second floor!  Then my wife requested that they put in the mirrored glass front medicine cabinets are embedded in the wall, just as we had seen at the Jefferson model in PA, once again their response has been "No".  Their reason, we simply don't do that here in Ohio.  Apparently, people in Ohio have no need for medicine cabinets.

  The last "No" that I am going to complain about might be turning into a "Yes", but I'm not counting on it.  Our basement will be a walkout with the door coming off the finished area under the morning room.  On the back wall of this finished area, we requested a double window, exactly as we had seen in a Jefferson model home in PA.  They told us "No" at first because of the way our lot was going to be graded, and this made no sense to me.  I requested that they talk to the project manager to review how they are going to grade the back portion of our future house because if what they are telling me is true, the idiots are going to be grading the yard so it slopes all toward my back door.  This would just be asking for water problems so I'm sure they must be wrong.  After expressing my concerns to the sales rep after the initial "No", she looked further into it and now we are waiting for the topography plat to be completed before they can say "Yes" or "No".

  I understand that not all requests can be accommodated, and that Ryan Homes is able to deliver a quality (I hope!) product with very competitive price by using efficiency of scale.  So I understand not getting the 9' garage door because you'd have to redesign the ceiling joists to accommodate the increased span or moving footers.  A lot of their cuts are done at a factory and then assembled in jigs so changing wall dimensions would cause them to increase their costs, but to tell me no on a faucet that requires no more labor from your subcontractors, or because your office has failed to add a line to specify a cabinet choice for the basement bathroom is asinine.

  In the end, Ryan Home claims that they keep costs down by limiting customizations, and I respect that for major structures, but that just raises questions as to why I am not allowed to get things that are available and commonly used, such as the brick and stone front.  Doesn't this contradict the whole Ryan Home corporate policy?  Even their website touts how Ryan will help you "personalize" your home, but I am beginning to think that they don't know what that word even means.  My wife and I are still looking forward to building this new house, but Ryan Homes has definitely destroyed some of the excitement we had at the beginning.

  I'd like to end this rather negative post on a good note, and say that we have spoken with several families that have built with Ryan recently and ALL of them said that it was an overall good experience.  I just hope that in the end, I can say the same.


  1. I asked for a utility sink in the garage or basement instead of my already small laundry room. I was told no. My SR didn't even put in a non-standard request. She just said "No". I'm super annoyed because I've seen so many other bloggers that have utility sinks in their garage AND in their basement!

    I also asked if I could purchase my own toilet paper holders. I don't like that ones that use two anchors. I like the ones you can just slide the roll off of that uses only one anchor. My PM said they can't install them for me because it's not a product they stand behind. He said I would have to do it after closing. I don't want to patch the walls in all FOUR of my bathrooms just because I don't like their stupid toilet paper holders! He said he would see if he could have them left off all together but I have never heard back on this issue.

    It's like they are building their house and not ours. Annoying.

    1. I would double check with them to make sure they are leaving those roll holders off. Especially if you just plan on taking them down anyway.

    2. The laundry tub thing would have angered me as well (kind of like our shower "shelf" issue we're currently having). We talked to the SR yesterday about that--she said she didn't know it was a Jefferson that we showed her pics of (thanks for the info, TeamMom23!). Hopefully they'll be able to work with us on this. My husband has told her that if they can do this for us, he will happily go along with everything else and sing the praises of Ryan Homes.

      As for the toilet paper holder problem, first, I agree with Thomas. Make sure they are not installing them so you don't have to patch holes in the future. Also, are you ready to be somewhat angry? I hope you're sitting down. The upgraded bathroom fixtures we went with are called "Eva" by Moen. If you do a search for them, you'll see that there is a single-anchor toilet paper holder available, same as what you are describing. This is what we are being offered, so there's no way they don't "stand behind" that type of product. If we're in the same state, I can't believe there would be this much variation between Ryan Homes regions. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I thought you should know. Honestly, it's probably just better and easier to make sure they don't put ANY toilet paper holders in your bathrooms at this point.

      So inconsistent and frustrating.

    3. Yeah. I was aware of the upgrade option. I just thought it was way too expensive. I could change everything out myself for a lot cheaper. I think my PM kind of blew me off on the topic because I asked about it too late. I didn't bring it up while we were still able to make changes. I'm going to make sure I bring it up with him again. I was also thinking about purchasing the ones I want and placing them in the bathrooms. I'm pretty sure they would magically get installed if I put them in there.

  2. If it helps I was able to get them to change the faucets by sticking with the Moen brand and letting them purchase the faucets. I did this for the kitchen and the shower faucets.



  3. Just found your blog. Congrats on the build and sorry about all the "nos!" If you're reading all these blogs, you already know that the reaction to change requests vary so much by region and even by SR. We've been pretty lucky, but stay after them. And you are right, structural changes are one thing, but cosmetic stuff they should work with you on. Hopefully they'll be able to accommodate at least some of your requests!

  4. Hi we just closed on our Jefferson in Western NY. We didn't like the standard kitchen faucet either. We asked our PM if we could purchase our own and have them install it. He said yes and he let us know what day we would need to have it by. Also, I has inquired about the 'shelf/seat' in the master bath. I asked the PM where the glass was going to be located and asked if could be moved out so more of the tile was in the shower. He had the guy who installed the glass do that for me. So maybe ask your PM instead of the sales rep. Hope you get some 'yes's' soon!

  5. I fond this all incredible because here in Pittsburgh all these items you guys are talking about are offered either as standard items or as upgrades. We are building a Jefferson and we have a shelf in our shower that came with the upgraded bath and we have the single anchor toilet paper holders in all our bathrooms of course this was an upgrade.

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  6. By the way - we are in NEO and landscaping was available to us.

  7. I got the same shaft on the utility sink in the garage - then I see other NEO bloggers have them.

    We also got the upgraded toilet paper holder.

    We also thought it double-sucked that they offer oil rubbed bronze in everything except the kitchen sink.

    We also wanted a seat in the shower, which they would do, but I let a sales rep convince me the shower would have been too small with it. Hogswash. It would have been perfect. I also wanted a shower shelf and could not get it.

    The first line is your sales rep. Ours were fantastic at helping us get what we wanted. Want to hear a 'secret' that's sure to drive everyone crazy? The reason options on are not on the list which could easily be on the list? The computer program they use only allows for X number of lines. So if they offer you several options for your kitchen faucet that is less lines they have to offer you, say, more cabinet choices. No kidding - I was told this by a sales rep. I was also told the more people ask for a certain item the likelier it is to be added to the list.

    We got a lot of nos, too. We pushed back on some of them, but didn't on others. Some others just stayed no. Our biggest victory, in my opinion, was getting the hardwood stairs. My sales rep actually told us Ryan doesn't do them. Thanks to blogs, sales rep willingness to help, and a great PM, we got our stairs!

    When they say they will personalize it, they mean they let you choose your cabinets, flooring, counters, and a few details. They by no means intend to offer you a custom home. Although, if you choose the right options, you really do end up with a house that feels like 'you'.

    Good luck with everything. Don't back down on the money deal!

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