Thursday, April 26, 2012

Denials and Approvals for Customizations

Here are some verdict updates on requests that I made to Ryan about customizations.  Some of these are recent, others I requested earlier but did not get to updating the status of them here.

  • Change the shower faucet -

    Okay, so the upgraded shower costs a decent amount but I am not able to upgrade the faucet because they cannot warranty it....?  The faucet comes with a lifetime warranty, hmmm.
    "Lifetime limited warranty against leaks, drips and finish defects
    to the original consumer purchaser"

Several from my first post -
  • Separating the two master bedroom windows so that they are on both sides of the corner rather than just on one side

    Would have cost about 85% of the cost just to add 2 more windows.  I chose to decline this.
  • Moving the light switches for the garage coach lights and inside garage lights to the inside wall of the house in the mud room

    Cost is $25.  I assume that it is due to the blueprint change because it should take near zero effort to just turn it around and put it on the inside wall.
  • Adding a switch for the garage coach lights at the front door entrance


    Adding a switch at the top of the basement stairs to turn on/off the basement lights there rather than having to go down to the bottom of the stairs each time

    Both Possible
    Cost was around $150 I believe each.  I got some **ahem** flak for wanting to spend money on these though, so I conceded in order to retain earlier wins :-) 
 Things that I have asked for but did not mention in the blog
  • Door deadbolt for the door going into the garage from the house

  • A separate water meter (deduct meter) for the hose bibs so that there is now sewage cost like the main line


    Cost was estimated at $2,500+ to install.  No thank you.
  • Stronger roof anchors -

  • Patio installed by Ryan


    They only offer patios for slabs or houses with walkout basements (at least in my area).
  • Radon venting system

    Partially Possible

    They will install a 3" pipe but they are not able/licensed to install the complete system to vent the radon gas from underneath the foundation.


  1. $150 to move the light switch for the coach lights? That's ridiculous! I've read several blogs where people requested this and none of them have mentioned being charged for it!

    I'm surprised there is no deadbolt on the door leading to the garage. This doesn't bother me though I because I plan on leaving that door unlocked. We are getting the security system so if someone somehow got into our garage and opened that door, they would just set the alarm off anyway. I plan on leaving it unlocked just in case I lock myself out of my house. I'll just type in the key pad to the garage door and then walk on through the door I leave unlocked!

    As for the shower head, isn't that something you could easily change yourself after you move in? I think I want to change mine to the kind you can pull down and detach it.

    1. Well when I refer to the faucet it is the handle/valve that turns on the water that I am talking about. It is not easy to replace that since the internals of it are behind the wall and there are multiple pipes connected to it. I will likely replace the head as well with something else later on.

      I have not seen where others paid to have the coach lights moved either. I guess each place is a little different.

  2. They gave me a hard time about putting a light switch at the top of the basement stairs to control the lights down there as well. I let it go at the meeting but will likely just bring it back up before electrical is installed and push for it then.

    1. I think that is what I will do as well Amy. I was trying to be proactive in asking for things so I have some more assurances that things would be done, but it may be better to work with the PM directly in some areas. IMO they could have an expanded list of minor options based on the desires of customers of which we obviously have in common. Also sharing that list between the different Ryan locations would be ideal as well since there seems to be a lot things permitted here but not permitted there type scenarios.

  3. I was able to move the garage and coach light switches to the mudroom for no fee. I wish there was a kill switch for the basement lights at the top of the steps, but I have young kids to send back down to turn off the lights (since it will probably be them who leaves them on anyways!). We tried to get the basement lights put into zones since we are finishing almost the entire basement but they wouldn't do that either.
    Our PM isn't into too much customization, but he has been responsive throughout our building experience and has been on top of everything, welcomed our questions and concerns and overall been a pleasure to work with. As for the customizations, we will just work those out afterwards.
    Sorry to hear so many things you wanted were denied.

    1. I think because I asked early on in the process they had to tie some type of fee to it **shrugs**

      I appreciate the sympathy, can't have it all right ;-)

  4. Thomas,
    I have given some thought to your request for a second water meter at the cost of $2500. I get that the cost initially seems high but consider this:
    First, I think this is a great idea.
    B, assuming a 30 year mortgage, that meter will run you approx. $12 a month ($144 a year). I am figuring about 6 months of watering grass, not to mention kids and sprinklers, washing cars, plants, soaker hoses, etc... I have yet to get my first water bill with the grass watering I have been doing but I am guessing (hoping) for about $400 (every 3 months). So if I get just two water bills at $400 (total $800) and subtract the typical water bill cost of $150 each, that's a lawn watering cost of $500.
    Obviously I sided on the conservative side. Neighbors who moved in the middle of summer had HUGE water bills trying to get their grass to take. I have heard numbers up to $800.
    So when considering that, I would think budgeting $12 a month a smart cost.
    my .02

    1. Thanks Sgt.Rich on the comments and the layout of the costs, that does help. I will have to ask them for the hard cost so I can get a more accurate picture of the ROI. I also want to call up some plumbers to see what their prices are. Granted it would cost more after the house is built but I would like to confirm at least the general price range.

      I went with the heat pump system as well and I get *pokes* from the better half about the cost of that now and again, although it will save money in the long run. I would need to come up with a truly compelling argument to convince the boss on another "value add".

      On another note I would love to get a geothermal HVAC but that is not an option through Ryan.

  5. Wow, you have great ideas. I am going to share them with my husband. I am going to ask for the outdoor light switches to be moved into the mud room and a basement kill switch.

    1. Appreciated, but I can't credit for all the ideas :-)

      Plenty of help from the other bloggers, which is great!