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Monday, April 22, 2013
Put to good use!

Put to good use!

Probably somewhere in a previous post I talked about all the goodies one could find in their dumpster at various points throughout the life cycle of home building.  Anything from carpet, to tile, vinyl siding.  Well, the vinyl siding was especially useful in my first dumpster project to date.

Our dog Charlie has a dog house.  Very well constructed, durable, etc.  Only problem it was painted radio-active green.  It was only a matter of time before before the HOA would be showing up with a nasty-gram or something, so I knew something had to be done.  Fortunately, my frugal side came through, and I was able to create a mini-Rome for our dog Charlie, using nearly all recycled, scavenged products taken from our dumpster.

Here are some photos...

Friday, April 19, 2013
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Post-closing Update

The Bad News

It's about 3+ weeks after closing, and the house is hanging in there, as is are we.  The banister I paid $$$$ for was poorly crafted.  Beams were not aligned with balusters, and running your hand down the rail might be great if you were trying to exfoliate your hand, or file your nails, but for smoothness of touch, it was not great.  The wood was entirely lacquered and in some places, brush bristles were epoxied into the surface, as if being preserved for future generations.  Fortunately, I was able to get some nice folks over to fix it.  It still isn't on par with the $$$$ I paid for it, but it is better.  There have been some other settling effects in the house, doors getting stuck, spider cracks in the drywall in a couple places, but I'm not too bothered by these, and expect them as normal for the break-in period of the home.  Another feather-ruffling point was the fireplace.  During our final walk-through, the fireplace was on, and by the end of the walk-through, we were smoked out of the house.  The smoke smelled of burnt plastic, as if someone left a zip-loc bag on top before it was installed.  To be assured, I was told a smoking fireplace is typical, that they require a good burn-in period (like 5 hours), but there could be other points to consider, such as the possibility the fireplace was designed for gas, rather than propane.  Again, the fireplace company technician, nice fellow, came out within a couple days and looked it over to say again, the smell was normal for the initial burn-in period, and also to reassure me that the fireplace was fitted for propane correctly.  In addition to the fireplace burn-in, because the burn-in period was so lengthy (more like 15 hours or more probably in total), this and other factors led to us running out of propane the third night in our home.  What does that mean?  Well, we weren't going to freeze to death, but we were going to have to live without hot water.  How long?  Well, in theory up to two weeks, while Suburban Propane, Inc. files my paperwork, verifies my credit, and performs a system leak test.  In actuality, we were without hot water less than an hour!  Read on to find out why...

The Good News

OK, so all this crazy-bad stuff huh?!? Well, I'm writing about it because it happened, not because I am upset about it.  Quite the opposite actually, in fact I am quite thankful for having probably the best Project Manager in the whole freaking country!  Ascertaining the consequences of no hot water is not desirable, but it is manageable.  Millions of people go without it everyday.  Fortunately however, our PM called in an emergency service order, on the claim we had a potential leak.  After all, we prematurely ran out of propane, didn't we?  This caused one disgruntled, on-call, Suburban Propane employee to have to come out and service our tank, verify there wasn't a leak, and provide a temporary surplus of propane.  I can imagine how much it sucked for him, and he definitely expressed his displeasure upon arrival, but with all said and done, I gave much thanks and appreciation, and a most notable kudos to our PM for a rock-star performance getting us hot water back.

As for some other items, well I am less concerned.  Not necessarily because there are minor problems here and there, but more so because they'll get addressed.  There are a hundred reasons we are glad we picked a Ryan Home, if only you had the opportunity to come out and see for yourself, the place is actually quite stunning!  So, to offer a moral to this story, expect there to be a few problems getting moved into your new home. Be happy it didn't burn down, fall down, get blown away, or drown, and be persistent in your intent to get the problems resolved.  You may not get as awesome of a PM as I did, but RH does have a reputation to uphold, so leverage that!

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