The Footers Have Been Poured & Waterproofing with Mar-Flex & GeoMat

This past Thursday Ryan Homes broke ground and on time (you never know with Northeast Ohio weather in January).  I mentioned in my previous post how I was hoping that Ryan Homes would get the footers poured soon after as the weather was going to warm up, but lots of rain in the forecast.  And one thing I understand is that lots of rain in a trench is bad.

The next day I got a call about 4:00 pm and it was our PM.  He told us that the excavation went well, and they poured the footers on Friday!  He said that this coming week they should be able to get the molds up so they can pour the foundation, waterproof with the drainage system.  The rain maybe a factor.  The PM said it depends on how the rain is coming down.  If it's torrential, they won't be able to work but still can during moderate amounts of rainfall.  Later that day, my wife drove by lot and took a couple of pics of the footers.  You can't really see the footers too much because of the blankets they lay on top of the footers.  The blankets help the concrete cure properly in colder weather.  

Since we are talking foundation I thought I would mention waterproofing.  As with any foundation, a properly built foundation, poured or blocked, requires waterproofing and a properly installed drainage system.  About a month and a half ago I asked our PM about waterproofing and is the warranty.  Our SR said 30 years, without blinking an eye.  I was rather impressed.  But me being me, I needed more information.  I needed to see that 30-year warranty in writing on Ryan Homes website, on a contract or something.  However, I could not find that anywhere, except for another Ryan Homes community.

I had to ask the question, why does this community website say, "10-yr Structural Warranty & 30 Year limited Basement Waterproofing Warranty".  Here is the site I am referring too Timber Ridge.

The website for the community we are building in does not mention the 30-year limited waterproofing.  In my opinion, any responsible home buyer would question this possible discrepancy.  I asked our SR if she could provide the details of the waterproofing warranty in writing on something official from Ryan Homes.

Ryan Homes installs a product called Mar-Flex GeoMat.

From Mar-Flex's site,
"Like a drainage board, GeoMat Drainage Roll removes water and resists hydrostatic pressure by channeling below-grade water towards footer drainage systems. These water channels are created by molding high density polyethylene (HDPE) into sheets featuring vertically and horizontally aligned dimples. The stud-shaped dimples create space between the sheet and the wall, allowing water to flow quickly and harmlessly away. In addition to channeling away below-grade water, GeoMat acts as a barrier to protect liquid membranes against back fill soil and sediment."

Mar-Flex places a 30-year warranty on the GeoMat.  This warranty does not come from Ryan Homes.  Ryan Homes only places a 1-year warranty on the waterproofing of your basement, even with the Mar-Flex in place.  As buyers, we have to keep this in mind.  For the Mar-Flex to work properly, it must be installed properly.  If I have water in my finished basement 2 years after build.  Who is responsible?

Who comes out and determines that it was Ryan Homes fault or the GeoMat?
Does Mar-Flex come out and inspect the site?
Does Mar-Flex come out and install the product to ensure proper installation?
Does Mar-Flex come out and excavate to see if their product was installed properly if a water leak occurs?

I am very confident that Ryan Homes will ensure proper installation of the product and ensure proper drainage and waterproofing.  I just want those that might read this to understand the product you are getting when you build with Ryan Homes and potential concerns or questions that might arise.

Here is a quick video of the Mar-Flex GeoMat.

Breaking Ground - Venice Model With Ryan Homes

Yesterday was our date to break ground.  I decided that I was going to let our PM send me updates without asking directly.  Yet, within the hour of getting up in the morning, I received text from the PM with a couple of pictures from the PM with the backhoe starting the dig.  I appreciated that proactive communication and the pictures and sent that reply back to our PM.

Here are the first pics.

My wife is back in Ohio and she drove by the site after she got off work and took these pics showing the finished dig.  We had some concerns with the weather, but for January, the weather has been cold, but it has not been frigid enough that the frost got too deep.  Forecast call for temps in the mid 40's next week, but lots of rain.  I'm not sure if they are looking to pour footers today or over the weekend before the rain comes in, I hope they are.

The pics also reveal that our dig site had a visitor and his dog.  Looks like our neighbor to our rear.  What is interesting is that our HOA has an HOA easement, and I am curious if the HOA will build a privacy fence or put up some privacy fence.  However, the gentlemen and his dog were on our property.  Wife said they were just scoping out the dig.  So were off and running and very excited.

Pre-Construction Meeting with Updates

It's been a week since I had our pre-construction meeting with our SR and PM.  It went very well with no surprises.  All options selected were in the blueprints.  The PM is a nice guy who has been in the business for several years.  In fact, he has worked with two friends of mine for another builder in the area, so were able to have some side conversations in that regards.  The SR confirmed all options and made sure all those options were in the blueprints.

We went over the location of all the outlets and switches.  Talked about the hose bib locations.  Hose bibs, I have lived in a few houses, and I have never seen a hose bib inside of the garage.  I'm sure there are houses out there with them in the garage, but I have never seen it.  I was disappointed that I wasn't able to place hose bib on the others outside opposite wall.  It has something to do with the construction of the home and how the plumbing is routed.  So I chose to have the hose bib placed in the garage as close to garage door as possible.  

Another question I had is if I can have the GFCI outdoor outlets (front porch and rear entrance) tied to the same switch that controls the porch light.  The PM wasn't sure and acted as if no one ever asked about it.  Being a GFCI, he wasn't sure how electrical codes address it but will see if it can be done.  The SR said that it was a good idea.  I'm thinking ahead to Christmas, as I like to decorate and thought it would be great to be able to put all those lights on a switch.  

We are scheduled to break ground next Thursday on the 28th.  Currently, everything is ready to go except they are still waiting for permits to be finalized.

We also walked the property, discussed the easements and also how the property will be graded.  I like the location.  I think the property is a great size for someone that doesn't like a lot of yard work.  There is a storm drainage that runs in between our property and a neighboring property which has created an easement.  If we were to build a fence and the drainage system needed to be repaired for some reason, we could potentially lose a section of the fencing during the repair.  So that will need further discussion with the wife once we are in.  Here are more pics of the lot and the lot plan.

I had a concern after our meeting.  One concern is that the PM didn't seem to have the same sense of urgency in regards to having our home move-in ready by April.  Recall that we are relocating from North Carolina back to our hometown due to work.  We chose to build with Ryan Homes because we could get all the features we wanted, in a new home, but also very close if not less than some pre-existing homes in the market.  We were told about the quick start and what was needed to get the construction started ASAP.  We did everything Ryan Homes needed, including our financing and down payment.  Our initial start date given was FEBRUARY.  I quickly reminded our SR about the quick start and that we have given Ryan Homes everything needed and that February doesn't sound like the quick start we were told about.  They were able to move to next week, even though there was a possibility of break ground this week. 

So during the meeting, I was noticing that a move-in date of April was not really being addressed by the PM and our SR.  I made mention that a move-in date of April is what we really need but I was also trying to state it in a way that didn't seem to aggressive or demanding.  In hindsight, I should have addressed our concern upfront instead of stewing on it for a week after the fact.

I called our SR yesterday and tried to explain why were feeling that the April move in date didn't seem like a priority to our PM.  All I will say is that the conversation wasn't taken well by the SR and the conversation ended with me basically feeling like if I don't ever talk with her again, that's okay.  Even though that's not how I really felt.  I felt disappointed more than anything.  I wasn't trying to point fingers or blame anyone, all my wife and I wanted was to be reassured that everyone in the chain of construction understood that April is a priority.

A few minutes later I got a call from our PM and we have a very good conversation and I explained to him why we chose Ryan Homes, why April is important to us, and why we felt or perceived that maybe that information wasn't relayed to him, our PM, clearly.  I don't think anyone was trying NOT to tell our PM, I just wasn't getting the vibe that April being our move-in date was a clear priority for our PM.  He assured me that he fully understands and feels extremely confident that we will be able to take possession in April.  It was a very good and professional conversation.  

As for our SR, I think it is a big misunderstanding of where we are coming from.  We have committed a down payment and financing to build a very nice home.  If my wife and I have a concern, we have the right to address the concern. We don't need our SR taking things too personally and feeling hurt because we have a concern.  I thought I might get a call yesterday towards the evening but did not.  Perhaps today.  I really like our SR.  She has done a great job to date.  Yesterday, perhaps I caught her off guard or something personal may have been going on in her life.  

Quick Update - Sold Sign Is Up

Last post we were hoping to hear that our build date was going to get moved up.  It was moved from February 8th to January 28th.  There were hopes that it could be moved up another week and we have been hoping to hear from our SR that they were going to be able to do so.  But, so far, nothing from our SR in regards to moving it up another week.  That's okay, it's better than February.

However, my wife is back in Ohio for another week and drove by the lot and she took a picture of the Sold sign on the lot.  Made us feel good to see the sign on the lot.

As you can see, our lot backs up to an older established neighborhood.  Looks like a fence will need to go up at some point in time so that we can have a little privacy.  The lot is fairly level and has a decent amount of depth to it.  Autumn leaves shouldn't be too bad either.