Sunday, September 2, 2012

Make A List Like It's Christmas

     If you want it, write it down. Ask for it. Ask your sales rep. Don't wait until someone offers, because maybe they never will. I know I am being vague, but that's because it could be anything.

     Do you want a backsplash in your kitchen? A shelf in your shower? A seat in your shower? Reinforced walls in the laundry room so you can hang cabinets later? There are lots of things you may want. Make a list of those things and make sure to ask for them. Google spreadsheets are your friend. They're free and you can access them from any computer. 

     We don't have a backsplash in the kitchen, because at no point in the buying process did anyone offer any options for it. I think we should have asked at Rite Rug. Actually, I think they should have asked us at our Rite Rug appointment. But they did not, and we did not, so we have no backsplash. Ditto shelving in the shower. We wanted a seat, but were talked out of it, but we couldn't even get any shelves. I even asked the tile guys when they were here, but they weren't allowed to go off plan. Your mileage may vary (and it will) - I know some people who dealt directly with the guys in the house doing their tile. 

     I know they give you a list of options which is about 90 miles long. By the time you have decided on all of that stuff your brain is turned to mush and all you want to do is eat, sleep, and cry. But think about it... what's not on the list? Some people get patios and/or decks, lay their tile at different angles, have extra driveway added, they get blinds for the windows, etc. Think beyond the overwhelming list. Your list will be different than mine, since it seems to be regional. 

     Also, things vary depending on which model you choose. I wanted transom windows - big fat no. They don't do them. But? My cousin has them. She lives across the street. They were standard on her house. We got the door with the built in fake transom window. I wanted a single back door. My house had a slider. I upgraded to french doors, but to 'upgrade' to a single door would have been even more costly. Strange, but true. Same cousin? Has a single door - standard issue. In our development they don't do decks or patios. They even say "Ryan Homes doesn't do decks or patios because they can't warranty them." There were quite a few houses built in a row after ours - all of them got decks. I'm not sure if it was Ryan Homes or if they all just happened to build decks immediately? But I know this: Ryan Homes does decks and patios. Some of you already know it, too. Because you bought a Ryan Home with a deck or patio - or both. 

     I think a lot of what you can get will depend on your PM. My hardwood stairs? I would not have them without my PM. Sales rep said they don't do them, but put in a non-standard request. We got a no back on it. We pushed some more, offered up other blogs as a guide, and our sales rep took it to our PM, who dealt with the factory on it. Our PM could have just offhandedly turned down the request, but he put in the time and effort to help us get what we wanted. The more I read the blogs the more I realize how much the PM has to do with what you, as a homeowner, will be able to get. He's the one who can do the research, talk to the mystery people at Ryan, and get things done.

     I've seen people get double-decker decks with intricate staircases- the idea of their PM. Access to the jetted tub put in closets to pretty up the bathroom, because the PM thought of it. My cousin got a much better driveway than expected because their PM thought it would look better this way. We got a usable space in our basement for food storage because our PM made sure the utility room in the basement was done in a way which made sense - everything in one area, instead of spread out across the span of the room.  

     So, take nothing for granted. Ask questions, and ask for what you want. Maybe you can get it! 


  1. Excellent post and so true. You may not get what you want, but you'll never get it if you don't ask!

  2. I concur! The only reason why we have what we have is because I asked and I asked again! I kept being told RH is not a custom builder and you can only get the options for your model! I did my research provided documentation and other resources and the no's turned into yes and it's going to cost you this.... We have not because we ask Not!

  3. I wish I'd known ahead of time that at no point is someone going to sit down with you and say you can get this, this, and this. I got a kitchen backsplash from Rite Rug only because I asked about it. Neither our sales rep nor our Rite Rug person asked. Same with pretty much everything we added - tile surrounds in the master tub/shower, deck, kitchen faucet upgrade, cabinet hardware, etc....all things added after we signed our papers (some even after the 30 day point b/c our SR was very cool). This is why there are 7 pages of change orders taped to our sliding glass door right now:) I would think of things and say to myself "you know, we never even talked about that!" I have been very pleased with the overall process, but I wish there was a meeting akin to the pre-construction meeting within those first 30 days. Where someone takes the time to lay out the blueprints and go over room by room what the available options are. I know that would be time consuming, but come on. It would be a lot more efficient and comforting to the customer than giving them a giant stack of oversized paper filled with pages and pages of codes and abbreviations...and no pictures of anything. It would certainly prevent a lot of change orders to have it all settled up front. I guess that's the beauty of these blogs - to help the future RH builders be better informed:)

  4. ask for the world, all they can say is no. i know for the next house.