Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lot & Grading Review

I've probably re-written this blog entry 6 times already.  I've postponed posting for days.  I can't seem to put into words the frustration I have felt over the last few days without seeming to be completely negative.

When we signed our Purchase Agreement we were under the impression that the lot offered to us through the Home of the Month would be graded relatively flat.  That was a huge deciding factor for us.  Our priority list consisted mostly of the ease-ability of our home.  We didn't care what the outside of our house looked like as much as how much work would be needed to manage the yard, the size, and the usability of it.  We didn't care so much that we didn't end up with the initial model we wanted because we would be able to finish a portion of the house we initially thought we wouldn't be able to afford.  Up until the Pre-Construction meeting we were given the impression that this home fit into our dream home.  We budgeted based on the impressions we were given.  To find out the day before ground breaking that one corner of our lot was nearly 5 feet or more higher than the other and that we would not have a lot close to flat was shocking.
APEX Survey
Our Concerns:
Initial impressions given were to a flat lot
Unmanageable severe sloping grade in the rear and side of house
Unmanageable sloshy swales after rain in the rear and side of house
Planned concrete patio off morning room

On Tuesday morning I met with the SR, PM, the Sales Manager, and the General Manager with Ryan Homes on the lot.  I expressed my concerns with the grading of the lot.  I didn't believe that we could manage the slope of the lot nor did we want the proposed swales that we were going to need in order to drain the water that appears to flow from all of the surrounding area to our lot.

They all tried their best to re-explain the grading of the lot.  The issue, however, was not that I misunderstood the information that was given to us during the Pre-Contruction meeting, but that it was never even hinted that we would need the lot graded in the manner they were describing.  I found it almost unacceptable.  The image I had in my head dashed away.  It was quite emotional for me.

They explained again and I again assured them I understood what they were saying.  There was a suggestion made that a retaining wall could be built in order to level out the lot.  I said we would consider it but that had it's very own concerns like it being half way between the house and the property, essentially cutting the usable space in half.  It would be 5 feet at it highest point, which doesn't seem appealing to be half way between the house and property line.  Ug.

When it came down to deciding... and there was a LOT of debate.  Some of it quite heart wrenching.  We sided on the lessor of the 2 evils.  I'm still suffering a huge disappointment with the lot.  We have to re-plan and try to budget in a deck now I believe since the yard will have such a height difference from one side to the other, but I will revisit that with the PM.  We are adjusting to the new image and hopefully we'll soon be ok with it.  I'm looking forward to seeing the big popsicle sticks turning into a house, trying not to let the disappointment take away from my dream house.

10 comments:

  1. hope that the plan moving forward alleviates your lot concerns without creating many new ones.

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    1. Us too. I'm not sure how it's going to go

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  2. Did you guys talk about switching lots? Just curious...

    Deck sounds like a good solution. But I understand the added expense. Maybe you should ask them (RH) to pay for it?

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    1. We did briefly discuss it but only 2 lots remained, one was a walk out which meant that it would still have a slope that we do not want to manage and the other had no backyard at all. Still suffering disappointment.

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  3. I hear you. We are building in Palmer Village in Avon, and we had a choice of two lots remaining. We took the one that didn't have retention basins behind it (for safety and being worried about our kids).. We were too busy looking at the water basins and sunrise and sunset in considering the morning room that we didn't even look down to see the lot itself. When we signed, and looked at the lot we found ourselves in a very similar situation as you.

    We are practically the lowest part of the development. We have about 5 ft difference between the house and the corner of the lot. We were very worried about the house being too low and water flowing towards it. they explained to us over and over like they did with you, about grading all of that, but it just did not click.. I would say when they started digging we realized that they went down only 4 feet deep, so the basement will be mostly above ground and the lot will be back filled around the house. I think it will work out fine.. you can see the pictures of what I mean on our blog..

    But remember, you can always walk away and pick another lot. I have heard of people walking away or threatening to walk away to get issues resolved.. best of luck.

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    1. This sounds similar, but we were given the impression it would be graded flat and turns out it wont be. I don't want to walk away. I hope Ryan Homes makes it work for us. I've accepted that we're not going to have a flat lot now, we've had to move on to now how are we going to manage to afford the change to our dream. Thank you so much for your support!

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  4. Sorry that you were not given a clear representation of the lot up front :(

    We had to change lots due to a circumstance out of RH and our control. Anyway, the first lot INCLUDED a concrete driveway, and the second lot did not...but we did not find this out until we were literally signing on the dotted line for the new contract. So we had a new contract in hand and came back and asked them to split the cost of the concrete driveway - and they did! I would ask them to split the cost of the deck with you, that should be a similar price you were willing to pay for the patio.

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    1. That's an idea I hadn't considered. Maybe I will bring it up the the SR.

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