Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pre-Drywall Meeting and Inspection

Today we had our pre-drywall meeting with one of the PMs this morning, followed by an inspection from an independent home inspector, and everything is looking fantastic!

Why did we choose to do a pre-drywall inspection? In every community, the city and county do their own inspections as part of the permitting process, but your house is just one of fifteen on their list for the day, and they are not going over things with a fine tooth comb. In contrast, our inspector spent about two hours with us. J and I have very little construction knowledge, so having a qualified home inspector look at the house really gave us peace of mind.

We hired Greg Kemp (of Kemp Home Inspections), and we were super pleased - he was very thorough about looking in each room of the house. Not only did he highlight a few things to fix, I appreciated that he also took the time to mention things where Ryan Homes actually exceeded standards and building codes.

Overall, Greg was very positive about the home's construction. We don't have the official report yet, but here were a few things that he identified as areas of concern:

  • One of the sprinkler pipes (for fire safety) pokes into some of the HVAC ductwork in the garage, creating a problem for airflow.
  • The sprinkler pipes in the garage are fastened to the bottom of the joist, which poses a potential problem for keeping them well insulated. (Picture below.)
  • Electrical wiring in the master bedroom didn't have much slack along one span of wall.
  • Some minimal mold on one of the wood posts in the kitchen (could easily be sanded off).
  • One wall in the common entry area has an overhang of a few inches that doesn't fully rest on the foundation. Because our unit is technically a condo, this would actually be the condo board's responsibility, but it's good to know to see if it can be resolved. (Picture below.)
Some pictures from today's visit:

Brick on the exterior of the Matisse and Picasso units at Greenbelt Station.
They've bricked the entire side of the Matisse unit (first two floors) and are almost done bricking in the Picasso. The gap in the brick on the first floor is where the utility closet will go, which will be bricked over too.

Noritz tankless water heater, a free upgrade from Ryan Homes!
How's this for a crazy bonus: a tankless water heater!!! WHAT. According to Consumer Reports, gas tankless water heaters are "22 percent more energy efficient on average than the gas-fired storage-tank models."

This was one of the areas our home inspector was really impressed with, how the cuts in the joists (for the ductwork) have been reinforced for strength. This was one example (there were a few) where Ryan Homes actually exceeded standard building practices.

Fire safety sprinkler system in Ryan Homes Matisse and Picasso units.
The orange pipe is the sprinkler pipe for fire safety. See how it's fastened close to the bottom of the joist? That dropped ceiling area will be insulated, but it'll still be pretty close to the garage's air space, which will be unheated and pretty cold in the winter.

The area circled in red is where the wall isn't fully supported by the foundation, because there's an overhang.


  1. I'm sure that your PM will get everything fixed. Great job on hiring an inspector.

  2. It is coming along nicely. I am surprised about the tankless water heater. Are they making that a switch for all units now? The model has a traditional 80 gallon tank. Hopefully this helps lower electricity bill costs.

  3. Absolutely jealous about the tankless water heater. Very nice!! I am really liking the brick going on.

  4. Did your PM ever address the issue of the unsupported wall overhang? Ryan is building our townhome and we noticed that we have the same thing.