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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Williamsburg, VA
    Posts
    386
    I'm in the process of having a new home built by Ryan Homes. Unfortunately, I have very little control on the equipment they're installing, which happens to be a dual zone Janitrol gas heating and A/C system. I would have preferred Trane (my favorite HVAC brand), but according to Ryan they simply can't make that change.

    Anyway, I'd like to add an Aprilaire whole house humidifier, Honeywell Air Cleaner, Honeywell programable HVAC controls, and run ducts into the unfinished attic for future expansion purposes.

    Since I don't actually own the house yet, is it considered unethical to contact the HVAC subcontractor and try to arrange this prior to closing? My primary reason for doing this is that I believe some of these items would be easier to install while the house is under construction—especially the duct work.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    23
    WoW-brings back memories-
    Its odd they don't have options for upgrades....
    I had my first house built- and was drawn to Ryan Homes and liked their model...but faced the same thing-ya get what ya get in the cookie cutter plan...
    ok--well-- cya...went elsewhere... over some very minor changes...
    ask them for direct access to the contractor...no harm in asking....
    Hadto watch the builder daily anyway....sometimes if the sub wants the followup work-he can make the later added provisions easier....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    I'd get a diffrent builder if they don't let you get what you want.

    My parents almost did that, and the builder let them get what they want. Mom said it's "MY house, NOT your house, and you are building it for ME, not YOU!" I love seeing that guys face when she said that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    23
    OOOpppps....forgot to mention part of my initial reply...
    its best to read the fine print prior to signing the papers...
    I did...and they lost the sale...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,418
    Probably best to do all that after you're in the house. Most builders and their subs gouge when you add items or upgrade from their standard equipment.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Williamsburg, VA
    Posts
    386
    No, I'd be working with the subcontractor directly, not through the builder.

    It's kinda like our lot. Ryan would only clear 25' of trees around the perimeter of the home on a 1/2 acre lot. I was able to get their subcontractor to clear additional trees as a completely separate arrangement, which was not through Ryan at all.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold.calm
    Posts
    4,875
    The builder is working for you.

    Talk with the sub and also with others. Check on jobs they’ve done recently. The extra $ spent now may save you in the long run.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Williamsburg, VA
    Posts
    386
    BTW, is there a problem with Janitrol?

    I asked the HVAC subcontractor supervisor on site and he said it was "builder grade" equipment that's made by Goodman. In fact, he jokingly said if I wanted a Goodman he could easily arrange it since the unit comes packaged with a Goodman label as well.

    Although I'm not an HVAC specialist, they seem to be doing a pretty good job installing the equipment. I'll let you decide. BTW, this is the model home, not our house.

    Second floor unit:

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Williamsburg, VA
    Posts
    386
    Originally posted by pecmsg
    The builder is working for you.
    Oh, by the way, keep in mind that Ryan is a track home builder. Although they've been very accomodating, the reason they don't want to make a lot of visible modifications is because if another customer sees something special that i requested, they may want it as well.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    17,031
    While many builders offer upgrades and choices, it is more economical for them to use similar equipement from house to house, both for purchasing discounts and familiarity with installation for the crews.

    The decision to make equipment choices available to home buyers is made by the builder, so yes, always read the fine print, or, better yet, work with a good real estate agent. Skipping the agent will save you no money, and having one will be a great benefit, and the agent is paid by the builder. That's a win-win.

    The last Janitrol I saw was in the nose of a Piper Navajo. It ran on 100LL avgas. I wasn't aware they made home units.

    I learn something new every day.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Williamsburg, VA
    Posts
    386
    Originally posted by timebuilder Skipping the agent will save you no money, and having one will be a great benefit, and the agent is paid by the builder. That's a win-win.[/B]
    Actually, because I wasn't working with an agent, Ryan was able to give me a $7,500 discount on the lot I wanted after I said I couldn't afford the lot premium. Whether they would have done this anyway is unknown.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    17,031
    Well, I know.

    The agent could get you the $7,500 and still get paid whatever Ryan is offering to cooperating brokers. In fact, because they will see the agent again before they will see you again, they will often do more when an agent is involved. Why? Because, that agent, if they are happy and satisfied that the builder treated their clients well, is more likely to bring more homebuyers to the build site. The builders love to make sure agents and their clients are happy.

    Sure, some builders may say tell a buyer "because you don't have an agent, blah, blah, blah," but Ryan builds in my area, and the last thing they are going to do is let agents get the idea that they are giving discounts for buyers who are not being represented. If they did, no agent would ever show a Ryan home again. And yes, the word would get out.

    Most builders like Pulte, Ryan, THP, Heritage, Toll, etc, rely on agents to sell half of their homes or more. They are not about to kill the goose that keeps them in eggs.

    Happy agents, happy homeowners. Good business.

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