'We're done with this Ryland house'

'We're done with this Ryland house'


by BILL MCGINTY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc


Posted on June 3, 2013 at 11:50 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 4 at 9:03 AM

FORT MILL, S.C. -- Home video shows workers hauling off Cindy Bivens’ seventh refrigerator since January. It’s not a fridge problem, and it’s not a store problem, it’s an unknown electrical problem in the house that her builder, Ryland Homes, acknowledges. 

Shortly after the fridge went, the Bivens went too.

Cindy says, “We’ve moved out because this was primitive living.”
Cindy and the family packed up their house and moved into a rental, saying they don’t think their house is safe to live in after seven years of problems that are well documented by both the Bivens and Ryland homes. 
Back in April, Cindy told NBC Charlotte “the plumber was very surprised when he pulled off the commode and the floor and found it was just sitting on a box of sand, but it had supposedly been fixed four times in four years by Ryland homes.” 

Major plumbing issues in the downstairs bath, electrical malfunctions, counters and cabinets pulling away from the walls, cracks in the slab, and the torrents of water that cascaded down the backyard during rainstorms. So many problems that Cindy’s homeowners insurance notified her saying she’s being dropped until the “foundation has been stabilized”, and even then, they’ll only  “consider continuing the coverage”. 

Cindy says, “We’re still seeing new damage here daily.”
Ryland sent out of team of their own experts to look at the foundation to see if the problems being reported are because the slab shifted. But in their report, Ryland concluded that “the soils below the footing and the foundation are stable.” 
However,a different report done by the Bivens’ insurance company says all the cracks and separations in the house are “the result of long-term differential movement of the foundation and the soils under the residence.”
“I believe the insurance company report because I lived here and I watched this damage occur,” says Cindy.
Ryland homes told NBC Charlotte that they will “continue to investigate all the outstanding issues and respond accordingly.”
Ryland also offered to reimburse the Bivens the $1,700 they spent to fix years worth of problems in that downstairs bathroom. 
As for why the fridges keep shorting out? No one seems to know, but Ryland says they’ll keep looking in to that problem, too.
Ryland homes also told NBC Charlotte they couldn’t comment on the two conflicting engineering studies because they haven’t seen the one from the Bivens’ insurance company. The family has now hired an attorney.