Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ryan Homes vs S&A Homes

There are two builders in Cobblestone - Ryan Homes and S&A.  Since we spent a lot of time researching both builders, we thought it would be helpful to share the information we've discovered, create a comparison and explain how we made our decision to build with Ryan over S&A.  One thing to keep in mind is that each company has great marketing material but you have to make sure you compare apples to apples and ask questions of each builder to make sure you understand everything.  We approached this process being completely open minded and spent time with each builder in model homes, reviewing their building practices, the costs involved and we spent MANY hours researching things ranging from each builders basement waterproofing method to how far apart studs or joists are placed.  This post is a great starting point but this is a huge investment - take your time and ask the right questions, talk to folks building in Cobblestone or folks who have built there.  Even though there are a number of communities being built by  both builders, each community will have different folks managing the construction of your house and may also have completely different crews doing the building.  The people on your builders team in your community make a huge difference.  All of our concrete research told us to go with Ryan but so did the human interaction we've had.  We had a much better feeling with the sales reps at Ryan and the project manager that will oversee our house being built has many years of experience and we feel very comfortable with him and the entire Ryan team.  Now let's get into the details of what we found out about each builder and how we made the decision to build with Ryan...

Note: We're compiling this information now and reviewing our notes as we build this post so it will take us a few days to complete it fully.

Comparing each company

  • Ryan homes is a much larger builder than S&A homes, has been in business longer, has built more homes and builds in more states and regions.  
  • Both builders are concerned with energy efficiency (we'll provide more details below in its own section)
  • Since Ryan homes is a much larger builder, they appear to be more efficient when building (which equates to faster deliveries) and is also able to use their size to gain better material pricing which is then passed on to consumers.  Since Ryan builds so many houses each year (over 300,000 in the last 60 years according to their website), they are able to obtain volume pricing on nearly everything and they pass the savings on to us.
  • Both builders are open and encourage homeowners to play an active role in building them home.  This means showing up to scheduled meetings but also nearly any other time to inspect the work being done.  You can also bring your own independent home inspector to have another expert opinion on how the house is built.  I'm wondering if Mike Holmes is available for a Holmes Inspection?

Number of lots in Cobblestone for each builder

Energy efficiency

Standard features vs upgrades

Sales reps & Sales process

Online research

Comparing marketing collateral & their talking points

Disclaimer:  This blog is based upon conversations with both builders, independent research done online and is not affiliated with Ryan homes or S&A homes in any manner nor were we influenced by either builder and we have not been compensated in any way.  We are simply sharing the information that we gathered through the process.  If you feel anything is incorrect, please let us know asap.  


  1. hi again! i just commened on your other post and this one is great too! we saw that S&A and Ryan are both in cobblestone and wondered what the difference is. My hubby has heard of both ryan and s&a and told me S&A allows you to pick more things for your house than ryan does do you know if that's true?

  2. The S&A sales pitch is that if you want something they'll make it happen. From what we saw, they do work with you and have architects that will help modify things on your floor plan and they have a wide selection of color and materials for everything. I don't think you can make absolutely any customization you want, but they do have different suppliers from Ryan with some more options I believe. Time will tell as far as how many things you can pick and how flexible they are and our board & batten issue will be one that will be telling. I know Wes (our sales rep) is doing everything he can to get us what we're looking for but I think he's hitting some walls when it comes to corporate. This is definitely one thing I want to mention on the survey at the end but we'll see what happens!

  3. Hi there neighbor! We're building in Cobblestone too! Lot #403. What Lot # are you? We did our due diligence in regards to researching and felt most comfortable with RH too. Among other things, S&A just could not provide the same value as RH. And by watching the neighborhood take shape, they are slow as molasses when it comes to building homes. I must admit how much I love the Winterberry Craftsman elevation. Luckily, there is one across the street from me that I will get to admire.

    Congrats on building! And welcome to blogging! Looking forward to watching your progress!

  4. We finished our home last year.. and do yourself a HUGE favor and get an independent inspection. We STILL have a leaky basement after numerous service calls (and so do some of our neighbors), railings weren't secured, and other structural and safety issues. I'd love to get Mike Holmes in to tear the place apart.