So, things are moving so fast! I know many other bloggers mentioned that after the pre-construction meeting is set-up, the progress is ridiculously quick, but I didn't realize how true that was until now.
We were asked via email on Monday, August 25th to set up our Pre-construction Meeting with our Sales Rep and Project Manager that SAME week. Now, generally it is nearly impossible for us to be able to switch our schedules around with such short notice, but when I asked about pushing it to the following week that was quickly shot down by the SR. I'm sure I could have insisted on postponement, but I was able to get our schedules coordinated so that we could both be there on August 28th.
I came prepared with a list of Pre-Construction Meeting questions that I had seen on some of the famous Ryan Homes blogs out there (thank you bloggers!), and I also added my own personal questions - I included the list below with the answers.
All-in-all, the meeting went well. I will say that the PM did seem exhausted and relatively unaware of certain changes in our options from a structural standpoint. I definitely made note of this and plan to contact him weekly and be heavily involved in the process in case any major errors are implemented.
The meeting was set-up for late afternoon and it lasted approximately 2 hours. Our realtor joined us, as did the SR. We met in the model home morning room, which was very cool.
The first thing we did was review our lot plan (I will scan it in and post it later). It showed all of the surrounding easements, the distance between our neighboring lots, and the outline of our home within our property lines. I have to say, this was the MOST exciting part of the meeting. Everything suddenly seemed so real seeing that plot sketch. In fact, when we got home I couldn't stop starting at it. We did a lot of initialing and then the PM gave us a 20 minute overview of how the build process was going to go - answering the vast majority of the questions that I had outlined below. I really appreciated this. We initialed some more.
We then moved on to reviewing are blueprints. It's too bad we don't get to keep them because they are huge and amazing! We went through everything from the elevation to the basement details and caught just a few mistakes - the most major one being that they had the wrong Owner's Bath layout in our Master Bedroom. (UPDATE from prior post - we switched to the bath / shower combo!). There was also a discrepancy in window placement in the basement. The PM made notes of those changes directly onto the blueprints. We finished by going over all of our options / upgrades and flooring / guardian selections. I had memorized them and reviewed them again the night before the meeting, which is good because there were a few mistakes. In addition, we had to go through and identify which windows we wanted to have blinds. Thankfully, I had kept a floorplan with all of this outlined and they copied it from that.
After the meeting was over, the SR and realtor left and we hung out in the living room with the PM for a little while, just talking about our families and plans for the future. That was a wonderful end to the meeting.
TAKE HOME POINTS: What the SR tells you is not the final answer. The PM has the ability to move windows around, add or remove features, and give you small perks if you ask for them, depending on the personality of the PM. I am finding that each time my SR told us "no" or "Ryan homes NEVER allows that," I hear from a Sales Manager or Project Manager who tells us "sure - no problem." So, don't feel like you have to settle - just ask the people who are in charge of the actual building process - you won't get what you want unless you ask for it!
Pre-Construction Meeting Questions:
1. Will there be outlets on the stairways? No - outlets on staircases are not required
2. Where will the attic access be located (appears optional on the floorplan)? Attic door identified on blueprint - it will be a small panel door in the bonus room as well as a pull-down door in one of the secondary upstairs bedroom
3. Will there be French door opening to the upgraded owner’s bath (appears that way on the floorplan online)? Nope - normal door
4. What are the model numbers of the appliances that come with the home (dishwasher and oven)? We received a print-out with the specs of all of our selected appliances and the pictures of them (we had to initial this too)
5. Will the windows have screens? Yes
6. How big of a refrigerator will fit in the space in the kitchen? I actually didn't get around to asking this question. I'll revisit this in a month or so
7. Is the tub in the master bedroom jetted? No
8. Can we add pendent light rough ins? I didn't ask this because my husband and I decided that we may not really like to have the pendant lights in the kitchen - fear of over-accessorizing :-)
9. Can we rearrange closet shelving layout? PM initially said "no, not really" and then said "but ask me again when it's closer to the time to put them in and maybe I'll be in a good mood." Eh? Ok.....
10. Where will the window in the recreation room be? Clarified on the blueprints and found to be in the wrong place. He crossed it out and drew in a window in the correct place.
11. Will all of the bedrooms have locks on them? Stopped looking at my list and forgot to ask this - oops!
12. Where is the best place for the wet-bar rough-in in the basement? Against the wall where the wet bar is located in the model. This will allow for it to be as out of the way and unobtrusive as possible. It commits us to placing the wet bar along that particular wall, but we wouldn't want it be anywhere else.
1. Will there be a deadbolt in the door to the garage? Forgot to ask this question too. Oops, again!
2. Are there outlets in the garage or anywhere on the exterior? Forgot this one as well. What was the point of me bringing a list?
3. Will the garage be sheet-rocked? Yes
4. Where are the hose bibs located? In a logical place on the side of the house
5. What outdoor lights are standard? Can you upgrade the lights or add more? You can add more lights, but there is a flood light in the back included and that will be directed in the most logical direction. There are also front porch lights included.
6. Will the lawn be seeded or sodded? Will this be the same for both the front and back? Sod with bermuda grass in the front, sides, and back.
7. Will we have trees in the front? Yes - PM said he will make the front look appealing
8. Will there be sidewalks? No - there is a sidewalk in front of the houses across the street, but not along our side of the street. We do have a street light in front of our house.
9. How many steps will we likely have leading up to our front door? Are we guaranteed to have the full front porch railing? At least a few steps, similar to our neighboring house. The SR had told me a few weeks back that we would only get the full front porch railing if we had a minimum number of steps (I think the number was 3 or 4) however, the PM said that he didn't care about that and he would put one up for us regardless of the number of steps.
10. Do we have input on how the stairs from our deck are directed? Not really, but PM said he will make sure the steps are directed in the manner that makes the most sense and that will give us the largest usable back yard.
11. Will we have a concrete pad outside of our walkout basement? Nope
19. How and when can we visit the site? PM said to email him before we come and that he will meet us at the location. He said in the whole process, there are only about 6 days where we will not be allowed to visit because of safety. Other than that, he just asked that we email him beforehand.
20. What is the best way to reach you if we have questions? He gave us his email and cell #
21. Will you contact us via text / email when important new things are happening? Weekly updates? He advised that I shoot him a message each week and he will let us know what is planned for the week to see if it's something worthwhile coming for to take pictures / watch, etc.