Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pre-Construction Meeting

So I have some ridiculous organizational tendencies (borderline, if not, OCD) and I've been perusing dozens of Ryan Homes blogs over the past few days and compiling a list of questions that I could potentially address at our pre-construction meeting. When I finished... I had a nice one-page summary of all of our options (standard and non-standard) that I would like to review and make sure are a part of our build plan... but then an additional seven full pages of questions about the house, inside and out.

I think that's probably a bit overkill though, so I decided to focus on making sure we confirm our selections are correct, and narrow it down to any of the "critical" things that we would like to know.

1. Can we extend our driveway on both sides to the edge of the garage (since we have a side-entry)
2. Can we extend our patio across the entire back of the house
3. Can we mount the mantel lower since we are mounting our TV above
4. Will we need a dehumidifier in the basement
5. How will the lights be in the "storage" areas of basement
6. Will there be exhaust fan / light rough-ins in the basement bathroom (rough-in)
7. Can the laundry room have a dedicated run to the water heater to avoid conflict with showers
8. What are the model numbers of the included appliances (and can we leave those boxed, in the garage)


  1. Wow, that is quite a list. I had a huge list too and found that they answer most of these questions and then unless you have heard yes alot from your SR then you will probably be denied most of your requests, but it never hurts to ask. I would wait and see what they address, if you hit them with this list before hand it will take the fun out of the meeting and it defeats the purpose. I would create a list of must haves and if they don't address those then ask them toward the end of the meeting. Plan on at least 2 hours but I have heard 2-3 is pretty typical. If your PM is good at what he does than you won't have to ask most of those questions. Plus some of them are listed on the community sheet of included features, like the landscaping and exterior features(like your garage door windows). Good luck, have fun and I would focus on double checking what you have paid for, room additions, cabinets choices, stone etc to make sure those are correct as well as any little changes you want to make to outlets and such.

    1. That's what I read. I figure, none of the questions are really earth-shattering or way out in left field, so I figure he'll probably cover most of them in some way or another.

      I just figured it would be good to at least have put down in writing some of the things that I was thinking of and the things that I wanted to verify, so if we don't cover them, I have something I can glance through to job my memory.

      I know that we were told we get the "enhanced" landscaping package, but there are no homes built in our community yet, so I'm not really sure what is included there. I'd just like to know what is typical, and go from there.

      I'm just hoping that we have one of those PMs that is really easy to work with and doesn't necessarily do everything "by the books". Our SR told us when we were walking through the model that if we have things (like light fixtures) that we want to be put in while they're there, we should just be able to leave them out and they will "unofficially" mount them for us.

  2. If it was us who asked many of the items you listed, we would have been told these are changes you should have requested by the 30 day mark..

    I like # 1, I wish we asked for that (we did a massive driveway, but forgot about the garage edges).

    #8.. Your SR will have a folder containing pages for all the appliances and model numbers for every package, with pictures and features and all, we got that one very early on in the process..

    1. Fortunately we've already talked about most of these things (extending the driveway and the patio) and we were told to just talk to the PM when we build, so I'm hoping that those things are good to go.

      As for the mantel, I just thought of that and hope that that isn't a huge change (it's not like we're adding or changing it... just where it gets mounted).

      I figured that the SR will have the info on the appliances, but since we're buying our own, I never cared until this point. Now that we're going to be starting the build, I'm going to have to figure what it is that we need to sell.

  3. I sent my list to the sr and pm a week before my preconstruction with a note that I expected answers to all of the question not "I'll find out for you" some might think it takes the fun out if the meeting but I want answers not drama.
    There wasn't a fan rough or water toughs in the basement bath, just drains in the floor. We had them rough the vent so I didn't have to drill the stonework on the front if the house and we could have a legal bathroom. (Many areas won't count bathrooms without exaust fans or basement sq ft without egress windows in appraisals/legal rooms)

    1. We didn't send our questions to our SR/PM ahead of time, but I did have an original list that was quite lengthy. I narrowed it down to those eight after I received a concerned call from our SR who had been warned by the RH online team that we might have a lot of questions for him.

      Needless to say, the wife was a bit embarrassed. She prefers to go by quietly/unnoticed when it comes to interacting with RH (perhaps a good thing, perhaps not?) But in the end, they did end up covering a lot of the things that had been on our list anyway. It wasn't so much that I had a bunch of things that needed to be covered, I just wanted to make sure that I fully understood everything.

      As for the fan rough-ins, they just kinda told me that "it's next to an unfinished part of the basement, so you would just have to run it to the exterior of the house through there". Part of me was like, seriously, I'm paying $1000 and you can't run my vent for me? But I figure, if we ever do end up putting in / finishing the bathroom, we can vent through the side of the house and not have to worry aoubt the stone.

      I agree though - in our area the bathroom is not counted without the exhaust fan, and with a shower, I don't think it's up to code. That was why I thought that the vent should be included in the price - it's not really functional without it. We also have the requirement for egress windows (and they were included in the base price of our house).