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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pre-Construction Meeting

Update since our Pre-Construction Meeting:

Some good news....The SR was quick about contacting us within days of our meeting (she was actually out sick the day of the meeting so we had only had met with our PM. Note to others: best to have SR there if you discussed things during your selection process to be changed.)

RH granted us the approval to move our master bathroom vent out of the "water room". We also got approval to have the basement light that is currently at the entry ceiling walking down into the basement moved to the side wall as soon as you enter the basement.  

We still need to inquire with our SR about the shower glass company to have a frameless shower installed instead of the oil-bronze framed shower. I know many bloggers were able to do this for a bit more out of pocket. Any tips on how to go about this process would be appreciated. 

It's been a long time since we blogged but we really had nothing to write about since our close is scheduled for August and we just had our pre-construction meeting. Towards the end of this post we will outline our questions we asked so others can copy & print for their meetings. 

We, along with our realtor, met with our PM for the first time at this meeting. 

We'll be many people seem to rave about their PM with getting things they want, exceeding expectations on the communication end, etc. Well, we walked away feeling "blah" about our PM and the meeting.  

Let's begin with him not being prepared with all of our documents. We waited about 20 min. We wouldn't mind, but we had a relative watching our 2-yr old twins and she had commitments at a certain time. Then we discovered the PM had to leave at a certain time for his son. Towards the end we felt rushed. We didn't get through all our questions and when we asked if we could email him the remainder his response was, "Sure, but it may take awhile to get back to you". Not a good first impression. We also heard through talk in the community that he isn't quick to give Buyers updates. No weekly updates like we've been reading all throughout the blogs. And actually we've heard it can be weeks to hear from him & some have to contact him. If this is happening, we wonder why RH does not put two PMs in our community. There has been an influx in sales and, although I'm sure the PM is good at his job, only one person can handle so much at a time. This all being said, we are cautiously optimistic about working with our PM in the build process. 

All in all, the meeting was really just about going over all of our interior and exterior selections in greater detail. 

However, there were a few hiccups along the way. We asked for a few minor changes that we have seen other Buyers post about and receiving. The PM would not budge. These were:

1) The fan vent in the master bath is in the toilet room. The layout we picked has no window in the bathroom so how will all the moisture/condensation escape? We argued with him it makes no sense to have it in an enclosed space. Condensation film will always be on the mirrors. It'll take forever to vent out. He seemed to understand after awhile but made such a big deal about him never doing requests that risks his job. Come on!!! It's a freakin' air vent. And the location makes absolutely no sense. In the end we just said , "But you can ask, right?"  He said, "Yes".  We're doubting he'll ask and just come back saying its denied because he seems too busy for such a small request. 

2) Requested the glass manufacturer information so we could call to look into the gorgeous frameless shower it seems many Buyers are getting approval on & doing. Can someone please comment how you got approval & exact steps we need to take? Our PM was not going for it & said it would have to be after close. He never had any frameless shower installed at his home sites. We were trying to explain the Buyer calls the glass company and Buyer goes there to pick it out & pay out of pocket the remaining costs. Then the company installs it. He looked at us like we had 3 eyes. Never heard of this. Ughhhh. 

3) Requested a few of the switches in the Great Room be placed higher and the fireplace switch to be with the main switches. We have a 2-yr old twin boy who has a sensory disorder & he seeks out light switches and constantly turns them on & off. The Great Room light switches seem lower than usual to us and the fireplace is In between the fireplace and window. We fear our son will climb the window sill to turn on the fire place and the others he can reach and it'll literally be like a disco ball going off in the Great Room if it stays the way it does. He had absolutely no compassion for this request and stated its by code. putting it up a bit higher is breaking code? Ummm... Yeah. That was that. So we will have to look for light switch panel locks now. 

The only real good news out of the meeting was that we are supposed to break ground mid next week!!! Wow!!! But again, when we asked for him to contact us and tell us beforehand so we can try to be present to take pictures, he sort of made it sound like if he will remember to. So.... What do you all think about our PM? ;-)

List of our questions noted below. We didn't actually ask all of these but there are some we want our PM to get back to us on. 

Pre-Construction Questions

What inspections will be happening at each stage? Can we attend if they are scheduled?
Can we come by the weekend before the pre dry wall inspection to take pictures and take notes ahead of time?

Project Manager, do you have any vacations plans during our build that you will be unavailable?

What are your normal work hours?
Will you provide us weekly update as what’s being scheduled for the week and if we are behind and how much behind?


Can we get a copies of our property lines, floor plan, etc?
What is the length of our lot in the front, back, and sides?
Where will the houses next to our house be position at?
What is our back yard size?
What will be the grading of the backyard, can we adjust to make more flat?
Where if any will the electrical or cables boxes be on our lot?
Where is the Sewer line?
Where will the AC unit be located outside?
Where will the water meter and electoral meter be?
If water ponds in the yard (grass) will you fix this and up to how long after that grass is installed or closing date?
Is it a problem if we install a fence before the grass goes in?
What is the grading of the driveway and how long and wide will it be?
Will the Driveway be concrete or paved and when in the process of building is this done?


Will ALL the windows have screens?
What type of windows will be installed?
Are the subfloors nailed glued and or screwed? Is this everywhere?
Will the ceilings be textured or flat?
What paint will be on the walls? Can we pick color?
Is there a deadbolt on ALL exterior doors? (Basement, Front Door, etc.)
Will you change locks after closing?
Where is attic (garage and house attic) access? Can we move this? 
Where are the vents placed?
When do we point out the exact location of the cable outlets?
Do the windows keep sun rays from coming in? (i.e. tint or HE features?)
How will moisture and mold be prevented?
What will the interior doors looks like?
Where will the thermostat be placed?
Where are the hose bibs located? Are they inside or outside?
Do you guarantee the same quality as the model home?


Make sure TV placement is on fireplace. Can we change location? 
Where will recessed lights be placed?


What are the dimensions of the kitchen island and how will rough-in's for pendant lights be placed?
Can RH install pendant lights if we get them prior to closing?
Will we have pull out shelves in kitchen like the model?
What kind of door will be leading to basement (ie. Glass  door?)


Where are fans/vents located?
Where will the towel racks be placed? How many?
Will granite need to be sealed?
Do we get granite backsplash or is there a lip from counter? 
Can we do a frameless shower?


Is there insulation in the Laundry Room? If not, can we add it?
Will there be a light?
Does the floor of the laundry room have extra support?


How big will the windows be for the walk-out basement?
Confirm French door will be in the walk out basement? 
What lighting will be outside? Any in the back of the house?
How is basement protected from flooding?


Will there be a floor drain?
Is there a light that comes in the garage standard? Location?
Is the outlet in the garage on the ceiling and wall? 
Is there insulation in the wall between the garage and hallway as well as in garage?
Is the garage door insulated? 


What do the exterior lights look like? (was told they would be bronze)
Will they lay sod on any part of our lot or seed? 
Will sod be laid down before closing?
Will you be doing any landscaping? Is that HOA responsibility?
Can the lot be graded differently so we have more flat space?
How many feet from the street will the house sit?
Will there be stairs leading to the front door? How many?
When can we drive on the driveway?
Confirm that driveway is asphalt? 
When will the sidewalk be laid in front/side of our home? Or repaired if ruined?
Are there standard outlets on the exterior? Confirm additional outlets for exterior. 
Do we get to pick the style of front door?
Can the left over materials such as flooring (tile, carpet, wood, laminate) paint (wall, trim, front door), and siding be left in garage for us to have in case we need later?


Can the Fireplace Light switch be part of the main light switch and not next to fireplace?
Remove items if we are moving to cut cost down?