Monday, July 28, 2014

Pre-Construction Meeting. Done.

So, thank goodness I sent the SA and PM my list of questions before the meeting, or else we would still be there 4 hours after the fact.  They had answered almost all of the questions before we got there.  That was a good thing.  We were still there almost 2 hours :-)
I met my PM today, but that's about all I did with him.  He was not present for the actual meeting.  His assistant was there in his place.  Don't know how I feel about that.  Time will tell if this turns into an issue.
All in all, it was very productive.  Below is a list of the questions and some of the answers I got today.  I hope they will be helpful to someone.  No pics today.  Nothing really exciting happening on the lot.  We are set to break ground the week of August 11th.

Living Room
How many outlets? One must be at no farther than 6 feet from the entry to a room on both sides- 6 total for living room

Dimensions of windows of room? Must take exact measurements in 6 different places for blinds, but standard is suppose to be 3’x5.5’ for all windows in the house

Family Room
  • ·      How many outlets? Same rule applies as above
  • ·      Switch for ceiling fan- can we request it be put to the left as soon as you enter the room- It will be.
  • ·      Dimensions of windows in this room.- Same as other rooms
  • ·      Floor vents- Can we request placement? No.  Floors and walls come with vent cut-outs already cut.  Also, cannot change any duct work- cannot deter from plan/blueprint.
  • ·      How many outlets? Same rule applies as above.
  • ·      Thermostat placement- can we pick? No, because the thermostat is placed in a very centralized location in the house in order to keep house at a temperate level (you wouldn’t want it in the attic or basement).  However, it will be placed in the place where I would have requested anyway (on the wall to the right as you enter the kitchen from the foyer.

  • ·      Island- how many outlets?  Can the outlet be put on the side closer to the stove? One outlet unless we wanted to add another for $125- we didn’t. And we could not get the one provided moved to the side of the island closer to the stove, so it will stay where it is.
  • ·      Extra outlet in cabinet (paid for- for underneath cabinet lighting)- paid for and discussed putting it in the cabinet closest to the wall near the mudroom.
  • ·      Can I pick location for master switch (lights)- no, but is in the place where I wanted anyway- as you enter the room.
  • ·      Can I pick my own granite slab?- No L.  BUT I was reassured that since I did upgrade my granite to level 2 that the color(s) would be very close to the sample in the showroom.  It was explained to me that the higher the level of granite, the fewer variations on color there are.  I hope that makes sense, and I hope I am happy when all is said and done J
  • ·      No granite backsplash!!- none will be put up, but if it is accidently, they will take down and clean up wall.
  • ·      Is there a vent for the stove? Yes, and it vents outside.  It might seem like a strange question but in our apartment, it does not vent to outside.  I was told that as of 2013, all must vent outside.
  • ·      Pantry- shown in the online version of floor plan- can this be a special request if not included (make it look like the linen closet on the second floor).  I can live without the shelving. Please make this happen!- No L
  • ·      Does granite need to be treated/sealed?- Yes, it will be explained to us fully during pre-settlement walk-through.
  • ·      Height of the counter/island (for stools)- 3ft
  • ·      Height of counter in morning room (for stools)- 3.5ft
  • ·      What type of sink?  Gauge?  Single/double?  Double
  • ·      Faucet- shown to me

Powder Room
·      Please do not hang towel rack or toilet paper holder.  Just provide.- I said to forget this because they said it might not pass inspection.  Then I thought, if it doesn’t pass, then they would have to come back, hang them, and wait for a re-inspection.  Too many variables here that may cause a delay in closing, so I said forget it.

Morning Room
  • ·      Can I pick switch location for lighting?- I meant lighting switch. No, but it is in a place where I would have picked.
  • ·      Will any rooms where we roughed-in for ceiling fans have lighting until we can get the fans installed (will there be the standard lighting included with the home)- no lighting will be provided.  We will have to use lamps until we get the ceiling fans installed.
  • ·      Can door be placed on the side facing the street, not the neighbor- already is per plan.

Mud Room (walk through)
  • ·      Is this hardwood?- yes
  • ·      Can switch for garage lighting be located here (or move it to right outside the door of mudroom)?- located just outside the mudroom/garage entry door.

Master Bedroom
  • ·      Can I make a special request and have the two supplied shelves moved to one side of the closet, making two levels of shelves, leaving the other wall bare?- done, no problem.
  • ·      Will closet have lighting?- yes
  • ·      Vent placement- can we have a say-so in this?- no, see previous explanation
  • ·      Outlet placement- see previous explanation
  • ·      Make sure room is wired correctly for cable- will be taken care of during pre-drywall meeting.

Master Bathroom
·      Can I get any leftover tile, flooring, etc.?- yes
·      Shower- discuss option of leaving the frame out if possible- still looking into this.
·      Shower door- swinging door?- forgot to get an answer to this.
·      Where does ventilation go?- outside
·      No towel racks or toilet paper holders installed- just provide please- see previous explanation
·      No soap dish in shower- taken care of

  • ·      Vent placement- why above doors?- per factory pre-cuts
  • ·      How many vents?-forgot to get answer
  • ·      Make sure the one bedroom is wired for cable.- taken care of during pre-drywall meeting

  • ·      How is basement protected from flooding?- a process was explained to me, but I started glazing over at this point.  I just know that it is very well protected utilizing, drains, grading, rock and some other materials
  • ·      In the storage area, can all of the utility mechanisms be grouped together in case we want to finish this portion of the basement off at a later date? Yup.
  • ·      Can Electric panel be placed in the unfinished portion of the basement? Already per plan
  • ·      Closet under the stairs? As seen in model home.- $695 option. No thank you J
  • ·      Can one of the light switches be placed at the top of the stairs?  Is there stairway lighting? Yes and yes.
  • ·      Is there an egress window in the storage area of basement? Not an egress window, but a small, sliver of a window.
  • ·      Will egress windows be in the way of any future patio or deck? Shouldn’t be.  Depends on size of deck or patio.  We would never get a huge one anyway.

General Questions
  • ·      Left over flooring, tile, paint, etc.- can we keep?-yes
  • ·      Insulation around water pipes.  We do not want to hear running water throughout the house.  Do you provide soundproof insulation?  If not, can we provide? They do not do this. Assured that this was not necessary.  We’ll see…
  • ·      Make sure there is an outlet for the garage opener in the ceiling- yes there is
  • ·      Bib locations- chose the three locations for the bibs (2 included, 1 we paid for)
  • ·      Thermostat (s)- how many?  Can we select wall placement?-1 thermostat and will be placed on a wall in the kitchen next to the family room.  This is where I wanted it anyway.
  • ·      Can we move the hose bib OUT of the garage? Yes. Done.
  • ·      Outdoor outlets-how many? One outside of every door and on each side of house.
  • ·      Outdoor lighting- how many, what kind?- 3 total and shown to us in the lighting book- basic package.  Happy with them.
  • ·      Lawn- seeded or sod? sod
  • ·      Smooth ceilings? yes
  • ·      Height of rough-in for morning room? Will find out
  • ·      Please put extra floor supports in high traffic areas.- they already do this
  • ·      Adhesive and nails in subfloors (nailed to joists?) What type of nails (ring shank?)- want to eliminate future squeaky floors- adhesive and ring shanks used.  They check for squeaks in sub-flooring before they lay tile/carpet/hardwoods.  Some minimal squeaking or cricks will occur with hardwoods anyway.
  • ·      Are windows screened? yes
  • ·      What type of light fixtures? Basic package- brushed nickel
  • ·      Lot grading- need to know about any issues- need to discuss fully, don’t want any surprises.- Flat lot.  Bad soil though.  Mostly clay.  I guess I’ll have to garden in raised beds like in Texas.
  • ·      Rock removal- yes they will do this before they lay sod
  • ·      Can I pick foliage? No
  • ·      Camouflaging the utility stuff in the yard- oddly enough, they do not do this.  Hubby does not want to because of leeriness of working around anything electrical, even though the asst. PM said that digging a foot down would not hurt.
  • ·      Property lines- fully explained.  Will show the plot plans tomorrow in my next post.  Hubby left the plans in the car and I do not feel like descending and ascending  51 steps tonight.
  • ·      Total square footage of home with finished basement and morning room- will look into this.  I assume we are probably close to about 2900sqft?
  • ·      What inspections will happen at what stages?- explained.  Again, I began to glaze over, but there are 3 I believe.
  • ·      Placement of home on the lot- we want to maximize our yard in back of the house- house is placed where we will have about 1200 sqft of backyard, and plenty of side yard.  I am happy J
  • ·      Length of driveway?  Can we get it slightly wider? House placement is perfect, per plan!  Yay!! Was really nervous about this.  Driveway cannot be widened, however.
  • ·      Will some outlets have switches (meaning, if a lamp is plugged in, could I turn off/on with the switch on the wall?) Yes. I guess I should have just asked if they were on a circuit with a switch?  Not familiar with all the technical terms.
  • ·      Pipes/hot water heater insulted?- No to both, but the water heater has some sort of attachment that allows for expanding of hot water.  Again, glazed over during this part too.
  • ·      How big is the water heater- asst. PM says 80. Saleslady said 40.  Either way, that’s plenty for 2 people in a 2400+ sqft home.
  • ·      Tonnage of the AC?  Is it enough for the entire house? They recently had a problem with installing units too small for the homes.  They have since replaced all affected units in the subdivision.  They will be sure to make sure ours is appropriate.
  • ·      Warranty info on water heater, AC, garbage disposal, all appliances, roof (is this information in the binder already given to us?)- Check binder.  Will go over again at pre-settlement.  Quickly reviewed this today.
  • ·      Location of AC unit, water meter, gas meter- fully explained
  • ·      Floodlights?- an option we chose not to get.  Will be installing these ourselves.
  • ·      When will we get updates?- we will not get regular updates.  PM’s and assistants are too busy.  We can reach out to them whenever we want and they will respond with a call, email, text… whatever we like.
  • ·      Can we review all optional upgrades (for everyone’s peace of mind)- done.  I have peace of mind J.  So does everyone else J
  • ·      Can we review cable/outlet placement?- doing this at pre-drywall meeting
  • ·      Review distances from each house around us- 11 feet on one side (our house to our property line, not including the neighbors yard) and 37.5 feet in the back of the house and on the other side of the house in 20 feet to the street (no neighbors, on this side because we are on a corner lot).
  • ·      What will our address be? Don’t know yet
  • ·      Can we get an outlet in the back of the house close to the sliding door (for use with future deck/patio)-yes
  • ·      Any attic access?  If so, could it be in the laundry room, as opposed to one of the bedrooms or hallway?- already in laundry room per plan
  • ·      In all bedrooms- can we get a switch to control outlets for lamps in addition to the overhead light switch? yes
  • ·      Outlets in storage area? One
  • ·      Paint color on walls? Didn’t get answer to this.  Forgot.


  1. Great questions! Our meeting is on Wednesday, we might borrow a few of these questions from your list!

    1. Good luck with your meeting today! Isn't all so exciting!?!

  2. We also had a lot of questions and most where answered with no..

    I want to warn you on one point..
    "Can I pick my own granite slab?"

    If we could do this over again, we would get the cheapest kitchen counter top possible and replace it later with granite. Since you do not get to choose, they can provide you with a piece of crap.. We freaked when we first saw the piece they had installed and they were not thrilled with replacing it. The 2nd one was better but we were never happy with it.

    1. Thanks for the heads-up Duncan. We received a free upgrade to granite level 1 with our home, but I didn't care for any of the choices. I really didn't care for any of the levels they offered, but the Giallo Napoleon was the better of the bunch. If I'm not happy with what I am given, I would like to hope that they would rectify the situation. Key word there is hope.... we'll see.