Friday, February 14, 2014

Pre-Construction Meeting

Even though foundation work started on Tuesday this week we didn't have our pre-construction meeting until this afternoon. The torch was passed so to speak from our sales representative to the project manager. Like everyone else we've met during this process the people we met today were very nice and very patient with all the questions we asked.

We've spent the past few weeks reading numerous Ryan Homes construction blogs, learning a great deal in the process, and came prepared today with a long list of questions. This what we asked with the answers received in italics. Your mileage may vary:

1. Will we be able to see inspection reports? These are available online through the county permit office.
2. Foundation - how deep is it? Was a concrete footer poured first? Depends on the frost line, water table, and other factors. A concrete footer was poured per building regulations and covered in straw (hence why we didn't see it) prior to a frost the night after it was done.
3. Will the cul-de-sac our lot sits on ever be opened if another neighborhood is built next to ours? The other rep said county regulation might require it. Future development around our neighborhood is impossible to predict and this could happen later.
4. Where are the outside spigots (house bibs) going to be located? On the left and right sides of the house roughly in the middle.
5. Where will the outlets be located? Per code, every six feet or so.
Will there be outlets in the bathrooms? (Seems odd but our current house doesn't have them and it's driven us nuts.) Yes 
Will there be an outlet on the center kitchen island? Yes
6. Will a termite treatment be done during construction? Yes and we will have the option of getting a contract with the pest control company or one of our choosing to do yearly follow up treatments after that.
7. Will the windows have screens? Yes
8. Where will the attic access be located? (We opted for a pull down stairway instead of the access panel.) In the third bedroom. 
9. Will there be a sump pump in the crawlspace? While some lots in our neighborhood will have them ours will almost certainly not need it. There will however be a French drain installed around the perimeter of the crawl space to drain away any moisture that gets in there.
10. Where is the inside air handler located? In the attic. It will have an overflow pan and an overflow shut off valve.
11. Do we need to buy a mailbox? The standard neighborhood model will be provided. 
12. How much flooring in the attic? Eight feet wide the length of the house. 
13. Will there be smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors in every room? (Noticed on the other Sienna we walked through) Per code smoke detectors will be in every room and one carbon monoxide detector for the house.
14. Is there going to be a light in the morning room? No, since we didn't opt for a fan rough-in in the ceiling. How is the lighting in each room? Since we opted for fan rough-ins in the living room and bedrooms we'll have to buy fans with lights. Dual switches (one for light and one for fan) will be wired in each room.
15. Is the garage partially finished? Drywall will be put up but it won't be sanded or painted.
16. Can we bring our own inspector come in before closing? Multiple inspectors from both the builder and outside will be done but we're welcome to get our own for peace of mind.
17. What are the standard outside lights? Front porch light, back door light, and a front pole light with a photo cell to turn on automatically at sunset are standard. 
18. Will there be a deadbolt on the door from the garage into the mudroom? No.
19. How does the large garage door lock? Metal slider latch. We also opted for a garage door opener rough-in and once we get one installed it will prevent it from being opened when the door is down.
20. Will the landscaping and sod be completed prior to closing? What sort of plants come with it? Weather permitting it will be done otherwise as soon as possible after closing. There will be a maple tree in the front yard along with basic box shrubs around the front. The lot will also be graded for proper drainage so that no standing water remains 48 hours after rainfall.
21. How is the subfloor attached? Is it just nails or glue/adhesive as well? (Less squeaking later with adhesive.) Adhesive will be used along with nails and screws. 
22. What companies are providing cable/phone/internet to the neighborhood? Comcast and Verizon FiOS have run lines. 
23. What are the dimensions of the lot so we can get estimates on the cost to build a fence. (With two dogs this is going to be a must.) We received a copy of the property survey with all dimensions. 
24. Where will the main water shut off be located? In the garage.
25. Best way to reach project manager with questions? Cell number and email was provided.

For further reading on this I'd suggest the following blog posts:

Along with the questions we also went over the floor plan for the house and where our extra outlets, ceiling fan rough-ins, and phone and cable jacks will be located. We also reviewed all the options selected, appliances, cabinetry, flooring, and pretty much everything else that will be on the house. Lastly we discussed a time line with pre-drywall walkthrough done in about four weeks with closing tentatively scheduled for the end of April barring weather delays. (Which are likely given how much rain and snow we've had so far this year.)

The neighborhood is only two miles from our current house and we pass by there at least once a day going to work and elsewhere. I expect at least for right now we'll be going by the lot pretty much every day to check on the progress being made.

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