Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Good and the Potentially Disappointing?

Pre-Construction Meeting
We met our PM, Kevin, today at our pre-construction meeting. The meeting took a little over an hour, and he explained everything on the blueprints to us. Some of the things I learned were good, others were potentially disappointing. However, our PM and SRs seemed willing to try and fix some of the potentially disappointing problems.

The Good
  • Our master bathroom window opens. We did pay for the highest upgraded bath (with the seat in the shower), so maybe it just comes with that layout. I have, however, seen on many blogs that others were surprised that their bathroom window didn't open and that their bathroom vent was in the room with the toilet. That was what I was expecting too, so I was happily surprised to find out that our window will open.
  • The linen closet upstairs (used to be where the water heater was located-- now tankless in garage) was unfinished on the blueprints (but was actually finished on the floorplan on-line), because it was never officially changed when Ryan went to Energy Star 3.0. Our PM made a note on our selections clarifying that we would have it finished with shelving. He said that they usually just finish it anyways, but it isn't a guarantee unless they write it in.
  • From changing from the Verona to the Naples our gas dryer hook-up must have disappeared from our list. I was so organized and meticulous about every little detail, and yet I let this slip past me. Our SRs were so wonderful and wrote it in as a change order with Ryan taking the charge for it. They could have just made us pay for it, since we technically signed all of the papers acknowledging we knew what we were getting, but they really stepped up to make sure we were happy. I'm very impressed.
  • I guess the closet under the stairs comes with vinyl, which is really strange since it wasn't even an option when we chose our flooring. In fact, the Rite Rug rep assumed it was hardwood too, because she marked it on the drawing as hardwood, and we never picked out a vinyl for that closet. We only realized it was vinyl when touring a Naples that was in the process of being built. When we asked about it, the SR thought it was strange too and looked into it. They put in a change order to make sure we would get hardwood under the stairs instead of vinyl.
  • We got to choose the locations of our house bibs. I just wanted to make sure that we would have a hose bib in the back behind the fence, so that we didn't have to throw a house over the fence every time we needed to water plants.
  • Our PM is installing a tube for future irrigation, etc. under our driveway. I've read about a lot of people asking for this in their blogs. It seems like it could be really useful in the future.
The Potentially Disappointing
  •  I was under the impression that we would get to choose the locations of our switched outlets. I guess this is not the case. Most of the outlets were in good locations, but there were 2 bedrooms where I wanted the switched outlets on a different wall. Our PM wasn't sure he could change the locations, because drawings had already been submitted to the county, but he is trying to make the changes happen. What we should have done was specify locations before we ever signed our contract so that the blue prints could have been changed right away. We thought that happened at the pre-construction meeting, but I guess we were wrong.
  • The location of the attic storage opening changes when you don't pay for the attic storage with the pull down latter. On our layout, the opening will be in the laundry room (instead of the bedroom), and because it is such a small room, there may not be enough space for a latter to fold down (if we install one in the future). I guess we'll have to wait and see when everything is finished, if a latter will fit in the space.
  • Again, because blue prints couldn't be changed, we couldn't get the flooring under the washer upstairs reinforced. I've read that some people have had problems with shaking, and reinforcing the floor joists can help, but our PM denied that request. I hope that if our washer does shake, it can be fixed with a $1 pool tube or those washer shake feet.
  • Many counties now require microwaves to be placed much higher off of a gas stove, because there have been issues with microwaves melting. We were told about this when we requested a gas stove, and our SRs showed us the alternative layout for the microwave (next to the hood) instead of above the stove. I was dreading this, but my husband was pretty attached to the gas. At our meeting today, our PM seemed to know nothing about it, so this could really go either way. He is checking to see if he can get the microwave installed above the stove. If he can, I will be so happy! If not, I'm disappointed, but no more so than I was a month ago.
Overall I was very pleased with the meeting and how helpful our PM and SRs were. I'm really hoping that some of those potentially disappointing problems will be fixed and I will have nothing but good news to report. Now I can't wait to sit back and watch the building happen.


  1. We had one huge disappointment at our preconstruction meeting but absolutely nothing could be done about it.
    We paid fora a "partial stone front" and made the mistake of assuming that partial stone on elevation A was the same as elevation C... we even asked our sales rep if our house would "look like that" and referred to the pictures on the front of the floor plan and she said yes, so we never thought to get it in writing.
    Low and behold at our precon meeting we find out that partial stone on elevation A in reality means just around the garage (elevation C has stone aroudn the garage and around the door all the way up to the roof!).
    Our sales rep didn't remember ever saying anything different and at that point it was too late to switch elevations and Ryan homes wouldn't allow up to change the facade of the house. We were really really disappointed, especially for how much we paid for a partial stone front, but our hands were tied.
    We've since accepted it and moved on, but if we ever build again we will be METICULOUS about getting everything in writing!

  2. I guess you have to take the good with the bad. I told my project manager that I wanted the perfect house and he told me that there is no such thing! I guess he's right, there's always going to be something. Try to focus on the good. I'm getting better as time goes by. I had found myself dwelling on the bad too much. If you happen to catch the electricians while they are there, you can probably get them to move those switched outlets.

  3. Sounds like the good outweighs the bad. Hopefully you have some luck on the outlets. If not, you may be able to work around it (extension cord) or have someone come in and change it later.

  4. This is the ladder that I was looking at for the attic access. It is smaller and should fit in that space. I purposefully had them move the attic access to the laundry room :-)