Thursday, January 26, 2012

We Have Dates!

Our pre-construction meeting has been set for February 22 and our dig date is tentatively February 29.  When we signed our original purchase agreement way back in August, our SR put February 29 as the delivery date.  So, apparently she has some psychic abilities and knew that something would happen with our house on the 29th of February!

Our tentative delivery date is May 11.  That does not seem like much time.  It's only a little over 10 weeks.  We'll see what our PM has to say at our pre-con.

Any advice for the pre-con meeting?  I plan to make a spreadsheet with our options, room-by-room, as I think I remember BD doing.  We have changed so many things that I want to ensure that nothing is missed.

After all of the hustling to get all of our paperwork in to NVR and Ryan, we now get to sit and wait until the end of next month.  I suppose I could get a head start on packing, but what fun would it be to have that done ahead of time? LOL!


  1. Congratulations! It will go by so fast once they get the roof on.

  2. Some suggestions for things we wish we had been asked about prior to building.

    1. If you have a double sink with one side smaller than the other - which side do you want the garbage disposal on.

    2. If you know ahead of time where you want the half-hot outlets (outlet controlled by the light switch), tell them up front. For the bedrooms, all of our half-hots are where the nightstands would be instead of where the dresser would be. Doesn't do me any good to have a light switch for the nightstand light, I want it where I can put a big lamp on a dresser.

    3. My husband is 6'5" and the shower head is too low for him. You would think the PMs would think about that, especially when we asked for comfort height toilets and comfort height (taller) bathroom vanities.

    4. If you plan to get ceiling fans with a remote, then only request light pre-wires instead of ceiling fan pre-wires. We now have extra switches that won't control anything. When a ceiling fan has a remote, it will only work with one switch instead of one switch for lights and one for fan. The remote controls all of that.

    5. Ask about changing paint color. Our neighborhood didn't allow it, but Sgt.Rich's did. Never hurts to ask.

    6. If you toured a model of your home and noticed things like two outlets on the island (one at each end), or some "upgrades", ask about them. The model for our home had two outlets on the island, but the blueprints don't call for it, so we could only get one. If we had known this was an issue, we would have paid for a second outlet.

    7. If you plan on getting Verizon FiOS, make sure there is an extra outlet near where the cable will enter the house. We just happen to have a plug put into the basement for our freezer and Verizon had to use that for the FiOS battery backup system. Luckily they also put a dedicated switch in the garage even though we only asked for a regular outlet, so now our large freezer will sit in the garage instead of the basement.

    That's all I can think of at the moment.

    1. Awesome ideas! I hadn't even considered the disposal. It seems kind of silly, but all of our house have had the disposal on the right and I think I'd go crazy if it was on the left.
      We went to the model this weekend and asked about the kitchen outlets. All the ones in the model were standard, so we were happy with that.
      Our paint upgrade is $2200 to pick one color throughout the house. I don't think we will spend that much painting the house (since we do it ourselves), so we're going to wait on that. As much as I like a painted wall, some of our current walls are still builder white (otherwise known to Sgt. Rich as asylum white) so it obviously doesn't bother us that much :)
      Thanks for all the great advice!

  3. Ha! Don't pack until you absolutely must. What fun would it be during the last two weeks if you were not in a flurry of packing and exhausting yourself? (Or maybe it's just me - we are two weeks away and have not packed much at all.

    They put these houses up fast - you will be surprised once the digging starts at how fast you have the whole house erected.

    1. The Verona will be our 6th house. However, most of our moves were company relos, so we had the moving company pack up our house. All of those moves were either prior to kids or only having one child. Now that there are 3 and we have been in this house over 8 years, I'm just looking around at all the stuff we have. Time for some major decluttering because I'm not packing up all this stuff!

  4. Pre-con if fun. You get to go through every single option and walk the lot with house staked out on it, so you can see how it will sit.

    The building process does go fast. Pray for good weather! Once it's framed and under roof, weather won't matter so much anymore.

    If you live close enough to visit the site with ease, I suggest doing so, for a few reason.
    1. How often in life do you get to see your own home be build
    2. Many of us have caught little mistakes here or there (although most of the time the PM did know about them, sometimes, they didn't). Easier to fix it all during framing than afterwards. =)

    I can't believe you guys signed back in Aug and are just now getting started. CRAZY! You have a lot of patience! Which, by the way, you will need. Seeing your dream being built can make it a bit hard some days to wait for it to be done. lol

    So happy for you! Congrats and GL!

    1. We really didn't have much choice but to be patient. We didn't want to end up with two mortgage payments. We hoped to have our house sell first, but it was either build now, or lose our pricing. So, we opted to start. We're hoping with spring coming that the house will sell and we'll not have to move twice. The house will actually be done for almost a month before we completely move in. We will be waiting until school is over, but it will give us the chance to move in slowly and get things unpacked before we're living there full time.

  5. oh where do I start!?
    First, congrats. It will in fact go pretty fast.
    I concur everything Gina said.
    - I would have paid for an outlet on both sides of the brainer.
    - Look at where your dryer goes. Will you be able to easily get behind there and hook up the vent? if not, see if you can get the exhaust higher on the wall.
    - Consider can lights in first floor. Very hard to come back and add those. I love the 4 can lights we added in the family room. Now my fan is just a fan, no light. (although like Gina said, a fan rough in gets you two switches when most have a remote now)
    - Get an extra outlet or two in garage. Just because.
    - Finished basement? If not, run yourself some low voltage boxes with smurf tube punching down to basement in the family room. This will allow you to run speaker wire under the floor and not along the wall.
    - Run a tube or two (i ran flexible smurf tube) from attic to basement. This allows me to run an attic antenna coax. Don't use an antenna? now you don't, but what if in the future?
    - See if your PM will work a deal with the concrete guy "on the side". I added two feet on BOTH sides of the driveway for $300. What a great improvement that I noticed immediately.

    I am sure I have more, but can't think of right now.

    1. Thanks to your blog, we were already planning to work something out with the driveway. It's going to be strange going from a 3 car garage with 3 car wide full driveway to a 2 car garage and driveway.
      We've already added more outlets in the garage since our current house has one and it's annoying!
      We'll be looking into the smurf tube as well. Thanks for all the great ideas!

  6. Thank you everyone for your great advice! If you think of anything else, please add it. I have learned so much from reading other's blogs and I hope to "pay it forward" as we go through the process.

  7. We added outlets in the garage and the basement - one on each wall, and it still wasn't enough! :) Check the half hots and the light switches to make sure they work. Think about the garage and outside lights - I don't know what the configuration is in the Verona, but I can't turn on the porch lights and outside garage lights from the front door. Don't be afraid to ask about any upgrade - the worst answer you can get is no!

  8. We added a dedicated outlet in the basement for our current stove and another dedicate outlet for our freezers.

    I also added an outlet in the master closet. I've seen the future of electronics and some of your components will not need to sit by the television. They will be tucked out of sight in a closet or the likes. Also, I might want a mini fridge in my closet. I could be nice to grab a cold drink or a little snack and not have to traipse downstairs to do it.

    I added a pot light in the big upstairs closet. I can think of other uses for that space than 'closet' so I got it wired.

    We made the large unfinished storage area in our basement into a bedroom with a closet and egress window.

    We added outlets above the cabinets and mantel.

    We discussed where we wanted everything in the utility area of the basement. We had our central vac canister, furnace, sump pump, humidifier, electric panel and guardian panel all put in one corner so we had more usable space. Believe it or not, the plans spread that stuff out all over the place.

    I agree with Sgt. Rich - go for the recessed lights. My main regret is not getting more lighting installed. I have the recessed lights in the kitchen and basement. If I had it to do over I would add them in all the way across the kitchen and family room, even switching the hanging light to recessed lights. I would also go ahead with them in the office, living room, and bedrooms.

    I put a recessed light in the alcove in the bonus room, too.

    I wanted an additional fan in the main area of the master bath. The one they install goes in the toilet room. I think it would have been a good idea to have one in the main area to use when the shower is running.

    This is your chance to let your PM know what is important to you.

  9. I'm surprised that your upstairs closet (known in our family as the timeout room (j/k!)) doesn't have a light. Ours does.
    Where did you put the outlets above the cabinets (cabinets, wall)?
    We're hoping to move the furnace back a bit to get it away from the wall where we may have our tv in the basement area, so I'm glad to hear you were able to move yours. I know another blogger (GinaK maybe?) who was unable to move hers to where she wanted.
    We thought about the light in the bonus room alcove, but I think we decided to go with a floor lamp over there and make it a reading area. Have to check with DH about that.
    Were you able to get another fan in the master bath? DH noticed that on our trip to the model this weekend.
    Thanks for all the great ideas!