A Personal New Construction Story: Part Three - The Pre-Construction Meeting
Where we left off - we had our design meetings mid-April, moved into our rental house the first part of May, and sold our house June 4. So it's full steam ahead! Now we're excitedly waiting for our new house to be completed, as patiently as we can (though we may be driving down there every few days to see the progress, like kids peeping under the Christmas tree).
We got a call from the builder's agent that we have foundation walls! Finally, visible evidence that our house is being built. We were very much excited prior to this point, but it's hard to have the full level of enthusiasm when week after week there's still just a plot of dirt to look at.
We had our pre-construction meeting with one of the superintendents. Often, builders do this just before the foundation is poured, but because of a few different factors (Covid-19, a death in the superintendent's family...) ours happened afterwards, which is fine. We had already approved of the plot plan showing the placement of the house on the lot well beforehand, so there were no surprises with the foundation placement.
The goal of this meeting is to go over all of the details to make sure that everyone is on the same page, and also to outline the next steps to manage expectations.
So, we went through ALL of our structural options again, ALL of our personalized design options again, and made sure that the list of all of those items matched what was on the builder's construction plans (you know, the big, giant papers that you see rolled up on construction sites), as well as on the electrical map, and the flooring map. The only real discrepancy that came up was the deck stairs on the builder plans is different from what we approved on the plot map, so instead of going off the side of the deck (like we wanted), they were going off the back of the deck (which would take up more of our backyard, that is already smaller than we'd like), so I made sure that we are all on the same page that they're going off the side of the deck.
The superintendent also went over what comes next, so I've made a handy dandy timeline to show what's been done already, and what's coming up:
The superintendent did say that they built some "fluff" into this timeline, and especially since they use subcontractors for most of the finish work, and those contractors have been less busy due to Covid-19, it could possibly be done faster (optimistically closing late July). BUT, in my experience builders always run behind schedule, so I'm not holding my breath, and realistically expect that we'll close sometime in September instead. We'll see though - I'd be thrilled if we were done in July! Currently they have our estimated closing date as August 24, so from foundation to closing we're looking at about 3 months or so.
It's important to note, every builder has a slightly different process and average completion time. Some builders take longer for each house, others have more or less walk through appointments - this is just what we've been told to expect with our specific builder in our specific subdivision.
We stopped by, and it's still just a foundation, but the foundation does have a floor now, and we have a driveway. We did hit a little snag, because after they poured the foundation they had to back-fill in a bunch of dirt around it, and the dummy who was operating the excavator accidentally smashed it into part of our foundation, so we had to wait for the engineers to examine the damage and come up with a plan to fix it properly. Luckily, it's just a little wall that juts off the back for the areaway (the stairs into the basement).
We have a first floor! We also have stairs leading downstairs (but not up, yet), and the structural walls in the basement are framed. The area where the foundation was damaged has officially been fixed.
We stopped by the model home to drop off the additional deposit for our design gallery selections, since the house we were selling had closed, and much to our surprise the second floor of our house is up already! Wow, that was quick! There were no stairs going up, but we climbed up the frame around our fireplace like monkeys because we were just too excited to walk around upstairs (for the record, that is highly frowned upon by the builder - it's not exactly safe). It was nice to finally walk around our space, and really visualize living there...where the furniture is going, what we will need to buy for the new house; you know, the fun stuff!
We also took the opportunity to be nosey, and peek through about 5 or 6 other homes on our street that are in various stages of being built. It was neat to see what other people are doing, and how the different floor plans look. I like that in our neighborhood so many people take walks down the street with their kids and their dogs, and they all wave as they go past. It feels like home. We also drove a new way out of the neighborhood and discovered a HUGE park just two streets over from us; a couple of playgrounds, picnic tables, some communal BBQ's, and a vast expanse of grass with a fantastic view of the lake. There's even a big hill that will be great for sledding in the winter. It's finally all feeling real.
The builder's agent says that framing should be completed by this weekend, and then plumbing and electrical will be roughed in, which takes about a week. She'll call me sometime next week to schedule our framing walk through.
Don't worry, I'm sure I'll go take more photos this weekend! And I'll definitely have a video tour for you at the framing walk through. Stay tuned!