Our Tips & Questions to Ask

General Suggestions/Recommendations
  1. ASK!  Ask every single question you have.
  2. Ask again.  Sometimes the first answer is just to deter you.
  3. Never assume you know something that's not in writing- ask.  Likely you're wrong.
  4. Get as much of your requests and discussions in writing as possible.  This not only saves you from remembering but also lets you go back and check things after you've left the safety of your SR's arms.  It's not offensive to ask your SR to send you an e-mail summary or to advise them you're sending them an e-mail outlining your conversation.  It's for their benefit as well!
  5. Follow blogs of fellow builders.  This will give you a better idea of the process and timeline than the information given to you.  Every build is different, but at least you will be aware of the possible delays as well as be given other hints and tips along the way.
  6. Go with your gut.  Don't second guess yourself about a decision you've made as long as you've made it after doing your research and having thorough discussions with your significant others.
  7. Get the model numbers of every item in the home to research early on.  This gives you time to research to make sure those items meet your satisfaction.  This will allow you to request a change early on in the process or prepare you for you having to change it DIY After Close.
  8. Go to the U.S. Post Office and pick up many address change forms.  There are valuable coupons in it to save you $$$.  You can also do it online: https://moversguide.usps.com/
  9. It's OK to stalk your future neighborhood as long as you are reasonable and considerate.
  10. Check the area for hard water and pay for the Water Softner Rough-In if you need it.  This is an extremely difficult DIY After Close and you're much better off getting it done during the build.
  11. Look up your soon to be home on the county's building and permit website to keep track of each stage and approval status.  Visit your local Building & Zoning website like I did.

Helpful Links
  1.  New Home Guides $50 & $200 Gift Cards

Pre-Construction Meeting Questions & Notes

General:
Pre-Construction paperwork updates with correct information/updated selections

Scheduling?  I would like to know step by step of the process.
  • How long will it take to build the house?  Approximately 70 days.  Ground Breaking approximately May 21 - 23.  Walk-Through approximately Aug 6 - 8.
  • What inspections will happen at each stage?  Many inspections.  Examples: Footer inspection, framing inspection, electrical, HVAC, Gas Line, Sump Pump Line.  Energy Efficiency (2 inspections)  REVISIT for full list/timeline.

Visitation?  I’d like to visit each day there is activity.
  • Set Expectations for Updates, Pre-drywall Walk-thru Meeting/scheduling, Home Orientation, Estimated Completion date, Visiting Home, Safety, Construction Schedule, Weather Construction delays, Customer Service Ratings/Reviews, Energy Star 3.0 Certification, Certificate of Occupation from City  Updates are every Friday.  Will contact for other items as needed.  REVISIT for full list for requested updates to provide PM.

Blueprints?  Can we have a copy for keepsake/future reference?
  • What is the total square footage of the home?

Furnace/HWH/Air Conditioner/Sump Pump/Gas Line and meter/Water Line and meter/Hose Bibs Locations, information and model numbers.  REVISIT for SR

Electrical panel locations, contents.  REVISIT for site location near time

Leave touch up paint and extra materials?

Leave large boxes in garage for movin safety for floors?  Roll of cardboard overlay is left for us to use

Ceilings smooth or textured?  We want knockdown.  Can we pay for this difference or talk to the contractor?  Knock down ceiling texture - if not don’t texture, we’ll DIY VERY IMPORTANT  No.  Textured.  Not happy.  REVISIT for TYPE
BLOCKING the in the walls next to or in front of for a rails/towel bars in bathrooms/stairwells.  Yes.  REVISIT for location near time.

Outlet voltage/locations.  REVISIT for location near time.

Closet/pantry shelving - type/location/can it be moved? All.   Yes.  REVISIT for location near time.

Window Information.

Review Guardian locations.  REVISIT for location near time.

Is the drywall tacked or screwed into the studs?  Why?  Can it be both?  BOTH

How is the subfloor attached?  Glue?  Nails?  Screws?  ALL.

Review all window locations and sizes.  REVISIT for SR information

Review all Light Fixtures.  REVISIT for location near time.

Lot:
Lot Grade  REVISIT for Lot, Grade, Drainage
  • Right of Way, Easement, Setbacks, Utilities, Driveway, Storm Water Management, Swales, Yard Drains, Clearing, Final Grading
  • Is there Topographical Survey Review?
  • What will our lot grading be?  What are the benefits - can this be changed?  REVISIT!!! NOT HAPPY!
  • What do you mean “dropping the garage”?
  • Where will the extra steps be because of the raise in foundation?
    • Expand width of stairs

What is the lot size?  REVISIT APEX document for information.

Where exactly are our property lines?  Currently staked.  REVISIT APEX document for information.

Sod/Hay - End of summer timing?  What is warranty?  What if it doesn't grow?  Shown on APEX.  Sod - Street to front of house.  Hay and seed all disturbed from sod line to green space.  Super Seed is used - 70% Germination rate.

2 Trees.  I can select location.  REVISIT for TYPE and site location near time

Hose Bibs location.  Right front.  Left back.

Can we have brick molded foundation?  No.

Foundation exterior paint match siding?


Where are the flooring breaks between rooms?  None, solid hardwood entire main floor.

What sort of programmable thermostat will we have?  Tempstar.  REVISIT for SR model/information

Can all the handrails match the stain of the hardwood floors?  No  Black Cherry.

Garage:
Is the garage door insulated?  Yes

Are all the garage walls insulated?  Only the walls adjoining house.

Rough in for garage door opener, can they install? Switch?

Can you paint the exterior portion of the garage house door raisan as well?  Yes.

Basement:
There are future plans to add a wet bar kitchenette.  Do you see this being an issue or is there anything that can be done in preparation this late in the process?  Yes.
  • Future plans to make a kitchenette in the basement on the opposite wall of bathroom.  Yes.

Very near future plans to finish most of the remaining basement storage.  Can the laundry be placed in such a way to not cause a problem with this?  No.
  • Future plans to make a bedroom or exercise room in the unfinished portion

Additional light near laundry.  There are 2 lights in the unfinished portion.  One centered under the morning room.  One centered in the remaining area.

Raise dryer vent with vent cubby on both locations?  Why?  REVISIT for location near time.

Location of basement windows.  Yes.  Moved basement window to side morning room wall.  Selected Egress location.

Light switch Kill at top of stairs to kill all lights?  No.  It’s at the bottom.  Although - Stair operates separate at top and bottom.

Bathrooms:
Moving towel bars/paper holders.  Yes.  REVISIT for location near time.

Bathroom light fixtures could be installed so that the bulbs face up?  Yes.

Are the mirrors glued or holders?  Holders with wood shims to prevent rattling and movement.

Powder Room:
Pedestal Sink information  REVISIT for information from SR

Kitchen:
Recessed Light Locations  REVISIT for location near time.
  • Add extra recessed lights that line up with the island and replace with pendant lights after settlement or change the placement of the recessed lights that are included.

Light Fixtures  No.
  • Keep some of the kitchen lighting in addition to the recessed, put the long light in the pantry, boob light over sink

How big of a fridge will fit in the space in the kitchen?  REVISIT for size near time.

I want to select our granite slab.  Yes!  :)  REVISIT near time.

Location of outlets (move one into the cabinet for future lighting if necessary)  There is one in cabinet for microwave.  REVISIT for location near time.

Family Room:
Extra/Double Studs for TV hanging?  Yes

Livingroom:
Why can’t it be like a dining room?  Why can’t it have the light?  Costs extra.  No thanks.

Upstairs:
Extra Blocking for railing.  Yes

Loft:
Can there be extra floor supports?  Yes  REVISIT near time.

Bedroom C (Owner):
Can you place the access panel closer to the entrance or back of the closet?  (Closet may be re-sized due to possible 4th bedroom closet)  Yes  REVISIT near time for location.

Placement of attic access.  Yes  REVISIT near time for location.

2 comments:

  1. Not sure how the water in OH is, but in certain parts of PA we have extremely hard water. We didn't find out until a month after closing when our dishwasher made our dishes a cloudy white.

    If you have a Sears hardware nearby, they will test water for free. Go into the model home and get a small sample of tap water and test it. I wish I would have known ahead of time! Hopefully you don't have this issue. Good luck.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the information. And I'll add it to the tips! I believe ours is hard water as well. I rent about 2 miles away from where the new house is being built and I have the ugliest buildup on faucets, pipes, and even my dishes. We're paying for the Water Softener RI for sure!

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