Monday, February 27, 2012

Pre construction meeting

Once I am done with this post I'll be caught up with writing about the start of the process of buying our Ryan home and will begin to write about things as they happen.  I want you to know that all the posts up to this point actually happened in a short period of a few weeks despite the dates on the post.

The pre-construction meeting was the first time that my wife and I met the construction manager for our home. Our rep that has been dealing with us so far was also there.  Most of the meeting with the construction manager was about what he does, so I thought I would start there.  He is in charge of lining up and scheduling all the contractors that will build our house.  Ryan homes hires local contractors to do all the work on building the homes.  He is in the home about once every day to see how things are going and to make sure the work is being done. He is also our point of contact if we have any construction questions, like when should I have the home inspector go out there for a pre-backfill inspection.  The sales rep is also still there if we have any questions as well.

One thing that became clear at this meeting (that I think I was misled about earlier) is how difficult it is to walk through your house to take a look at it prior to settlement.  As I mentioned in an earlier post I asked the sales rep if I can walk through the house to make sure things were being done right on a regular basis (I think I even told her once a week).  She said that was doable and to just call the construction manager before hand so he can tell me if there is any dangers on the site.  I found out at this meeting that if I wanted to walk through the house the construction manager needs to be there.  I can call and make an appointment, as long as he has time available, but he indicated he is typically very busy.  The outcome of this is that I don't think I will be able to see the house except at the predefined walk through.  I am kind of disappointed in being misled like this; however, thinking about it afterwards I realized that I wouldn't even know what to look for if I was to walk through the house to make sure things looked fine.  As a result I am a little less upset about it now because I don't think I would benefit from walking through the house once or twice a week, but I was still misled so I plan to that down on the post-settlement survey.  But this leads to another very important topic, hiring a home inspector.  As I mentioned before the construction manager works for Ryan homes and he has dead lines to meet so he receives raises/bonus.  He is over seeing people that were the lowest bidder to build your house, and he is also over seeing maybe a dozen other houses at the same time.  Don't rely on him to spot mistakes, or even to fix them if he does spot them, the one person he does not work for or have loyalty to is you.  As I just mentioned I have no experience with building a house so I found a home inspector to by on my side to make sure things look right.  I asked around and found a home inspector that my coworkers raved about.  This home inspector will do a pre-backfill, pre-drywall, and pre-settlement inspection for me.  I think it is very important to have someone on my side to make sure the house is as it is supposed to be.

I asked the construction manager how scheduling my home inspector works.  I sounds like I just need to let him know what day and time my home inspector will be out there.  I am also allowed to come with the inspector if I can get off work.  One thing to note is they won't pause construction for any inspections.  My inspector told me that I need to be very active on keeping track of the construction schedule and to schedule something about a week out which is his normal availability.   I am already emailing my construction manager about pre-backfill so I know when to have the home inspector come out. 

At the pre-construction meeting we also went over the final selection of upgrades and selections.  We also saw an updated plat with our house on it.  Everything looked as expected. Needles to say my wife and I are getting excitied.


  1. What's the home inspector cost to do the three inspections; pre-backfill, pre-drywall and pre-settlement? Thanks.

    1. I paid $100 (pre backfill) to $300 (final and pre drywall) for them. Well worth it in my opinion (and I like to pinch pennies where I can) because a mistake there could cost big down the road (after the builder has left.

      The builder is interested in making money not necessarily making sure everything is right with your home, so you need someone on your side.