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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Had Pre-Construction Meeting

Had our lot staked and did our Pre-Construction meeting today. 

Oh, and our county approved our Permits on Monday (3 days early). 

With the stakes, I can almost picture our house on the lot.  I'm pretty sure this is not to scale, and yes I nearly failed kindergarten because I couldn't color or paint (No joke).

I can almost picture our house on the lot!

First the stakes: 

I underestimated a few things.

1.) How big this lot really is, compared to the other communities we looked at.  Those trees at the end of the lot are growing over our property line.  The stake to the right with the orange flag is the right side of our lot and the left side isn't even in the picture but the RH sign marks about 1/3 of the lot (so about 30' in from the left hand side of the property line).

2.) How BIG this house is.  If I think the lot is big, well, I was in for a surprise when I saw how much of the lot the house covers.  The driveway touches the property line to the left and the right side of the house is only 11' from the property line.  standing at the back of the house, those trees look awful close.

3.) How much I would enjoy standing in an empty dirt lot looking at stakes sticking out of the ground and imagining what room(s) we were standing in.  From that point of view, the house seemed smaller than we expected but we know that is not a fair representation of the space.  Especially with as high as the ceilings are in this house.  Other than looking at pictures of the one Blog that exists out there, this was the first time we could really imagine what this house might look like.  There aren't any models out there.

The Pre-Con meeting:

Only one surprise.  Our start date slid 2 days to the wrong (right). :(  Honestly at this point, I am not surprised by this.  So instead of starting Monday, 15 April...we will be starting Wednesday, 17 April.  In our region they buy their lots on Monday, so we could have not started on that date; which was provided to us by the DM.  This is kind of a big oversight, not sure how it happened.  I've lost count of strikes at this point but in a game of baseball we would have won by default.  Only in this game we are the losers.

The meeting.  As I've read on other blogs and reports I've received from other builders in our community, our PM was extremely knowledgeable and very easy to communicate with. 

The PM clearly understood what we wanted and was very thorough in going through each detail.  I have little concern that he will not be on top of the process and bring us in on-time.  He was very receptive to requests that were within his control and had some good ideas we had not thought of.  I appreciated his patients and eagerness to answer our questions and provide us with information that would only really satisfy our curiosity but not impact the build.  Overall we left with only one question unanswered and he had to make some phone calls to get the answer.  It's not going to stop or slow down anything but I would like to have the answer.

One other positive thing.  Due to the fact that RH stopped offering this home for some time, there aren't that many people out there that have even seen one, let along built one.  Our PM has not only seen them, but has built a few of them.  This is a definite positive and should help with our tight schedule.

Now more waiting...ughhh!


  1. I love the highgrove! And I love your picture! I am glad your meeting went so well and that you are happy with your PM!

    1. Thanks. I'm looking forward to this part. We've been dreaming of building our own home for as long as I can remember. This will be an extraordinary experience for our entire family. I just wish the front half was easier.

  2. Great rendition above! It's nice to have something to look at while it's still just grass and trees-- and later, dirt and weird troughs and angles. I haven't seen anything about a Highgrove, either, which is one of the really neat things about the Ryan building blogs. We have just broken ground on our Avalon, and driving by the lot today, it was a shock to see the footprint of the house. It looked very close to the back of the cleared area, and we still have another 20' or so of a buffer between our lot and the one behind. I have to keep reminding myself that it is impossible to gauge anything when it's not finished. When I walked through my parents' house as they were building, I thought it was too small and didn't want to say anything to them. And it turned out they built a 5000-sq. ft. house!

    1. Looks are certainly deceiving. They dig more than they need, so between the extra large hole and all the mounds of dirt, you may end up with 30'+. We're supposed to have 73' from the end of our extended family room. Just like the Avalon, you can get a 4' extension on the Highgrove. These floor plans are really close to the same. We actually were planning on purchasing an Avalon and changed our mind when we saw that everything we wanted was standard in the Highgrove.

      Funny story about your parents house. Standing in between the stakes my wife said, she thought the house seemed small. Once it is framed, I doubt she will feel that way.

      OBTW, Love the progress on your home.

  3. Great lot pick, lots of "elbow room". Glad your PM has experience building the Highgrove and that you got a good feeling from the pre-construction. I still maintain that is a fantastic floorplan and I can't wait to watch the build.

    I've had the same feelings about being on the losing end of the building game, from some of the option issues to the timing of the build. Ryan really has you by the tail after you sign so I'm working on trying not to get worked up about things I can't change. I'm really a stickler for quality and detail so those are the battles I will fight as the house is being built.

    1. Agree...

      I actually used the Marlin example. At what point do you just stop fighting and realize you have a hook in your mouth. You are too far into the process to stop or turn back and you have little recourse if they are late or inflexible. They're smart in not giving anyone you deal with any authority at all (or that's the way it seems). I might as well be on the phone with some guy from India. "Mr. and Mrs. Highgrove, we're really sorry but we cannot deviate from the plans and oh by the way your build is delayed another 2 days." Make sure you give us a 10 on the survey. ;-)