Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pre-Construction Meeting Questions

Next week we have our pre-construction meeting where we will meet our project manager for the first time.  He is going to walk us through our build plan, including blueprints, timeline, closing details, etc.  We're very excited about this meeting and are hoping that we have an AWESOME PM.

To make sure we ask everything relevant to our home's construction, I've put together a list of questions that we'll be asking our PM in addition to the information he'll be giving us.

I'm looking for comments or suggestions here (what else should we ask, etc.), so please please don't hesitate to comment on this post as it very well could be one of the most important posts yet.

Here is our list of questions thus far:

Can I run my own low-voltage cabling?  If no, why not?

With the finished basement, can we move the location of the bathroom rough-ins?  Can we leave out the wall for the media room and have the basement extended fully to the foundation wall?  If this can’t be included in base pricing, how much would it cost to do both these things?

We don’t like the dry-walled in duct work in the family room that we’ve seen in some of the models.  Since we have a basement to run duct work through, can we make sure we don’t have this?

We have several changes to the electrical plans to discuss, such as several electrical outlets we'd like moved or added in.  Can we discuss this now and make these changes (see electrical plans)?

Can our porch be extended to a full porch?  Why, or why not?  If yes, what would be the cost impact?

What are the estimated milestones?  When is the planned closing date? 

Can we visit the site?  Do we need permission?

What is the best way to reach you if we have questions or concerns? 

Can we bring our own home inspector?  What is the proper procedure?

Will the sub-flooring be nailed, glued, or screwed?  Is this true throughout the entire house?  How far does this process go in preventing “squeaky” floors?

What will our exact square footage be?

Will there be deadbolts on all doors leading into the house?  Front? Garage? Morning room?

After construction is complete, can left over materials (tile, paint, hardwood, vinyl, etc.) be left on site for later use?

Can we have extra insulation due to our proximity to a main road (worried about traffic noise)?

Will we have smooth or “rough” ceilings?  If smooth, is the “rough” option available?

Will we have dimmers available on any of our light switches? If so, where?

Which interior rooms will have door locks on them?

Will there be a sump pump?  If so, where will it be located?

How many outdoor water spigots will there be?  Where will they be located?

Are gutters around the entire house included? Are they covered? What’s the warranty like?

Where will location of the outdoor AC unit be?  Is this a heat pump system?

Well, that's what we got so far...

We would like to give credit to LaRon Scott over at, as well as one of our own commentors, John, for giving us tips and inspiration in putting together this base list of questions.

But we're still open to more suggestions!  Please let us know what else we should ask - don't hold back!  I sincerely believe the only dumb questions are questions not ask when your building a house.  THANK YOU!


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  2. Sorry, deleted comment bc I wrote it on a tablet and did proof it...

    * Make sure you're getting screens for the windows.. Cant see why not but its common question.
    *The HVAC company will put your thermostats in the dumbest places, have them moved if you don't like
    *Is your basement a w/o or normal? If Walkout, are you getting a deck? They started our deck today and had to cut into the basement ceiling to attach the ledger board to the house, I'm overly pissed off at the moment. 13 days and they're still cutting holes in the house..

    They will give you a spiel about going to the house, but let them know first so they can be there with you. Honestly, go whenever you please and go often. I've pissed my PM off a few times but I look at this way.. #1 my schedule doesn't always align with a PM who works 8-5 M-F.. #2 I want to walk it by myself so I can notice stuff. (And I noticed a ton of "stuff")

  3. Forgot to mention, Ask where the sewer/water is going to enter the foundation. I almost see them come in via the front wall of the Media Room. If so, the sewer line will have to snake around to get to the other unfinished area (usually through the basement bulkhead). Ask the PM to make sure the plumb runs the sewer line tight to the foundation wall or you will lose space in the media room when you go to build it out. I've seen some pretty ridiculous runs.

  4. John, thank you as always. All excellent points. I have added them all to our list of questions. Really appreciate the input. By the way, do you have a blog of your own for your Milan?

  5. No problem Dustin...
    Once upon a time I did have blog but after a month or so it started to be very negative as nothing was going the way it should so I stopped. I don't want to flood your blog with a bunch of negativity but if you are interested we can take it offline or i can post here. This weeks frustrations are with NVR.

  6. Sorry to hear that John. I would be interested in knowing what your issues have been, if you'd be wiling. Learning what others have been through helps me to know what to keep a keen eye on. You can e-mail me directly at Thanks - hope you had a good holiday.

  7. I will def E-mail you the story.

    I forgot to mention.... have Ryan put a run or 2 of PVC under your driveway incase you run low voltage lighting later on. No sense boring under it when you can just have them put it down. Even this simulate task didn't go right for us...

    I offered to do it myself and went and bought all the materials, got my tools out of storage and headed up to the house the day before the driveway was poured. When I got there, there were some woodworkers finishing up and wrapping their extension cords up. the cords were in my way so I kindly unloaded my stuff and waited for them to finish. While doing this I went back to my van to look at something and by the time I was done, they pulled off and left. I laid the PVC where I wanted it and turned around to get my pick axe to put it a few inches under the ground... the woodworkers stole my tools. They knowingly saw me put them down and plain stole them. I left my PM a message and returned all the materials back to the store. As a consolation, the PM put a piece of electrical conduit under the driveway before they poured it Monday. Not exactly what I wanted but at least its something.

    1. Thanks John, that is something I definitely want so I will add that to my list. My pre-con meeting is later today and I hope it goes well. Sounds like you're dealing with some shady subs, which doesn't speak well for Ryan. Did you end up getting your tools back? Did your PM complain about you wanting to do this task yourself (I've seen a lot of blogs with PMs who don't allow the buyer to do any work)?

  8. Yes he complained but I really didn't care. It's a damn empty pvc pipe. Hope your mtg went well.

    NVR drama continued today but it should be over. Our pre settlement is supposed to be 12/7 and closing on 12/10 but I seriously doubt that's gunna happen.


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