We had our preconstruction meeting yesterday. Having read a bazillion blogs we had a good understanding of what would be covered but we enjoyed it more than expected. Thanks to PM's meticulous attention to details and SR's complete understanding of our selections and requirements. We started with lots of information and checks to confirm our selections. Amazingly everything had made it through, unlike what we had expected from reading feedback from others (thank you Mr. SR).
We found our PM to be a very pleasant man and easy to work with. The SR identified him as a Master Builder with RH for close to 10 years (which means he built more than 250 houses). He is very professional and strictly by the book. He committed to delivering everything that had come in through the paperwork and confirmed that everything will be built based on the blue prints. Several inquiries were met with a very firm "We are not custom builders. The house must be built per RH plans and blueprints. The engineers designed it this way for a reason." When we walked the lot he confirmed that he had built every house on Palmer Lane. I forgot to ask if he had built Covington. We also counted 7 Victoria Falls on Palmer of various elevations (out of 18 in this phase).
On a funny note, our PM talked about how the kitchen is vented externally through the microwave... I came back with a frustrated, "but I don't want that. Is there a way to block this venting? I like to trap the cooking aromas in the kitchen." Both SR and PM looked at me in total bewilderment as if I was totally nuts... Until I couldn't keep a straight face any longer. In truth we would have paid for a hood or external venting if it was not offered as a standard feature (part of energy star 3.0).
I am glad our SR was with us as he pointed out a few things that have just been changed in the Victoria Falls, such the optional dining room tray ceiling now being standard. My previous 3 hour meeting with SR going over electrical and 2 hours going over the TOPO helped a great deal as we spent perhaps one hour on those areas in this meeting because we had every thing marked or answered already. Our PM commended our choice of widening the driveway and the hammer head and said that we would totally find it worth the investment and would pay off in added convenience.
Regarding the laundry room, any moving or or tearing down of walls or doors was a big "absolutely not," along with sound reasoning why it is done this way. But both advised that they will ask the higher ups about our question regarding connecting the laundry hookups on the other side of the mud room wall inside the office, just to see if it is doable. We also asked if the laundry room can be moved to the basement in the future or does it need special plumbing, and our SR will look into that as well.
5 hours later we walked out of the meeting reassured that we are in very good hands. Would have gone longer if not for screaming babies and feeling sorry for PM and SR who had families to go back to. On another funny note, we could not arrange for someone to watch our 2 youngest kids so we dragged them along. Our two year old sat next to the PM for a few minutes, and every time he started talking she started singing.. when he'd stop, she'd stop, but as soon as he started again she started again. When he would speak louder she would sing louder.. guilty, but it was really funny.
We start digging next week on May 22. Estimated closing on August 16 (both maybe 2 days off).
Update: RH approved flipping the laundry connections to the other wall, Office side.