Thursday, August 2, 2012

Toll Brothers Pre-Construction Meeting was a Success!

Today we had our all-important Pre-Construction meeting, or "Pre-Con" as the builder refers to it. This meeting is a huge deal and is the time to make/finalize all structural decisions. In many ways its also kind of the time to finalize your design decisions too, since your Design Studio choices (especially with lighting and cabinetry changes) are a huge part of the meeting. The main purpose of the meeting is for the builder to mark up his master set of plans with all of your customizations that weren't captured in the original blueprints (and most of ours weren't, since those blueprints were ordered shortly after we signed the contract).

The attendees at this major meeting were:
Ross and I - the lovely homebuyers
James - our fabulous realtor
Shaun - our sales consultant
Rick - the new project manager for the entire neighborhood
Johan - the construction manager for the entire neighborhood

This was the first time we had ever met Rick, as he is replacing the old project manager who recently received some very tragic personal news. :(  We really liked Rick. He was very kind, professional and down to business. Love that. 

We had met Johan before, but only in passing. We were REALLY impressed with him. He and I share a love of chocolate and he even shared with me his secret chocolate stash in the model home. I think we're gonna get along just fine... :) On a more serious note, we've heard he's one of the best construction managers Toll has in the U.S. Our own brief history with him already backs that up. For example, we were galking at our neighbor's almost-complete house about a month ago and he was ripping out the front doors. I asked him what was going on and he said that, to him, they looked slightly off center, and that he had double checked the measurement and they were 1/2 an inch off, so he took it upon himself to re-do them (which was no easy task as they were surrounded by stone on all sides, which also had to be re-done). The buyers probably never would have noticed this, but it meant enough to him to change it. He's amazing. Plus, he also gave me chocolate.

As to the meeting itself, to me it seemed like it was filled with almost nothing but great news! The great structural news was only enhanced by the fact that we received our 50+ page summary of our interior design selections, filled with drawings of our exact kitchen, master bath, etc. It was so exciting! We also got to see the first computer generated model of the front, back and sides of our house! Because we were able to customize our house so much (a blessing), the builder never really had anything to show us exactly what it would like, because it had never been done exactly how we are doing it before (the curse that goes with the blessing). Seeing them today, I squealed. It's even prettier than I'd been imagining it. :) :) :)

Other good news we got in the meeting:
-They finally confirmed the size of our island (we paid extra to make it substantially larger, since it looked a little small for the kitchen in our opinion, but this may be because we expanded the kitchen... lol) and it's perfect! It's the perfect shape and the perfect size. I'm in love. <3
-We wanted to add a wall in one area for a really complicated structural/design reason, and we thought it was going to cost a ton, but from what it sounded like yesterday we think they're just going to do it for free!
-They're going to be able to move our master tub to a far more glam location, which I thought was a long shot, but they said they can do it!
-WE GOT THE CLOSET DRAMA FIXED!!!! Now my closet is as big as I need it, lets in natural sunlight AND has the doorways I wanted it to have! This has been a big source of contention throughout this process, so it's awesome to have it resolved.
-Ross got them to move the location of our utilities so they don't interfere with his garages. Man victory!
-We saved $5,900 on brick. Long story. I'll probably blog about it later.
-We got a firm commitment that the foundation will be poured next week!

There were tons of other tiny victories, many of which I'm probably forgetting, but overall the meeting went really well and I feel like we got a lot resolved. The only bad part of the meeting was that I had to leave it, and make everyone wait on me to take a very long, unexpected phone call from work. Apparently there was a deadline looming that I was never told about in the next 40 minutes and I had to review something so that deadline could be met. I felt really bad for making everyone wait, but I think Ross tried to use the time to cover garage and lanscape stuff, which is obviously not my area of expertise. Plus, there was nothing I could have done to prevent it as no one had ever mentioned the deadline or even that that project was taking place today to me.

Oh, one last piece of good news from today, when we drove by our lot they were clearing a few more trees that we wanted cut down! It was a great day on the homebuilding front!

Here is the computer-generated drawing of our house! I took a photo of the blueprint with my iphone, and the paper it was on was bent so it looks a little distorted, sorry for the poor image quality.

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