I would have to say for anyone after me, the Pre Construction meeting seems like a microcosm of what the process will be like moving forward. The typical information you read about (meet the PM, go over and review the options, walk the lot, etc.) all happen, but the beginnings of working together to get a positive outcome for everyone involved start there as well. Some of the things that were nice to see were:
a) Our plan with our options on our lot, with all of the elevation gradients marked on the sheet as well as the driveway / walkway. It helps to set the stage in your mind as to how the house will set on the lot.
b) The mystery of the alternate kitchen layout solved. If you can recall earlier I wasn't sure based on our SRs comments how this would actually work. After seeing the design drawings, it makes a lot more sense. The range area has a range hood and the smaller overhead cabinets, and then on the fridge wall side, instead of two sets of tall overhead cabinets (think 4 doors) the microwave slots in the middle, so on that wall you have 1 tall cabinet, two shorter cabinets with the microwave underneath, then another tall cabinet. It actually looks pretty sharp, and since most often you're putting food from the fridge to the microwave anyway it's fairly convenient to have it there instead,
c) Where the gas, water, sewer, and electric were going to come into the house. This was a little good a little disappointing in its own way. The gas comes in on the living room corner of the house (should just be a master valve) only issue with that is having an access panel door to get to that shutoff. The water and sewer are running under the porch to the HVAC / Water / Sump unfinished area (our basement as a whole isn't finished however I plan on doing that down the road) This is fantastic. The last is the electrical, which I had the choice of putting it on either two walls on the garage side of the basement where the media room is listed in the plans or the garage storage nook. My dream scenario would be all 4 utilities coming in where the water / sewer are but the way they are run to the house that dream just doesn't compute. There is no way I'm putting a breaker panel in what will be a dedicated home theater space and trying to work sound isolation in with getting access to that thing, so the garage it is. The only downside is when I do finish that basement, that drywall is going to get ripped out in the garage to run more conduit, which I was hoping to avoid.
d) The options and plans for our delivery date with regards to sod and or no sod. Obviously getting delivery in December in the northeast is a crap shoot with regards to weather conditions. Knowing what the plan is for a go / no go up front gives me plenty of time to figure out options for our dogs to take care of business if we have a straw / dirt / mush of a yard until spring. I'm thinking rubber mulch next to the back of the driveway over a weed barrier to make it easier to move / remove later. Less of a mess for the dogs, and easier clean up for me.
I did have a nice explicit "please don't go into the house without one of us on site" talking to up front, however the PM seems very accessible and we seem to be on the same page.
One item up for discussion is the 2 zone HVAC. We were going over the summary sheet and I questioned why it mentioned 1 zone HVAC to our SR. The SR then responded that they thought we were confused as the Courtland Gate does have 2 zone, however the Victoria Falls has 1. It seemed valid at the time and I let it go. Fast forward to tonight after a nice meal and some other items taken care of, I go and review my documentation, paperwork, and correspondence. Lo and behold my master selection sheet only has 2 zone listed, and I even have a Q&A email from my SR confirming we get a 2 zone HVAC system. This was a big plus for us now since our current house has issues with proper heating and cooling with half the square footage. Waiting on that response this week, and since the two zone lists as $0 on my sheet (and the only one listed... did I mention that again? I guess I did!) I'm hopeful that this gets resolved.
So now we wait for ground breaking in two weeks and then the real fun begins!