Unity Homes recently completed a home located in a beautiful part of southwest Connecticut. Last week I visited the owners, Amy and TJ, in their new home to discuss what worked well during the planning and construction of their home, and what could have been better. In the spirit of continuous improvement, we are sharing some of their feedback in this blog post.
Amy started off our conversation with an encouraging statement: “If I were to build a house again, I would use Unity,” but then she added with a smile, “with caveats.” As I toured the house with Amy and TJ, they pointed out what they liked and what did not work so well, and they also had suggestions for improving our process.
“The Intus windows are great,” said Amy. These triple glazed tilt-turn style windows from Europe are relatively new to the North American market. I was pleased to hear that she appreciated their function and performance.
As we approached the closet where the mechanical systems were located, Amy remarked that she loved the mini-split heating and cooling system, but she felt that it would have been better if we had allowed for more space in the mechanical room. Because we are trying to optimize the floor plan for every Unity home, finding space for the water heater, the fresh air system and other mechanical equipment is sometimes challenging.
On the second floor, Amy noted that the large multi-purpose room was perfect for their needs, but that the two bedrooms on the second floor were smaller than she had expected.
“It’s not a problem for us or our guests,” remarked Amy, “we just expected they’d be a bit larger.” Amy suggested that if Unity had provided more design support during the planning of their home, then they might have been better able to anticipate how the spaces would look and feel.
TJ chimed in: “It would be great if clients could look at the spaces in 3D, for example on a virtual 3D screen share, to better understand the scale of the spaces and how everything would work together.” I told them that Unity is developing software that will allow for 3D visualization early in the planning process, for designs configured from Unity’s four design platforms and numerous predesigned building elements. We expect to begin using that software with our clients this fall.
How did Amy and TJ find the actual construction process?
“The assembly crew you sent down to put together the shell of the house was great!” said Amy. “What a lovely and helpful group of young men. They clearly enjoy what they are doing!”
She mentioned that the local builder with whom Unity teamed up had a bit of a learning curve to understand our processes and systems, but now that he’s been through it, he would like work with us again.
“We would have appreciated another site visit or two from Unity, but the local builder was good about keeping us up-to-date,” added Amy. This is a constant tension for us at Unity: on the one hand we would like to provide comprehensive service, and on the other we are working to create processes that are relatively streamlined.
“All in all,” Amy concluded, “your product is fabulous. We are really quite happy; it’s a beautiful house. You guys should be proud.”
We know that we still have work to do to improve our processes, and we appreciate the constructive criticism provided by these clients. And of course, it’s always wonderful to hear that our clients are happy with their homes.