No single decision effects the experience of building a house more than the selection of a contractor. Find a good one and you may want to write a book about your life changing experience. Pick the wrong one and it's a different type of book...
The best way to minimize cost overruns is to clearly define your project and give your contractor the opportunity to steer you away from decisions that will blow the budget.
Here is a secret; building departments are usually much easier on homeowners than they are on builders and architects. You do not have to be a contractor or an architect to get a building permit in many places. You can pull an “owner-builder” permit.
Building a new house involves thousands of decisions. As hard as you try to make them in advance, inevitably there will be unanticipated decisions every day. Be prepared to make these decisions quickly.
The "punch-list" is the last stage of every construction project. The punch-list describes all of the things that need to be completed or adjusted before the owner feels that the job is complete. As irritating as the punch-list is for builders, it is a useful tool for reaching agreement about the path to securing final payment.
We found this picture on Pinterest and (like many others) loved the look. So we decided to use it to explore the ideal size for a kid's bedroom.