Nearly a month ago, we gave our builder the plans that we'd developed with our architect. We knew they weren't perfect as is, but our attempts to downsize the design had been frustrating, and we needed to know how close the current design was to our budget. The bids were finally in, and we met with our builder last night to discuss the details. In short: ouch.
The last of my grandparents passed away 15 months ago. They lived on the same farm for 73 years, so you can imagine how much stuff had accumulated. After much sorting, pitching, and planning, we finally held the estate auction this weekend. We learned a few things the hard way, and I wanted to spare the rest of you some pain.
Choosing a builder for your new home is a decision that should not be taken lightly. You'll likely be working hand in hand with this person through the entire process, so the smoother the process goes, the easier your life will be. You want to be able to concentrate your energy on the house, not baby sitting your general contractor.