Before the actual construction begins, there are lot of things that you should take care of. As They say well begun is half done. First and foremost would be the required permit for construction, according to the State laws, and any other formalities to fulfill. Once you have all the information and required permits for construction, understand the geographical and climatic conditions where you are constructing. Find out if any special permits are required, where you need to protect environment or wild life etc. Constructing a house near beach will have different requirements than a country house, or where it snows. Once these hurdles are passed we come to the biggest and very important aspect of construction, and that is finalizing a general contractor.
Patience and research are the key here. Keep following points in mind for hassle free work. If possible hire a local construction company for the job. This is important as you can always check their previous assignments in the neighborhood. Talk to neighbors and friends for recommendations. A local contractor will be well versed with all the formalities required for the construction, available labors in the area, and where to procure the building materials from. Before you finalist the construction company always check their credentials and license. Check whether they are registered and recommended by the State agencies. Find out if the general contractor has skilled crew with him like plumber, electrician, mason, painter, etc. to carry out specific tasks in construction. Also check Construction company's reputation for finishing task on time and within the budget.
Find out whether they are keeping up with the times. Are they aware of new construction materials, new designs, environment friendly components etc. The contractor should be in tune with your needs, for example if you have a large family or have growing kids, if pets are around, or a working couple, or love to socialize and party. Always have at least two to three construction companies on your list before finalizing one. Ask them to give you quotations for the job. It is fine to try out new construction companies sometimes as they may not be overloaded with assignments. While trying to prove themselves they will do more sincere job than others. Be very smart with your finance. Always show low budget, cause however cautious you are, expenses are bound to increase once construction starts. Buffer money will be helpful. Your contractor should be transparent in all the dealings with his subcontractors. He should be willing and forthcoming while sharing information. You should feel comfortable asking him about expenses incurred. Keep the money flow to insure smooth operation, but don't pay the entire amount. Keep yourself updated on the work, stay in communication with the contractor. Keep visiting at all the important stages of construction. As any last minute changes are possible. Keep contractors on their toes, sometimes go unannounced to the site, say you were in the neighborhood. Do not go off to vacations during such period. Understand the most basic thing in mind that whatever you are constructing is going to be around for sometime. It should stand the test of time. Once the construction is over, little things should not bother you. Though aesthetics are important, they should be logical and operational. Most important is to live in the house for at least a month and then make the full payment, as any loose ends will be rectified only if the payment is withhold. And once everything is set, I think its time to put up your feet in your dream house and relax.