(New York State)
I have a couple comments. First, I think this is a VERY INTERESTING site and could help many people with many things on this subject. That being said, I am interested in the reason why other People's stories are not available to read. ????? Or at least I am unable to find them.
I feel that the most IMPORTANT PART of this whole project is getting the right professional for the job. In our case, that was picking an overall contractor. It's not stated here that in most cases, lending institutions will not lend money for the building of a home, unless you have a licensed professional contractor.
We built a new home in 1997 and it was a REAL nightmare. Our contractor(s) main intent was, get as much money out of these people as possible. They were not interested in doing any part of the construction of our home correctly, just get it done to collect the money. The sad thing is this contractor is considered / regarded as a "high" end builder in this area. His main goal was charge as much as he could and then sub it out to the lowest bidders. We had tremendous troubles along the entire project and then when it was done, he left us with a defective $ 40,000 heating system. !!!! He was also a member in "good" standing with the local county's builders association. Which as I found out later, this organization was not formed to build a better home in the area, they just wanted a group of builders united so that they could charge the same prices across the county areas. He also always went over his budget (to the effect of 75%) and then blamed it on us.
I also found out later that many of his customers ended up getting many things fixed after he left their site. It took us about 6 years to work out all the problems he left us with.
Building has left us with a very bad taste in our mouths.