Choose a builder you find compatible. Someone you can get along with. Choose the builder who has all the skills, experience, and ethical soundness you want and with whom you feel you can work through what may be a long process. You’re not going to marry your builder, but you will be working together for some time. You need to find someone with whom you feel that cooperation and collaboration will work. Someone who shares your construction goals.

That doesn’t mean choosing the builder who agrees with everything you say. The builder is the expert, and good experts know how to give advice. They need to be able to say things like, “I understand why you’d like that, but let me tell you what can go wrong with your plan.” This needs to be said by someone you feel you can trust and by someone you’re prepared to listen to. If the pair of you rub each other the wrong way, then the risk is that when the builder gives you very good advice, you’ll ignore it out of spite. It’s also possible that the builder will think, “What they want is a very bad idea, but I’m not going to tell them so because they never listen.” Neither of those is a recipe for success. It’s essential that you and the builder communicate well.

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