There are contractors in our area that cannot be trusted. I recommend a background check on all prospective builders.
Before hiring someone, a quick on-line search with the Better Business Bureau, along with physically speaking with past customers can go a long way. And, sometimes, even that isn't always enough.
I have learned that legitimate contractors will offer a notarized paper relieving the homeowner of liability if materials are not paid for or workers are not compensated.
I would also highly recommend making a direct payment to the materials provider -- NOT to the construction company.
Taking pictures along with documenting progression of the job is also advisable and can be very helpful if you have problems later on.
I hope that your construction experience is better than mine.
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John Oliver Jr.