1: Do Your Research
A reputable company will provide you with ample references and have several homes under its belt. Also check with the local Better Business Bureau to see if the company's record is clean.
2: Visit a Work Site
Nothing will clue you in better than seeing firsthand how a handcrafter works. And visit newly constructed homes as well as older ones. The new ones will give you an idea of a company's level of craftsmanship and the older ones will show you how the homes stand the test of time.
3: Talk to the Crew
Building a home isn't a quick process, and you'll be working closely with these people for some time. You should get quick and clear answers to any questions you have, and your ideas should be heard and respected. But remember: These are skilled artisans who have a food handle on what works in the field and what doesn't. Mutual respect goes a long way to a successful and enjoyable homebuilding process.