Near the end of the construction period, the owner and contractor should coordinate a "turnover" date. This date coincides with the contractor completing the project and the owner moving in and taking control of the home. Prior to this date, the contractor and the owner should conduct an extensive "walkthrough" of the house. The purpose of the walkthrough is to create a "punch list" of items that need to be completed or corrected by the contractor prior to the move-in date. Most significantly, however, the owner should retain some funds, typically 10%, as a "hold back" from payment to the contractor until all punch list items are completed. Once the contractor receives all of his money under the construction contract, the likelihood of the completion of the punch list items is significantly decreased.
After the completion of the punch list items, and after all of the helpful steps that I have provided have been followed, you will be moving into your dream home for years of enjoyment and comfort.