Description of things or contractors one should avoid. Its easier to learn from someone that has already made the mistake rather than experience it yourself. (unless you enjoy pain!)

Probably the biggest hurtle to deal with. I was going to say over come but I doubt that it will ever go away - you just have to expect delays, late deliveries missed appointments etc.

Inspect what you expect! - I learned this in management school and it applies to just about everything you do. Don't assume that everything will happen as promised or even as contracted. It just doesn't;t happen.

Kitchen designers!
Lesson 1 - do not employ a designer that does not know domes!
Square thinkers find it very difficult to think round. In our desire to move quickly with our design we visited Beacon Kitchen Design Center and asked them if they could/would work with our designer (out of state) to create a kitchen that we wanted and would work in our Monolithic Dome. After reviewing our plans they agreed. He was excited to take on a challenge that didn't have any walls already built - thus he could exercise his creativity in a different form. They seldom get involved in new construction so all their jobs have existing walls etc.
To make the story short they failed to communicate with our designer as agreed to and did not deliver any useful design and did not live up to their contractual agreement.

Mother Nature!

To get onto our property you have to cross a low spot that does take on water when it rains.
Our first attempt to provide access threw this area was to build a Texas crossing. Mother Nature tour up so we added a four foot culvert and a great deal of concrete to extend the crossing above the water height. This year (the driest year on record here in Colorado) our crossing is again damaged to the point of being unsafe for large vehicles. Click on the highlighted links (words) to see the pictures of this project. To fix this (hopefully permanently) we are building a bridge. Check out the entire story!

They should be detailed and defined as to who will do what. If possible put time limits and deadlines in it. Penalties also help keep things on track. DON'T pay the final amount until ALL the work is done. Sounds very basic and it is but its important no matter how sincere the contractor sounds.

Inspect what you expect!
This may wound very basic but it it is very important! You need to constantly look at what is being done and verify that its what you expected to happen. If it isn't - speak up!!! The squeaky wheel get the attention so if you don't squeak (speak up or question things) then it won't change.

Pitfalls to avoid and other stuff we had to deal with