You need to have clear communications on expectations with a builder. If you want to have regular meetings with your builder, talk about that before you sign the contract. If you want specific upgrades, make sure they are in the contract. You should expect updates on timeline and budget regularly. If you do not get them, ask for them. The builder should never hesitate to give you news that you might not like. It is better to face a problem head on than ignore it until it becomes a major concern. Your builder needs to be your partner in this endeavor, not someone you have to chase down.
If the builder is not meeting your expectations, take action sooner, rather than later. After you sign a contract, some builders will ignore your need for regular communications. If you are not getting answers or not getting phone calls back, find the builder and have a frank discussion. You are the one paying for your new home. The builder needs to recognize that. Acting quickly to correct problems will give you a better home.