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Don't try to learn everything a contractor would know, but you must learn which codes require certification or proof of completion in order to secure financing from your lender.
You should pay as much attention to the main construction (foundation, framing, etc.) as you do to whether the granite countertop was properly installed.
Also make sure you are aware what documentation you need for closing. For instance new Miami home builders are required to get an elevation certificate to ensure that the property is at the right elevation above the flood plain. You may also need a Certificate of Occupancy at the closing to prove that building codes and minimum safety requirements are complete.