I am a Construction Manager for a local home builder.. I've supervised the construction on hundreds of homes including my own. If you start getting too fancy on alternative building methods and materials you may never recoup those costs if you plan to sell... People don't care that you have fancy concrete work and excessive engineering, they pay for square footage and a nice lot. If you plan to live in the house forever and don't care about equity, then go to town on the fancy stuff. I've seen people spend 600,000 on a house after basement developments and fancy upgrades in subdivisions where the average house of the same size sells for 400,000... Good luck selling it later on.
Supervising a home build is really just good organization and management. If you have good trades, then they will deliver a good quality product on time and on budget. Don't start anything without estimating out all your costs, including extra for a contingency should problems arise (9 times out of 10 there are unseen or unplanned issues that cost money). The hardest thing right now is finding good reputable trades to work with, there is a real trade shortage starting up in Calgary, especially if you're trying to get things done at a reasonable price.