As a contractor of construction services (pavement construction and maintenance) and a college degree in something construction-y, Jim has a better grasp on the road ahead. I, however, feel fairly overwhelmed with the complexity of being our own construction managers. My response to feeling uninformed is to READ AND LEARN, and here are the three books I ordered from Amazon along with my first impressions:
"What Your Contractor Can't Tell You" by Amy Johnston should be an excellent resource. It addresses a whole lot of details about the construction process, such as foundation types, roofing options, and screwing drywall versus nailing it. Included are many diagrams and illustrations, and a TON of checklists.
"Building Your Own Home For Dummies" is a pretty typical "Dummies" book. It has lots of info written in a language that a layperson can understand.
"The Complete Guide to Contracting Your Home" by Kent Lester and Dave McGuerty looks like another winner. Not as many illustrations as Johnston's book (and I do like pictures!) but great information written in a language I can understand along with many checklists and time lines.