Unless you, yourself, are an architectural, structural engineer or contractor, you would be best to hire qualified experts for these fields. Start with a great architect--there are many in the area, and the one you select will make homes similar to what you want in your future home. If you'd like starting point, try Edwin Bruce, who is a fabulous architect located here in San Jose. Edwin builds large and small homes and also works on commercial projects too. You can reach Edwin at his office at 408-995-5701. Tell him I sent you and I'm sure he can help.
Once you have an architect, then you can start on the house. Your architect will submit the plans to the city and will also work with the planners to get your plans accepted. Once accepted, you can start building. The architect can help you select a great contractor and structural engineer. Please remember that the architect only provides you with the "shell" of the home, the individual appointments inside the home (including fixtures, cabinets, and surfaces) will be designed by an interior designer. Your architect can help you find a great interior designer too.
As for saving money, unless you've done this before, don't concentrate so much on saving money as you should on learning everything you can about how the process is done. Have your architect fully explain the process to you, and then, if there are areas for which you can intervene and help to save money, you can ask to fill in time there.
Area Pro Realty-People's Choice