Are you doing this yourself or having someone else design and install? If the later, sit with them for a couple of hours and they can scope out what options you might have.
For the former, then you need to find out what DIY systems are available to you. Unfortunately your options shrink significantly as many products are dealer only.
The other thing is to nail the scenarios you want to have. Without it you will be shooting blind. You can run all the wires you want but you invariably find you missed some. When I first started on my own home, I went room by room and created schematics for each one (this was before I had my company). That helped tremendously in organizing my thoughts and keep track of the architecture and wiring.
The other bit of feedback is that you can't do this planning early enough. We have a remote garage and I did not think about running wires to it and had to have the trench dug up twice! Imagine the expense. On the other hand, I was super organized with my electrician giving him complete wiring diagram for all the electrical connections for my lighting system, switched outlets, etc. So it is great that the house is a few months away. Get everything done if you can before construction starts.
If your budget is north of $10K, I highly recommend consulting a pro and see what they can do for you. I designed and programmed my own system but you couldn't pay me to go and run all the wires and such. it is just not fun work. I have 72 cat-5 and cat-6 connections. I terminated a few and got bored to tears and asked my crew to come and finish them
. Yes it will cost more than you doing it but you are paying a lot of money of your home. Spend a bit of it on this stuff and get it done.
Also, consider some luxuries. We put in powered shades. They are Lutron and boy do they dress up the house in how quiet and luxurious they are. They close automatically at night and are always a great conversation piece when we have guests over and the four shades in perfect unison and quietness close. They help with home safety as they close when we leave the house, and save you energy cost by shutting off sunlight. We put in half of them a the time of install but ran wiring for all.
Per above think through what automation you can put in that doesn't require any user intervention. My outside lights come on at night and they and all lights left on shut off in the morning. They add safety to the home and I don't have to do a thing to get there.
Anyway, random thoughts which are hopefully useful
.Edited by amirm - 7/24/12 at 9:48pm