New house and totally confused now on Automation/Security


   We are building a new home in CT, and I want to have following in my house (ideally).
1. Audio and video feed from the garage door and main entrance (video intercom door system).
2. Lighting control
3. intercom/whole house audio
4. Security system, without paying the monthly fee.
5. Energy/thermostat control

Until now I have read little bit at Vera3, Legrand website and Entryvue system looked really great in the video they have displayed. But I am not able to find much on the internet for reviews etc. 
a) I really wanted a system where I can see who is entering the house and then talk to them and open the door from a remote or from the cell phone or console. I also want to have intercom in 5 different rooms in the house other than the main controller in the kitchen.
b) I also want the audio/music in the entire house (If getting a system which has the audio is going to create the system more expensive then I can live without the integration too). I looked at entirely different option for this, i.e. sonos and I liked sonos, but if possible I wanted one system, if nothing else works out I might consider sonos. Ideally I wanted a speaker system where I could play either my music or audio part of my video wirelessly (If not then also I am fine).
c) If possible I want to open the garage door and/or main entrance from any of the controller (main console in the kitchen or my cell phone or the controllers in each room for audio/intercom/video etc).
d) If possible, I want to add two more video camera's, window sensors, movement sensors etc (this one is for security).
e) Lighting Control.
My budget is somewhere around $2000 to start with. I do not need to put everything altogether. I want to start with (a) and then I can keep adding on. I know that the all integrated system from control 4 etc will start with 20 grand and it is not in my range at all. I am ready to have multiple systems/interfaces too. I need to have some overall picture in my mind, so that we could do the wiring properly. Legrand looked good but is very expensive too. 
I need guidance on what is possible and what is not in the acceptable price range. I am a computer engineer with the knowledge of Java and Linux related technologies, I can learn some other language too if need to be.
Honestly, I'd look at HAI's OmniProII.  It has security plus bolt-on features for whole house audio, has a nice built-in intercom, support for cameras, etc.... and you can start somewhat small and build.
One disclaimer I'll toss in here - you mentioned Security without a monthly monitoring fee - that can be a fun topic around here - but the shortest version of that is that, with 100% absolute certainty, you WILL be the weakest chain in your security system - so bypassing monitoring with the expectation of having it blast a siren or call you leaves a lot of open possibilities and it just generally a bad idea.  That's not to say a lot of people don't do it, but for absolutely any point you could make about why you think it's OK, there's 20 reasons you've likely overlooked.  Good monitoring can be had for $10-$20/month, even with cellular backup.  /disclaimer.
Because you want all of this integration using the same controllers in each room, I would look into HAI with your laundry list of capabilities you seek.  I believe though you will most likely have to double your budget to achieve all of this though (if not more).
Edit;  Work2Play and I posted the same time (I didn't see his prior post). ;)
Not to burst your bubble, but just the wiring for those LV systems is going to eat up a very good portion of your budget, not considering the hardware. The key is to wire while under construction, not retrofit.
Curious, which part of the state are you in?
Good point on the budget - just speaking, even as DIYers not paying for installation labor and all the things that a custom installer business must charge for - some of these parts get pricey.  The controller itself will eat your $2K with all the bells & whistles; lighting - figure $55-$75/light switch; a couple hundred per thermostat; etc - it adds up quick.  Wiring doesn't seem to expensive if you can do it yourself, until you terminate the wires - the stuff on each end of the run tends to cost more than the cable itself!
Not to burst your bubble in any way - just need to be prepared so you can make sure you're wired for everything now, then prioritize which pieces you want and in what order.
Welcome to the forum Askj.  You will find much information here about your endeavor.  You have folks here from either extremes of both security and automation and both.  Many FAQ's relating to DIYs for automation and security.  Ask away.  Read and ask questions.  Baby steps will help.
So as to not get overwhelmed take in a bit at a time; savor it; like a fine wine.
Not sure if this will work; but around 2000 during construction of a new home in Florida the contractor offered an an alarm pre-wire package included into the build.  This being offered by the contractor with no commitments to service, alarm panel with just a sticker with the Alarm company name and phone number left by the wires.
That said the contractor did provide me with an opportunity to do my own LV wiring such that I added catXX, RG6, speaker cabling so for and so on.  The alarm pre-wire was done professionally and every door and window was wired along with wires for PIRs and consoles.  At the end of construction the alarm company just left a sticker near the cabling.  They did in fact label every wire.  Note that none of the wires were terminated on either end.
Years later ~ 2005 I called same said alarm company and asked for a quote to connect the wires to a panel.  The quote was somewhere around 4-5K.
I purchased an OmniPro 2 and diy'd the installation of the alarm; a little bit at a time.  That said I was familiar with the panel as I had one in my home in the midwest. 
I have always had central station monitoring plus always used a software connection to my panels.  In the midwest I have added more added features to the Leviton HAI OmniPro 2; a Russound zoned audio system which is managed by the OmniPro system, a combo video hub which allows the touchscreens connected serially to see all of the CCTV cameras and Omnistat thermostat.
Its a hobby here such that I have learned much over the years; while still retaining the base of an alarm security panel I have it doing much automation these days. 
Thanks a lot for responses. We are building the house in Connecticut. Infact I will be signing the contract tomorrow. I spoke to the builder and he said that his electrician will rough in for central VAC and security system, I do not know how much detailed they will be. I asked about CAT6, he said wires are expensive, but he will be willing to put the CAT 6 in for me if I buy the wire myself.  I think that when I tell the electrician to have multiple drops per room, he will say that he is going to charge for that. I am kind of little prepared and I was thinking of helping the electrician to keep the cost low.
Anyway, I read little bit about HAI system in these forums, I want to know little bit about what is involved to in the big picture, I mean procedure, components, cost and where to get what? Something to read and digest :). I think if I am not mistaken, I read somewhere in these forums that there are some additional modules that I can put to add the calling modules/ or some monitoring company.
I understand that I have to wire everything first, so that I do not need to rip the walls again, and initially I would like to go with some basic system and then expand on. That is why I wanted to get started on this, so that I should not be in some illusion and get something concrete on how much I will be spending and set some budget.
I read somewhere in these forums that there are some additional modules that I can put to add the calling modules/ or some monitoring company.
The base HAI OmniPro package comes with the piece you need to connect to a telephone line. 
I just recently aquired one; it came with:
1 - Alarm board inside of an HAI can
2 - An RJ31X
3 - serial cable with an RS-232 9 pin connector
4 - UPB PIM and cable.  (this would give you automation control over UPB light switches and appliance modules)
5 - Installation manuals and user manuals
6 - 24VAC transformer (thinking though this is an extra).
This will get basic security and automation features.  Minimally you would need a keyboard console, HAI PC access dealer programming software and a battery for the panel.  The base panel comes with 16 zones.
You can though program the panel with the keyboard console using the instructions in the manual.  It will be much slower than using a computer and the dealer access software. 
Generally speaking, there is the option to do the wiring yourself (which I would recommend doing after the electrician is done) or to have them do it. I would be very surprised if the electrician allows you to 'help' him and get a discounted rate.
I think I will find out about the wiring from the electrician. Can someone please help me in putting together the components and where do you buy the stuff from?  
The best thing you can do now is to pre-wire your house, there is a great source on this board: This guide will give you an idea of what could be automated and what type of wiring each project will require. Basically you should run a wire to any place in your house that you envision automating later. Budget about 2K-3K just for the wire itself, depending on the size of your house. As the others posted, the rest will depend on how you will install that wire, the licensed electrician's install will most likely be expensive. Given the stage you are in your project, it would be best if you could educate yourself on the LV wire running techniques, plan everything and run the wire yourself. There will be a considerable period of time before you'll have to make a decision on most of the the hardware and other equipment, and by then you may find newer products/technologies on the market. If you home-run all the wires to a central location, it will give you the most flexibility.
Thanks a lot for the information. Yes I started watching videos for networking wires and LV wiring. I have few questions.
1. It is mentioned in the wiring 101 guide, that there should be 3-6 drops for bedroom/TV rooms, my question is that if I do two drops of CAT 6, then use a local switch in that room, what will be the issue? Currently I live in a 1600 sq ft house and I have everything wireless except two rooms, I have network wire in each of these two rooms and then local 8 port switches. What will be the issue, if I plan to drop two n/w cables in each room and then if needed put a local switch?
2. I spoke to a local installer for this security/automation project, he said if the house is prewired, he can come in and install Omni Pro II with the basic security system for around 2K. I tried to find the price myself, but the price I found is $1707 for Omni Pro II at one place and then on amazon the price is $12xx. None of the sites say anything about 2 keypads included etc.
Also what I am learning is that, in order to have a video intercom/door unlock system with intercom in 4 other rooms, equipment only will cost more than 5k, is my estimate correct?
Do you really need an intercom??
Just go with a SIP solution and use your phone as the interface.
Frunple said:
Do you really need an intercom??
Just go with a SIP solution and use your phone as the interface.
    When you say SIP solution, do you mean to use PBAX in a Flash for Audio or Audio/video? If you can please elaborate.