These tips may not/likely will not apply to a wider group of ambition home builders, but in case anyone might benefit, here we go once again.
1. Plant a fragrant plant at your front door. Our landscaper secretly placed a Night Blooming Jasmine outside our front door and near our outdoor entertaining area. It's a pleasant surprise at the end of a long day and starts our home hours off just right. We get a lot of comments from friends when they arrive and leave as well. "What is that great smell?"
2. Carefully consider levers vs knobs on doors and gates. We ultimately went with levers throughout the house and garden because I liked the look much better. But seeing as our dog can now let himself out of the yard (yes by pressing on the lever), I cannot imagine what kids might do in the future. And no worries about Jordan, he's learned how to let himself back into the yard. (Ugh...and people question the intelligence of dogs.)
3. Consider matching your rain gutters and down pipes to your exterior colors. Our builder was at serious odds with our architect on this one. "They don't need to match the drains to the windows". We ultimately pressed on, and in the end, the architect is spot on. Even these silly little finishing details really pulled together the final product. I never would have bothered if he had not insisted.
4. With that being said, remember to say no. Our architect was an absolute inspiration to work with. All the options, all the goodies, all the costs. Originally, he wanted to cover our front door and window area in real stone. "It will be fabulous". We almost fell for it, but reason kicked in. We ultimately went with a faux styrofoam-type moulding, which turned out great. Could it have been better? Possibly. But I'm pretty darn happy with what we got (and I'm happier that I don't have stark white rain gutters).
5. Make sure you supervise the whole way through. When the walls are going up and windows going in, it's natural that you are privy to the daily decisions at the house. But towards the end when the little details are getting finalized, it's easy to trust that the builders know your preferences and slack off a bit. I wouldn't want you to come home one day expecting a normal sidewalk only to find a stained and stamped concrete alternative. You might just be disappointed that your attention temporarily wandered.
Hope some of those items might be helpful!