When you choose a homebuilder, you'll be giving them more than just your hard-earned money. You'll also be entrusting them with your family's comfort and safety - and your peace of mind.

The right builder will also make energy efficiency a top priority. He or she should ask questions about your family's lifestyle and discuss energy-saving options throughout the construction process.

Questions to ask potential builders

As you're meeting with potential builders, ask them the following questions:

  • What kind of foundations and framing systems do you usually use?
  • What kind of insulation do you use and what R-value do you achieve?
  • What choices do we have for windows and doors?
  • What are the efficiency ratings of the standard heating and cooling systems?
  • What will it cost to upgrade to high-efficiency products?
  • Do your homes meet federal and utility energy efficiency recommendations?
  • Are you open to using alternative building methods or materials?

As with any major home investment, it's imperative to investigate the builder's license and references carefully, and reach an agreement on costs, timelines and guarantees before signing a contract.

More from this category

Choosing energy-smart products

Mom and daughters playing in leaves

When building your new home, don't forget about the importance of energy-conserving products like furnaces, air conditioners and appliances.

learn more

Energy efficient kitchen remodel

Pete and couple standing in remodeled kitchen

This kitchen remodel features a new window, energy-efficient lighting, new appliances and side-wall insulation.

learn more

Air quality and ventilation in new homes

Man showing ductwork to Pete and Megan

New, energy-efficient homes need new solutions to circulate and ventilate the air inside the home.

learn more

Net Zero Community

Two people walking into a new home

Check out a new neighborhood concept and see how one builder is changing the way homes are built with a goal to use zero energy.

LEARN MORE

Structural insulated panels

Cross section of a structural insulated panel

Structural insulated panels, also called SIPs, foam-core panels or stress-skin panels, are significantly more airtight than stud walls.

learn more

Aging in place

Adjustable height kitchen sink

Using universal design principals, your home can adapt to your changing lifestyle needs.

learn more

Geodesic domes

Geodesic dome home

A geodesic design uses interconnected triangles to create a strong, environmentally friendly structure.

learn more

Green home construction

Building materials, blueprints and paint chips

More builders are offering sustainable choices in new home construction. Find out what's available and how it impacts the earth and the bottom line.

learn more

Trombe wall

Trombe wall on the interior of a home

Using the sun's stored energy to heat your home reduces your conventional energy consumption.

learn more