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.

In this video: A construction expert discusses what to consider when choosing an energy smart builder and what questions to ask.

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

Insulated concrete forms

Insulated concrete forms in the ground

An insulated concrete form (ICF) system eliminates the cold drafts typical of wood-frame construction.

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

Decoding building requirements

house blueprints

Learn about some of the changes for new homes built today. An expert highlights some of the things to consider when building a new home.

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

Historic preservation

Boy and grandmother on front porch

A preservation expert shares how to restore an older home economically and energy efficiently.

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

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

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

Aging in place

Adjustable height kitchen sink

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

learn more