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

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

New home comfort issues

Graphic of heating and cooling circulating through a house

Our four-part series explores how to handle comfort issues in a new home.

learn more

Modular homes

Modular home assembly in a factory

Modular homes are built in a factory under controlled conditions, then shipped to the homesite and placed on a permanent foundation.

learn more

Turning a barn into an energy-smart home

Megan standing in front of the barn home

A century-old barn gets the ultimate makeover - with lots of energy-smart technology.

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

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

Historic preservation

Boy and grandmother on front porch

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

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

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