Building a home can be very exciting as you choose a lot, create your floor plan and pick all the pretty things to go inside and out. In the end your vision will come together to create the dream home you have in mind. But, make sure you approach the less exciting aspects of the build with the same enthusiasm or your operating costs could be disappointing and a financial burden.

Energy costs have risen over the years and there is no reason to believe that this trend won't continue. Start by asking prospective builders about the foundation, sheathing, windows and insulation that will be used to build your home ... and most importantly, will your home qualify as a "Certified" Energy Star home? If not, you are likely to incur ongoing operating costs higher than necessary for the life of the home. Learn more about "Certified" Energy Star Homes at