top of page

Frequently Asked Questions


You have questions? We have answers!

Below are the questions we are most often asked at ECOterra DESIGN-BUILD .

If the answer to your question isn’t answered on this page or elsewhere on our website, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are always more than happy to help!

Do I need to buy land that ECOterra has or can ECOterra build on my lot?

ECOterra can also provide real estate services to find that special lot for your new home. So on your land or ours, ECOterra DESIGN-BUILD can design and build your energy-efficient, custom dream home!

Does ECOterra design the homes or do I need to hire an architect or draftsman?

Our designer extraordinaire, Kaye Marshall, has degrees in architecture and civil engineering. Kaye personally designs every ECOterra home to your wants and needs, fitting your lifestyle perfectly and assuring that no two will ever be alike. However, we will build your design/plans.

What is a custom home builder?

A custom home builder is someone who builds a one-of-a-kind home with high- quality design and materials, creating a unique place that fits the client’s lifestyle. There are also luxury home builders that build high-quality homes but use existing or slightly modified plans from another home to build a SPEC home. These are not true custom builders.

What is Green Building?

Green Building means all practices that seek to reduce the negative impact of construction, thereby creating homes that are healthier and more efficient. At ECOterra DESIGN-BUILD we strive to minimize waste. We use engineered wood products and recycled and low/no VOC materials throughout the construction process in order to provide the most energy-efficient and healthy environment possible.

Does building green cost more?

That depends on how you look at it. There are some additional up-front costs to better seal and insulate a home properly. You can take additional steps to further the efficiency of your home by adding solar thermal and solar photovoltaic systems to supplement your hot water and electricity needs. These do add more cost to your home, but currently there are Federal and State tax incentives as well as PNM performance based incentives (PBI’s) to help reduce the up-front costs of these systems. We also incorporate appliances and plumbing fixtures that minimize water usage. The bottom line, green DOES pay.


The life-cycle costs of a ECOterra DESIGN-BUILD home can be tens of thousands of dollars less over five, ten and twenty year periods and you have the satisfaction of knowing that you are living in a home that has been designed to have the least impact on the planet!

How much does it cost to build a custom home?

The cost of a custom energy-efficient home is commonly described as a cost per-square-foot. ECOterra designs and builds custom homes with energy efficiency features included in the $200/sq.ft. to $400/sq.ft. average range. We have built for less and we have built for more. The variance is based on the customer’s personal selections of mechanical systems, windows, plumbing and lighting fixtures, cabinets, appliances, flooring, etc.

How long does it take to build a custom home?

If you include design development to finish home you should be prepared to look at approximately nine to twelve months depending on the size of the home and finish features that are incorporated into it. We encourage our clients to be a part of the process which can add to the timeline. But remember this is your home and we don’t want to rush it along.

What do you mean by solar?

There are a few different definitions when you talk solar. First, there is passive solar, utilizing the sun without any type of mechanical device to heat a home. Then there are active solar systems. One of the active systems that ECOterra DESIGN-BUILD installs is a solar thermal hot water system that is a pre-heater for domestic hot water to minimize the gas burner on a hot water tank. The other active systems that ECOterra installs are solar photovoltaic panels that generate electricity which reduces or net zeros the energy costs of a home.

What is unique about ECOterra Custom Homes?

ECOterra DESIGN-BUILD is a culture...we build lifestyle homes with award-winning, one-of-a-kind designs. With green-build construction plus energy-efficiency and generation, our homes save thousands of dollars in energy costs over the life of the  home. We work hand-in-hand with our clients from design to completion to insure complete satisfaction.

Where does ECOterra build in New Mexico?

ECOterra DESIGN-BUILD is currently building custom homes in Albuquerque, Placitas, Corrales, the East Mountains and Santa Fe. New Mexico is our main territory however we are looking for that project in Hawaii to expand!

Where can I find information about the Albuquerque metro area?

There are great resources and information on the ECOterra DESIGN-BUILD website on our New Mexico Resources page which includes city and state governments, schools, transportation and entertainment and much more.

Please reload

Read more about ECOterra DESIGN-BUILD:

bottom of page