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Articles About Building High Performance Custom Homes

Downsizing for Seniors: Why You Need The Net Zero Energy Option

By Tim Biebel / September 27, 2018

This article assumes that you are a senior and you are trying to discern the most prudent approach to downsizing: Okay, when you hear the words “net zero,” what comes to mind: __My favorite basketball player missed the buzzer-beater __ My investments just tanked __ My credit card is maxed…

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Heading For Retirement? Why a Zero Energy Home Is Just Right for You

By Tim Biebel / September 15, 2018

With retirement and fixed income living just a few years ahead, the handwriting was on the wall for Don Wemple: Find a way to reduce living costs, or find another place to live. The answer for the Bridgewater Corners, Vermont, renewable energy expert was relatively easy in one way – he…

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Heat Recovery Ventilation Facts for Net Zero Homes in Vermont

By Tim Biebel / September 6, 2018

When it comes to energy efficiency in Vermont, it’s important to design net zero homes to have heat recovery ventilation systems built into them. But what exactly is a heat recovery ventilation system, and what does it do? In short, a heat recovery ventilator, or HRV, warms incoming fresh air with heat…

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Downsizing for Seniors: Zero Energy Home Construction in Vermont

By Tim Biebel / August 20, 2018

ou’ve decided that it’s time to downsize and to do it in Vermont, so now you’re searching for a builder who specializes in high performance / zero energy home construction. Well, two out of three “ain’t bad” as they say. Some prefer to use the word “rightsize” rather than “downsize,”…

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The 3 Top Things to Avoid When Building a Net Zero Home in Vermont

By Tim Biebel / August 3, 2018

Building a net zero home in Vermont is becoming the new norm in residential construction. Want proof?  Check out the almost limitless amount of media buzz, ready support from utility companies and government…and the plethora of clearly visible “solar farms” along the state’s highways. But constructing a net zero home…

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Little Things Add Up in a Net Zero Energy Home

By Tim Biebel / July 18, 2018

We build high-performance custom homes in New Hampshire and Vermont. In order for the owner to benefit from the State of New Hampshire’s Energy Star program, we have to comply with their strict performance criteria of the shell of the house. The State of NH sends their own inspector to…

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The Monster Is In The House

By Tim Biebel / July 8, 2018

Just after Christmas, the cold snap arrived, just as predicted by The Old Farmer’s Almanac. At first, the man wasn’t too concerned. The oil tank was full, he had managed to split and stack quite a lot of poplar. The first night wasn’t so bad; the big thermometer on the tree…

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What Type of Kitchen Cabinets Are Installed?

By Tim Biebel / June 20, 2018

Last November we installed Crown Point frameless cabinets and glass doors in one of the houses we were working on. They feature some innovative toes kicks and continuous horizontal trim pieces.  The kitchen cabinets in the ProHOME are manufactured by Crown Point Cabinetry out of Claremont, N.H. It was nice…

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Zero Energy Homes: A Home Energy Audit Helps You Save

By Tim Biebel / June 15, 2018

Not so long ago, when fuel oil and gasoline prices were hitting an all- time high, people struggled to pay for their heating bill and gas for their vehicles. Not everyone can install a high-efficiency furnace or buy a new car that gets 40 miles per gallon, but the latest…

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Heat Recovery Ventilation Facts For High Performance Homes In Vermont

By Tim Biebel / May 29, 2018

When it comes to energy efficiency in Vermont, it’s important to design net zero homes to have heat recovery ventilation systems built into them. But what exactly is a heat recovery ventilation system, and what does it do? In short, a heat recovery ventilator, or HRV, warms incoming fresh air with heat…

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What You Should Know About Solar Payback for a High Performance Home

By Tim Biebel / May 10, 2018

Installing a solar system has both short-term and long-term benefits. Right away, you can feel warm (literally) and fuzzy (figuratively) about reducing your “carbon footprint.”. Plus, over time the system will gradually pay for itself out of your energy savings, AND as a bonus, once paid for, it can start…

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The 5 Crucial Design Elements for Net Zero Homes in Vermont

By Tim Biebel / May 5, 2018
Net-Zero Home

To some, net-zero may sound like something from the realm of science fiction. It’s not.  A net zero home is one that has the potential to create as much energy as it consumes. And in fact, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, such homes may become mainstream in…

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Downsizing for Seniors: The Importance of Energy Star Ratings

By Tim Biebel / April 28, 2018

So you’ve decided to downsize your home, and now you’re considering your options. Living under someone else’s thumb (retirement community / assisted living) does not appeal to you. But living in a little farmhouse in Vermont sounds wonderful. After all, it’s beautiful there in any season, you’ll own a small piece…

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Downsizing for Seniors – Consider a High-Performance Home

By Tim Biebel / April 18, 2018

The other day my uncle and I time-traveled ahead to the year 2056. Since he never had a DeLorean, we used his 1974 red Simca that he had stored away in my grandpa’s barn for just this purpose. It only took a half hour to get it up to 88 MPH,…

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Affordable Zero Energy Homes:Intersection of Exterior Wall & Rafter

By Tim Biebel / April 8, 2018

As we continue with our discussion about (affordable zero energy homes) and High Performance Construction Methods, our subject for today’s blog will focus on a very important connection point where double-stud exterior walls intersect with the roof system. Here is where a lot of energy treatments must be installed correctly. Unfortunately,…

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Affordable Zero Energy Homes: Foundations – Part 2

By Tim Biebel / March 27, 2018

In the not-too-distant past, not enough attention was paid to the slab. The foundation hole was dug and leveled, and then four to six inches of concrete we poured into the forms. Some builders still take a similar approach to the slab (especially what is under it). But concrete slabs…

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Affordable Zero Energy Homes: Foundations – Part 1

By Tim Biebel / March 15, 2018

One of the biggest challenges that builders in the Northeast face is the high cost of construction. Part of the challenge is just finding an affordable south facing land that has a good source of water, power nearby, and friendly soils that can support a septic system and allow for…

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What’s a Smart Slab Assembly for Net Zero Construction in Vermont?

By Tim Biebel / March 8, 2018

Net zero construction in Vermont requires executing high-performance building practices in every aspect of the residential project. A home built to net zero construction in Vermont assumes that the building contractor has incorporated high-performance standards within every element of construction. A high-performance home is super-insulated from the foundation to the roof, super…

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What is Net Zero Energy Construction in Vermont?

By Tim Biebel / February 23, 2018

With new homes technology moving so fast today, terms such as: “green energy,” “renewal resources,” “solar,” “geo-thermal,” and more, can lead to confusion. The term, “net zero” simply means that the home produces as much energy as it uses, resulting in a net end-of-year zero usage of energy and thus…

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Affordable Zero Energy Homes: A Balloon Framed Wall does it All!

By Tim Biebel / February 14, 2018

We’ve discovered that a double 2×4, balloon framed, an exterior wall with dense pack insulation performs at the highest level – satisfying both demands of thermal and fire blocking performance and cost-effectiveness. Not only that, the less I depend on using foam, the more relaxed my clients seem to be…

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A Conventional Home vs. a Net Zero Construction in Vermont Home

By Tim Biebel / February 7, 2018

Rising energy costs and the greater desire among many to be responsible stewards of our environment are making net-zero homes the new norm. While net zero construction in Vermont is not brand new compared with conventional construction, it is relatively new. Because if its newness, for most people, building a…

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