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Vermont and New Hampshire's Finest High Performance and Net-Zero Design Build Company

Extra-Deep Roof Framing

The ProHOME includes a clever approach to creating 20-in.-deep rafter bays for extra dense-pack cellulose insulation. For the most part, the roof framing of the ProHOME is standard:  2×12 rafters and 3.5-in.-by-16-in. Eastern Parallam PSL ridge beams provided by Weyerhaeuser make up the brunt of the framing. In addition, 6×6 Parallam posts on either side…

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Site-Built Approach to Roof Ventilation

Dense-packed rafter bays need rigid vents.   The roof slopes in the ProHOME are dense-packed with 20 in. of cellulose. To provide adequate roof ventilation there is a ¾-in.-high air channel in each rafter bay directly under the roof sheathing. Dense-pack cellulose and cheap Styrofoam vent baffles don’t mix, so we use 7/16-in. OSB to…

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Floor Framing Hung Off a Ledger

Hanging a floor system off balloon-framed walls isn’t too different from platform framing. The floor system is comprised of Weyerhaeuser’s TJI joists, Microllam LVLs for ledgers, Timberstrand LSL Rim Board, and Huber’s Advantech flooring. Microllams are used where joist hangers are needed to support the TJIs and the LSL rim board is used along the…

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“Temporary” Power

How we start framing with permanent power installed Ideally, we want to have the permanent power operational before we begin framing. But, the utility meter needs to be installed on the building, at least in this area of the country. That poses a bit of a challenge: How can the meter permanently be mounted when…

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Foundation Air and Vapor Strategy

Insulation is critical, but a continuous air barrier is just as important. A few years ago, we began using 15 mil-thick plastic as part of our under slab air and vapor strategy. Plastic that thick may seem like overkill to some, but I’ve remodeled multiple houses where the scope of the project required removing concrete…

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ProHOME is Part of a High-Performance Development

The 2017 ProHOME is a part of an eight-house development of affordable, net-zero homes. In 2015, we set out to build the first ever net-zero community of homes in Vermont that could be priced as close to the surrounding existing market as possible. A local site contractor owned a 2.5 acre parcel of land which…

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Foundation Insulation Strategy

Like my head of hair, our foundations designs have changed over time. What once was full and blonde is now looking thinner with a few random grays, and what once was known as a standard foundation is quickly becoming obsolete. While the various past designs we have used are energy efficient, not all were the…

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Bringing Back Balloon-Framed Walls

This framing method helps create a more energy-efficient thermal envelope and air barrier. On many of our homes, we balloon frame the exterior walls. This way, the studs carry past the floor system, instead of the more traditional method that has the floor system sitting on top of the wall. The reasoning for this is…

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Down the Up Staircase – How an Eyesore Became a Centerpiece

When Tom and Sarah purchased an 1870 farm house and barn in West Windsor, Vermont, in 2003, their farm was already famous. For example, they were told by several locals that “Good Morning, America” had once used the barn as a backdrop for one of their programs. And a 500-piece Rose Art Encore! jigsaw puzzle…

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