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

General

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

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 making money for you.  …

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The 5 Crucial Design Elements for Net Zero Homes in Vermont

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 time. Why mainstream? Solar panels,…

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Downsizing for Seniors: The Importance of Energy Star Ratings

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 of history, and the last…

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Minisplit System for a Happy Mother-in-Law

The system is sized for temperature control in each room. The ProHOME is heated and cooled with Mitsubishi Heat Pumps. Specifically, there are two outdoor units (MXZ-3C24NAHZ2) that feed five indoor units (two on one outdoor unit and three on the other). This provides 48,000 btu’s of heating capacity, which is overkill for the house,…

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Exterior Trim Painting

Holding off on the roofing saves time painting. When possible, we like to spray paint the exterior trim of a house because it is a lot faster. Of course, no roofing can be in place and additional prep work such as covering the windows and doors with plastic is required, but it’s still faster than…

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Boral TruExterior Trim — A First Look

Production builders try the composite building material and conclude that it is competitive with traditional wood options. The ProHOME has been our first experience with Boral TruExterior Siding and Trim. Because I hadn’t used the product before, I called up our local supplier to hear his thoughts on it. He said, “Most of our high-end…

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Second-Floor Air Barrier

The interior air barrier is installed before framing the interior walls. A continuous air barrier is critical to a high-performance home. At the ProHOME, and most of our recent builds, we rely on Intello Plus membrane to carry the bulk of the workload when it comes to air sealing. Installing some of the Intello happens…

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Max Nail Guns Prove Popular at the ProHOME Build

The crew foreman likes the new nail guns. “Hey, did your deodorant give out?” I heard one guy on the crew ask another as they were stapling 1×3 strapping over the Intello Plus membrane in a tight space on the second floor of the ProHOME on a hot, humid afternoon. “Yup, I think so!” came…

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Detailing Window and Door Openings

Thick walls mean tying together inner and outer rough openings. We are always tinkering with our framing techniques to try and improve them, but one that has worked well for the double-stud wall is to wrap the rough openings for doors and windows with Zip System sheathing and tape. It connects the inner and outer…

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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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