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Homes

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

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 in Vermont, New Hampshire, or…

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The Monster Is In The House

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 outside registering just a little…

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Zero Energy Homes: A Home Energy Audit Helps You Save

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 crisis has caused individuals to…

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Affordable Zero Energy Homes: Foundations – Part 2

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 aren’t like carpet. Once the…

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Affordable Zero Energy Homes: Foundations – Part 1

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 a foundation without blasting and…

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Engineered Headers: Weyerhaeuser Parallam PSL beams

For the window and door headers, we used 3½-in.-thick Weyerhaeuser Parallam PSL beams. Using Parallam PSL speeds up the framing process as they don’t require any assembly, the way sandwiching a piece of ½-in. plywood between two pieces of dimensional lumber would. Just cut them and nail and screw them into place. Cut and install. The…

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Vermont Home Tour

vermont home tour

Passive-solar homesite: We designed our home to function at a passive-solar level by positioning the majority of windows to face the sun. This meant our home would be placed on the site almost on the compass points with the least amount of glass facing north, and the maximum glass facing south. Our intention was to…

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