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The collaborative process is exciting as we build your dream together.


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Prudent Living welcomes the opportunity to serve you in four key areas. Build your future Zero Energy Solar Home or high-performance home with Prudent Living Homes. Start saving now on your energy bills with Prudent Living Solar. Explore high-performance home construction details and learn about alternative home energy solutions with Prudent Living Magazine, our weekly blog. And climb aboard the Prudent Living Train for your entertainment and education through an immersive video experience. We love building Zero Energy High-Performance Homes that provide sustainable solutions for our customers.


Custom high performance design/build firm.

Our full-service design/build team starts with talking about your project and developing trust in our "meet and greet" meeting. Here we'll share ideas on we begin to make your dream a reality!

  • Custom Design
  • Remodeling
  • Solar Energy Systems
  • High-Performance Homes
  • Kitchen Remodeling


Check out our blog to stay up-to-date on helpful tips and useful information.

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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Downsizing for Seniors – Consider a High-Performance Home

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, but then it happened. We…

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Because It’s Time: What Does It Mean? Part 2

As Y2K approached and many thought the world might end or would at the very least be extremely discombobulated in attempting to adjust clocks and computers to the new millennium, Biebel reminisces, “We stocked up a year’s supply of food, just in case, and we asked ourselves, ‘Why are we buying food that comes from…

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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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IECC Home vs. Net Zero Construction in Vermont: Which is Better?

Let me start off by defining, “better.” From the standpoint of construction quality or practices, an IECC home and a net-zero home will be the same. From the standpoint of saving energy, net-zero wins hands down. Let’s see why. The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) The IECC is a residential coding standard that stipulates minimum…

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4 Keys to Know a Net-Zero Home in Vermont Actually Will Be Net Zero

One of the worst fears imaginable is that you contract for a net-zero home in Vermont or New Hampshire and get something else. Maybe you get some form of energy-saving home with solar panels, but it doesn’t achieve net zero. A net zero home, by definition, is a home whose energy consumption is equal to…

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The Zehnder Ventilation System: Running The Ducting

Tight houses need air exchange. Period. Our target air exchange rate for this house is less than 1 ACH50 and with a goal like that, a clean source of fresh air will be necessary. This was our first time using the Zehnder system. We’ve relied on another heat-recovery ventilator(HRV) product in the past that we’d chosen…

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Net Zero Construction in Vermont: Building Delivery Systems that Work

Solar panels with sunflowers in Net Zero Construction in Vermont: Building Delivery Systems that work. Whenever a new term grows to a certain level of popularity, it can become a buzzword in any given industry. When the term becomes a buzzword, its original definition can become skewed. The term “net-zero energy” is one of those terms.…

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Affordable Zero Energy Homes: Is Balloon Framing making a comeback?

I grew up in a big old house on Main Street in the historic section of Windsor, VT. It was four stories high on the backside. I’m not sure what type of architectural style to call it. Some would say that it was just a large vintage New England home with wrap around porches, high…

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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. Although the exterior 2×4…

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