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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…Read More
Net-Zero, Primary Residence Homes, Part 4
How do we achieve a Prudent Living, Net-Zero home? Here’s our approach: Keep it simple – There are only two questions worth asking. What are the facts? What’s in it for me? Avoid complicating conversations about Net-Zero with useless discussions about micro-mathematics, Scientific R-values vs Builder R-values, charts and graphs that show every cause and…Read More
The 3 Latest Technologies You Need to Build a High Performance Home
Are you thinking about building a net-zero home in Vermont but find the technical terms confusing? Many of the terms used to describe net zero can be confusing only because they are new terms. A net-zero home in Vermont or New Hampshire—regions are known for temperature extremes—needs to rely on the best technologies to achieve the…Read More
Net Zero Home in Vermont: Do I Need a Back Up Heating System?
Net zero homes are powered by energy generated from solar panels and the local power company. Vermont (and New Hampshire) winters can be cold and dark. What happens if the power goes out in your net zero home in Vermont? 1) What are the Likely Scenarios? Before you build or even pick a location, it…Read More
Heading For Retirement? Why a Zero Energy Home Is Just Right for You
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 loves living in Vermont, even…Read More
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…Read More
What’s a Smart Slab Assembly for Net Zero Construction in Vermont?
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 sealed from air incursion, and…Read More
The Value of a Human Life?
Reflections on Forty Years of Building Codes by Paul Biebel, Founder and President, Prudent Living, Inc. Forty-three years ago, when I was just starting to learn different facets of the building trade, I worked as an unofficial apprentice to a licensed electrician in his eighties who had been around since the days of Edison –…Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More