Why Build a High-Tech Home?

Why Build a High-Tech Home? 1

If you’re thinking of building a home, and you want the best “bang for your bucket of bucks,” prudence suggests that you consider the advantages of going high-tech, even perhaps aiming for a net-zero home. “Net-zero” describes a home in which the renewable energy sources that are incorporated into the design produce the equivalent of…

Read More

The Value of a Human Life?

The Value of a Human Life? 2

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

Down the Up Staircase

Down the Up Staircase 3

How an Eyesore Became a Centerpiece When Tom and Sarah purchased an 1870 farmhouse 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…

Read More

Safety On The Home Front

Safety On The Home Front 4

by Nancy Wolff When I was asked to write an article on Safety my mind started to go in all different directions. Should I write about the safety of using homemade cleaning products versus store bought? Of the importance of keeping the prongs of a garden rake pointed downwards when you garden? Or should I…

Read More

Huey’s Vampire Electronics

Huey's Vampire Electronics 5

Adventures of Jeb and Huey: Vampire Electronics by Nathan Biebel The old pickup truck belonging to Jebediah Forethought kicked up dust behind it as it rumbled along the dirt road that served as a shortcut home. The shortcut brought him by the property of Huey Hindsight, which gave Jeb a chance to look in on…

Read More

Safety in Your Home

wemple, bridgewater, off grid

by David B. Biebel You may spend half of your life at work or school, but the other half you spend at home. Work places have safety rules with inspections and warnings for workers. How many homes have you been in where safety rules were posted? Many injuries and illnesses occur in the home environment.…

Read More

How Much Per Square Foot?

How Much Per Square Foot? 6

by Paul Biebel, President Biebel Builders, Inc & Prudent Living, Inc In thirty years of building homes, the most common question I’ve heard from prospective clients is: “How much will it cost per square foot?” The answer to that question is: “Well…cough…sputter…gag…that depends….” If you ever hear another answer from a prospective builder, it’s a…

Read More

Window Covering Tips

Window Covering Tips 7

by Nancy Wolff A Good Set of Window Blinds Can Make You More Energy Independent. A few years ago my husband and I met Larry Sportello of Budget Blinds out of Keene, NH. We have two large south facing windows and we were looking for way to help keep our house cool in the summer…

Read More

Barn Becomes Net-Zero Home

Barn Becomes Net-Zero Home 8

(Adapted from Prudent Living Magazine: Volumes 1-3, 2012) 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…

Read More

Energy Interdependence

Energy Interdependence 9

by David B. Biebel – Editor-in-Chief Early one morning not so long ago, a young neighbor came knocking. Obviously distraught, he said, “I missed my bus. Mom’s at work. Could you give me a ride to school?” In years past, I would not have hesitated. But with the Trayvon Martin case being heard less than…

Read More